Richard Paul Evans’ Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is about a group of children who have electrical powers given to them when a medical experiment goes awry in the hospital where they are born. The corporation that created the failed experiment finds that 17 of the children survived with these powers. It recruits them to take over the Earth. Two children are not found until they turn 15. That is where the book starts.
While the book is well-written and fun, it does have its problems. It is a typical hero journey with a plot like Star Wars. Vey is written as a pseudo-nerd who experiences Tourette’s syndrome and hangs out with the least popular and smartest kid in the school. Somehow, Vey ends up dating the cheerleader. Wish fulfillment doesn’t get any more obvious than that, and while it might be fun to indulge in that kind of thing, writers should stay away from having their fantasies fulfilled in their published works.
But really, those negatively charged comments are really just minor complaints about a story that ends up being worth reading. The best character happens to be the smart kid, Ostin. He provides the solutions and the comedy. He is seemingly in his element, even when he shouldn’t be. The rest of the cast is engaging and glows with personalities that are clear.
Readers won’t be able to resist the phenomenon that is Michael Vey. The first in the series addresses several heavy topics, like racism, progress, gratitude and ends v. means, without actually getting too heavy.
The Prisoner of Cell 25 is well-worth reading, especially for those who will be attending Salt Lake Comic Con in Sept. 2014 and for those who are looking for a series that the can jump into. The 4th in the series, The Search for Jade Dragon, will be released a week later.