Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Review 1: Michael Vey - The Prisoner of Cell 25

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans, is about a boy named Michael Vey who can shock people with more voltage than an electric eel. He tries to keep his power a secret, but after he shocks some bullies, a girl named Taylor who saw him do it reveals that she also had electrical powers. She can "reboot" people (temporarily make them forget what they were doing) and read minds (but only when touching people). Together with Michael's best friend, Ostin, Michael and Taylor form a club. They discover that a machine, called the MEI, was tested, by a company called Elgen Inc., at the hospital where they were both born.The machine inadvertently gave them electrical powers.Then, shortly after they are both offered a scholarship to the Elgen Academy, run by the corporation that tested the MEI, Michael is sent to the hospital after an encounter with Dr. Hatch, the head of Elgen Inc., and two other electric children. Simultaneously, Taylor and Michael's mother are kidnapped by the Elgen Academy. When Taylor is taken to the academy, she meets her twin, Tara, and is given a life of incredible luxury in exchange for doing tasks to prove her loyalty to Dr. Hatch. However, when she refuses to reboot a man at the X-Games, potentially killing him, she is imprisoned with the other disobedient electric children. Meanwhile, Michael is released from the hospital and pays one of the bullies he shocked to drive him and Ostin to the Elgen Academy, where they infiltrate the building to try to rescue Taylor and Michael's mother. Sadly, their attempt fails, and Ostin is imprisoned with Taylor and the other disobedient electric children. Michael is taken to Dr. Hatch, who wants him to sign a contract promising his loyalty to Elgen in exchange for luxury and his mother and friends being set free. Michael signs the contract but refuses to kill one of the bullies who drove him to Elgen to prove his loyalty, so he is taken to Cell 25 and tortured. Meanwhile, Ostin, Taylor, and the imprisoned electric children engineer a breakout, but are stopped after they escape their cell. Later, Michael, Taylor, and Ostin are taken from their cells and brought together so that Michael can watch Zeus, one of the electric children, kill his friends, but they convince Zeus to join them. They overpower the guards, help the disobedient electric children and the imprisoned humans get out, and almost escape, but they are stopped by Dr. Hatch and Nichelle, an electric child who drains electricity. However, the electric children are able to stop Nichelle by giving her more electricity than she can handle, and Dr. Hatch subsequently flees the building. After they defeat Nichelle, they learn from a girl named Grace, an electric child who ran away from Dr. Hatch, that Elgen has centers like the academy all over the world and are trying to create new electric children (Michael's mother belongs to one of these centers). The book ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, with Michael, Taylor, Ostin, and the other electric children preparing to stop Dr. Hatch's plans.

One of the main themes that I saw in this book was the theme of making deals. An example of this is when Dr. Hatch asked Taylor to reboot Colby Cross and the man at the X-Games in exchange for continuing her lifestyle at the Elgen Academy. Another time this theme was shown was when Dr. Hatch asked Michael to sign a contract promising his loyalty to the Elgen Academy in exchange for a life of splendor and his mother and friends being set free. Thirdly, an example of this is when Michael gave Jack, the bully, three hundred dollars to drive him and Ostin to the Elgen Academy. I believe that this shows that one of the major themes in this book is the theme of making deals.

I would recommend this book to other seventh grade readers because it has an engaging plot. This book is full of excitement. Also, there are a wide variety of characters, involving average kids, popular cheerleaders, and a peculiar genius, so most or all kids will find something that they can relate to. Finally, although humor was not very prominent in this book, I enjoyed it wherever it did appear. These are all reasons why I would recommend this book to other seventh grade readers.

If you have read this book and enjoyed it, the next two books in the series are Michael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen and Michael Vey 3: Battle of the Ampere. There will be seven books in the series overall. Some other books like this are The Accidental Hero, by Matt Myklusch, Chasing the Prophecy, by Brandon Mull, and The Journal of Curious Letters, by James Dashner. Personally, I have read many of these books and enjoyed them. I hope this helps you find something new to read!

I got the cover picture at

The Michael Vey website is at