New young adult fiction books are coming out all the time, yet just how many of them are actually good?
I recently went to a Barnes and Noble to see if I could find a decent book, and was pleased to see a sequel to a recent science fiction book I had read. “Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen,” is written by Richard Paul Evans.
The series revolves around the main character of 14-year-old Michael. On the surface Michael appears to be an average teenager, but in reality, he actually has the power to control electricity.
Eventually, he learns that Taylor, the girl he has a crush on, also has electrical powers – although of a different nature. With this surprising discovery, they attempt to uncover the source of their powers and stumble across the Elgen Academy.
But their digging stirs up trouble, leading to the kidnapping of both Taylor and Michael’s mother. With the help of his best friend, Ostin (who is literally a genius) as well as two other boys from their school, Michael goes after Taylor.
They learn that the academy holds every other child who was unintentionally given similar electrical-based powers at birth due to an experimental medical machine. The leader of the academy, Dr. Hatch, has more sinister plans for the electrical children than he claims, and even imprisons Michael when he doesn’t go along with them. The end of book one results in their escape, along with a few other electrical teens as well.
At the beginning of the second book, the “Electroclan” (as they have dubbed themselves) is trying to stay one step ahead of Hatch and his followers. Yet when they arrive at their homes, they see everything has changed and they are no longer safe there.
After a few close brushes with the well-equipped men who are chasing them, as well as phone calls and assistance from a mysterious source they know little of, the teens find themselves on their way to Peru.
Using downloaded data from the academy, they learned Michael’s mother is being held in an Elgen facility there, and decide to attempt a rescue. When they arrive they find a Nazi-esque training facility for an army of Elgen.
On top of that, they learn of Hatch’s clever and devious plot to essentially take over the world. Fighting and action ensue, with bits of comedy, romance and redemption thrown in. As for the end of the book, it leaves readers on a cliff hanger, just waiting for the third book to be written.
When it comes to this series, one has to keep in mind that it was written for readers 12 and up. The vocabulary and writing style are all fairly simple in structure. Although I generally prefer somewhat more challenging reads, this book would be great for anyone who is not a big reader and prefers an easy to understand story. As for the plot, I must say I do find it interesting.
Clearly I have to, or I would not have read the second book as well.
However, the story line is admittedly clichéd and the plot pretty straightforward; there aren’t too many surprise twists to look forward to.
But even though it is an uncomplicated story, readers will still be interested in these diverse characters and be rooting for them to win in the end. Evans does a decent job incorporating humor with seriousness, keeping the book light enough despite the serious nature of their quest.
As for the character development, it is much better than many books I have read before.
The characters are likeable and relatable, as each one has a different personality and something unique to contribute to the story line. The author is clearly big on loyalty and friendship, as is evidenced in the strong bonds between the characters. In the second book, he even begins to develop romantic interests other than that of Taylor and Michael.
In all, is it the greatest book I have ever read? No. But it certainly is an interesting book that held my attention and made me care about the characters.
It is straightforward enough that, no matter what your reading level is, everyone can enjoy it. It addresses important topics like loyalty and what it means to sacrifice for your friends, and has elements of both humor and action.
My recommendation would be to read both of these books when you get the chance, so you will be caught up for whenever the next installment of Michael Vey hits the shelves.