Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It Runs in the Family || Get Electrical

by Richard Paul Evans
Series: Michael Vey #1-4
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink
Publication Dates: August 9, 2011 / August 14, 2012 / September 17, 2013 / September 16, 2014
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback; Kindle

Book 1 Summary: To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

Michael Vey. That’s a relatively new name in the realms of YA awesome. And what a magnificent fast paced thrill ride of a story this is.

If there’s anything awesome about catching a book series after a few volumes have come out, it’s finding said series where each book ends with a cliff hanger. The only thing not cool? When the series isn’t done and the last cliff hanger was the cliffhangeriest of them all. (Yes, that’s a word. Just now).

The first three books happen in the span of days, maybe a month or two at the most. And boy, oh boy, you’d think that in such a short period of time the author wouldn’t have enough time to develop the characters well enough. But boy, hoo boy, does it work.

Richard Paul Evans managed to balance the extremely fast pace, high stakes and a TON of characters (both good and bad) within the first three books. By the time you hit volume four, things just get better and better. Stakes get higher and you just wish you were the slightest bit more electrical.

It’s a creative take on my favorite trope of “me and my best friends use our powers to save the world” trope. Because electricity! Science! Good nerdy, geeky fun! It’s one of the more believable super power origin tropes, compared to, say, radio-active spiders or gamma rays. The human body generates a lot of electricity and to “weaponize” that in many fun creative ways is just all too fun.

Best thing about Michael Vey? The way the events unfold. The pace is breakneck, so it’s a roller coaster. Could not put it down, and halfway through reading The Prisoner of Cell 25 (which Alexa and I spied at a Barnes & Noble), I ordered the remaining three books on kindle.

Powers. Friendships. The fate of the world in a battle against forces greater than that of our heroes. All wrapped up in a fun, well crafted narrative ride. Did I mention good story telling? Because isn’t that why we read? Semper Fi.

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