Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

I have to admit I'm often suspicious of a YA novel written by a bestselling adult author. It seems to be the "in" thing to do these days and the result is sometimes mediocre at best.  And taking a quick look at Richard Paul Evans' bibliography leaves me to wonder how he's going to pull off a subject matter quite different from what's in his adult books, but I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the series.

Much like Percy Jackson, trouble seems to follow Michael Vey. He's not on his principal's "good" list, and he's a magnet for bullies. Michael tries to stay calm and keep a low profile, because if he doesn't, bad things happen. Well, not to him, but to others, because Michael zaps people with electricity from his hand every time he loses his cool. It's a power his mom has wanted to keep secret, and Michael certainly tries his best to do so, but when he fights back one day against the school bullies, he catches the eye of a couple people. One being Taylor the hot cheerleader, who has more things in common with Michael than he ever would have imagined, but then there is the man who wears sunglasses at night. Just in case the interest is not mutual, he decides to kidnap Michael's mother to get his full attention.

The plot moves along and the mystery unfolds nicely, as Michael discovers the origin of his power and why all these people are after him and Taylor. The guys are very likeable in this book, especially Michael's powerless but loyal best friend Ostin, and the villain is just plenty crazy and scary. Great resourceful kids but not too invincible, and the ending wraps up the action in this book but also provides a good set up for the next one, without being an annoying cliffhanger type. Riordan fans will enjoy this one, and I think it can work for the upper elementary school crowd too.

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Thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing an eGalley for this novel.

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