(Please note: This is a reprint of a 2011 review — the series is ongoing)
Rating: 5 stars
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans is a fantastic read. It will resonate with young adult readers — both guys and girls — from sixth grade through late teens, and from Chicago to California, because of the realistic writing, the likable characters, and a plot that guarantees non-stop action from almost the first page.
What’s different about the main character of the book and his best friend is that they are the nerds. Not physically preposessing, afflicted with Tourette syndrome, Michael gets bullied incessantly, and he doesn’t resist — until he does — which is the beginning of the problem for him.
His best friend, Ostin, whose mother was so lacking in intellect that she didn’t know how to spell the name of the town he was named after (and they LIVED in Texas), is short and fat, but he more than makes up for any shortcomings by his incredible loyalty and supernatural intelligence.
In this, his first young adult novel, Evans shows remarkable insight into the thinking and dialogue of teenagers. Of course, some of the characters are stereotypical: the bad, bad guy; the juvenile delinquent with the sorry home life; and the girl — almost too good to be true.
But in spite of the flaws (including some less-than-correct grammar which seems to plague most books published today), the story is good.
Any teen into action, adventure or science fiction will want to make sure Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is on his or her bookshelf. Be sure to skip the cheesy book trailer on the website, though. It’s misleading and will skew a reader’s vision of what Michael is like.
This review was based on a final, hardcover book provided by the publisher.