- Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Michael, who has Tourette’s syndrome, is tired of playing the role of typical bullied teen, especially since his electrical powers are growing at an apparently unstoppable rate. He can’t resist using his powers to lash out at the latest group of thugs, and that leads to a revelation: Michael is one of the last individuals to have survived [End Page 78] a technical malfunction that left only a few young survivors, who, like Michael, have various electricity-connected abilities. He will, though, need the collaboration of the other teens, some of whom have been brainwashed and manipulated into helping an evil collective while others have been imprisoned for refusing to comply. The cool scientific exploration of all the ways the body runs on and responds to electricity is intricate and accessible. Unfortunately, even though a sequel is fairly obviously intended, there are still a number of disconcerting open-ended issues that will likely leave readers more frustrated than intrigued. In addition, the lack of subtlety in drawing the characters, many of whom are clearly deeply wounded and emotionally damaged, sets up a standard where readers are torn between rooting for the luckier guys or trying to interpret beyond the surface to connect with (or at least sympathize with) the baddies who really had no other options. Nevertheless, fans of action-driven adventure and science fiction may find the characterizations to be less important than the gripping pace and the unusual superpowers these teens are just learning to control.