29 November 2012

Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans

Michael must save his mother—and protect his powers—in the electric sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Michael Vey, from Richard Paul Evans. Michael was born with special electrical powers—and he’s not the only one. His friend Taylor has them too, and so do other kids around the world. With Michael’s friend Ostin, a tecno-genius, they form the Electroclan, an alliance meant to protect them from a powerful group, the growing Order of Elgen, who are out to destroy them. The leader of the Elgen, Dr. Hatch, has kidnapped Michael’s mother, and time is running out.

After narrowly escaping an Elgen trap, Ostin’s discovery of bizarre “rat fires” in South America leads the gang to the jungles of Peru, where the Electroclan meets new, powerful foes and faces their greatest challenge yet as Michael learns the extent of the Elgen’s rise in power—and the truth of their plan to “restructure” the world.
I thought the first book in this series was a great, but rather cookie cutter, adventure movie.  This book has totally turned the tables on that, though.  Less predictable and much more vivid, I liked this book even more than the first.  The plot twists were more carefully planned and skillfully executed.  The pacing was a little breakneck, but that keeps in line with the first book and the general "keep them wanting it" nature of novels like this.  The characters were highlighted much more in this book, and they really showed growth and abandoned their stereotypes to become actual people.  I especially liked the growth in the non-electrics Wade and Jack.  Their heroism and sense of loyalty really gives kids someone non-super to look up to.  I am less pleased with the continuing geek stereotyping of Ostin, however, I can also see how he is being used to give overweight kids or kids into computers and other geeky pursuits someone to attach themselves to.  If I had to have one complaint it would be that this book is rather graphic.  There is a lot of gross violence, including some really nasty things, and the descriptions of torture and mind control are also graphic and accurate, which all helps in making the book chilling and gripping but might be too much for some readers.  In all, I am even more pleased with this book than the first one and will be anxiously awaiting the next.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a non-biased review. 

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