A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Prisoner of Cell 25 explores the responsibilities that come with gaining great powers.
It's hurtful and dangerous to believe that you're better than everyone else. If you have power, you can't use it to control or harm others.
Positive Role Models
Michael is a loving son to his widowed mother and tries to follow her rules about never using his electric power. He's also a loyal friend to his socially inept buddy, Ostin. Most of all, he can't bring himself to deliberately hurt a defenseless victim.
Violence & Scariness
Scenes of violence, but most are understated and don't include bloodshed. Michael uses his electric powers to shock his enemies. A character uses psychic powers to cause physical pain. Michael is subjected to solitary confinement in a darkened room, and other captives are forced to wear shock collars. A motorcyclist is injured when someone intentionally distracts him during a race.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Michael has a crush on Taylor, which she seems to reciprocate. Ostin also awkwardly attempts to flirt with her. Nothing physical occurs among any of them.
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Products & Purchases
Taylor and her sister go shopping in Beverly Hills and buy high-priced items with recognizable brand names: Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teen characters are encouraged to drink celebratory champagne in one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Prisoner of Cell 35: Michael Vey, Book 1 is a fairly standard superhero origin story but one that's well paced and involving. Author Richard Paul Evans created likable characters and put them in suspenseful situations. There are violent scenes but little bloodshed. Characters are kidnapped, fitted with shock collars, put in solitary confinement, and hurt with psychic powers. Sexual content is limited to flirting. Teens drink celebratory champagne in one scene. The sixth book in the series, The Fall of Hades, will be published Sept. 13, 2016.
Is It Any Good?
Another tale of misfit teens with secret mutant powers might seem overly familiar to some readers, but this series opener has enough wit and charm to smooth over most objections. In THE PRISONER OF CELL 25, author Richard Paul Evans maintains a relatively light touch on the material, keeping the suspense high without descending into overwhelming angst. Michael's friendships with studious Ostin Liss and cheerleader Taylor Ridley keep the story grounded, even if the story's villains are a little too self-consciously dastardly. The book ends with a cliffhanger, and most readers will be eager to pick up the next installment, Rise of the Elgen.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.