A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
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What's the story?
Tired of being pushed around by bullies, Michael Vey unleashes his secret electrical powers, zapping them into unconsciousness. That loss of control is the first step toward Michael being recruited for the sinister Elgen Academy, where superpowered teens are being groomed to rule the world. When agents from Elgen kidnap his mother and one of his schoolmates, Michael sets off on a cross-country quest to rescue them.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about superhero stories. Why are they so popular in books, movies, cartoons, and on TV shows? What aspects of the genre appeal most to readers and filmgoers?
How does Michael struggle with knowing when to use his electrical powers? How does Michael defend himself against the aggression of others with electric powers?
Is violence a useful strategy in resolving disputes?
- Author: Richard Paul Evans
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: August 9, 2011
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 15
- Number of pages: 326
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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