I read the first Michael Vey last year. I originally had very high hopes for it, but I found it to be a bit of a let down. It is still worth reading. With this follow-up I set my expectations low. I am happy to report that this book is everything I expected the first book to be.
When we left Michael in the first book, his mother had been kidnapped by the evil Dr. Hatch and the Elgen. This book is focused on Michael and the other members of the Electroclan going to free Michael’s mother.
One of the best parts of this book is the main character Michael Vey. Michael is not your typical hero. He struggles with Tourette’s syndrome which often flairs up when he is under stress. At the end of the book, Michael is faced with a dilemma of certain death, or sell out his friends and values to save himself. Michael makes the right choice and faces certain death.
Some will say that Vey is not a believable character because he does not act like a real high school aged student. Maybe, but I tend to find that many teenagers would never make the character driven decisions that Vey makes in this book. We live in a society that seems to view immaturity as a positive. We are led to believe that kids like Michael never exist, or if they do, there is something wrong with them. So, maybe it is a good thing that Vey doesn’t exactly resemble the average high school teenager in America.
One of the things the first book struggled with was that it was poorly edited. Personally, I thought it was poorly written at times, too. This led to plot holes and a story that seemed choppy and forced. The dialogue in this book is still flat at points, but overall this book is a marked improvement from the first one.
I was interested in the science that Evans included in the book. Michael and his fellow Electroclan members all have special electric powers that were the result of a medical device that did not work properly. In this book Evans adds in even more science. The Elgen have figured out how to create genetically modified rats that create energy. It is definitely a unique form of renewable energy, and oddly, it seems to work quite well. The Elgen have these power plants where they put millions of these modified rats into this bowl that acts as a conductor. The feeding of the rats is, well, a little gross, especially when the evil Dr. Hatch tosses in a human.
Speaking of Hatch, Evans has done an excellent job of creating one evil villain in Dr. Hatch. Hatch seems very real, and Evans has developed him nicely from the first book. In this one he is even more evil and dangerous than the first one.
I rated this book a five because it kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. The action sequences towards the end of the book are very engaging and entertaining. I enjoy good science fiction that seems believable. I also love a story that has a character that demonstrates integrity and leadership.