To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.
Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive."
My Review: Ehhhh. Seriously. That's all I can muster for this book. I feel like Richard Paul Evans just really, really, REALLY wanted to write a YA action/adventure series mirroring the Percy Jackson series and Maximum Ride series...but he fell short on quite a few points. I mean, the book was a vaguely decent start, and I could see it getting better---but I am definitely disappointed with this debut.
To start off...it made me uncomfortable how closely it mirrored Percy Jackson. ANYONE would be able to notice this. A young, awkward teenager who's unpopular, has strange powers, has an unfavorable condition (Percy had ADHD, Michael has Tourette's), has a very close relationship with his single mother who happens to be kidnapped, and embarks on a cross-country journey with his awkward, dorky best friend to save his mother. I mean, seriously? Come on.
Also, the characters were flat and cliche and didn't make me feel anything for them. Ostin was---of course---the fat, awkward, girl-crazy, genius friend. Because THAT'S never been done before in fiction. And Taylor was popular, beautiful, and---of course---a cheerleader. None of them seemed to have any depth or real emotions or even any rapport with each other; I couldn't really believe that any of them even cared about each other. Evans mostly TOLD us things instead of artistically showing us. "I said this." "He said that." "He was cute." Listen, Evans: this book may be for younger audiences, but they're not dumb. No one wants to be told things.
Also, WAY too many pages of just indented dialogue with no descriptive language used.
"Just like this."
"No descriptives at all?"
"Come on, Richard Paul Evans."
Also, the action and "danger" of the plot felt sort of forced and...well, fake and not real. What kind of kid can go from Idaho to California with a bunch of other teenagers and not encounter ANY sort of trouble along the way?
The book sort of picked in the last few chapters and I enjoyed those a little more, but still...not enough.
Basically...what I'm trying to say is...Richard Paul Evans needs to step it up. Despite all my complaints, this book wasn't BAD. It was an amusing way to pass the time. But I'm seriously hoping that the next book---because I will give the next book a chance---will be more well-written and have better character development and better action and better everything, basically.
Cover: I guess the cover is pretty cool, considering the plot of the series. It fits the feel of the book very well.
Overall Grade: C+