“To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans introduces a character whose risk-filled exploration marks the beginning of a riveting new series. With only his powers, his wits, and his friends to protect him, Michael will need all his strength to survive….”
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! The author is incapable of reviewing without them.
This was another book club book. It didn’t count towards my lit credits, since it was simply one of our fun books, but I’m still going to review it. To be frank, I have quite a lot of issues with this book. The story itself (concept wise) was quite good, hence why I kept reading(besides the fact that I have to discuss it in detail on Thursday), but outside of that…it was terrible. At least to me.
For starters, the author (Richard Paul Evans) had a rather irritating style. Granted, if you aren’t a writer wanna-be or some other form of literary personage, then it may not bother you, but it had me almost gritting my teeth by the last page. There were quite a lot of awkward phrases, and that proved to be quite distracting from the story itself. Particularly when you seem unable to turn off your internal editor. *headdesk* Also, in regards to style, there were billions upon billions of unnecessary words. My inner editor about had a coronary over that several times throughout the book. Evans rather liked to state the obvious, as well. That’s one thing if you’re writing a picture book, but quite another in YA. There are some things which really should be left to the imagination. It really makes for a better story if you don’t try to explain every little movement in exquisite detail. And finally, there were the adjectives and adverbs. Now, I know the current trend in the writing community is to cut out all descriptors to create a sharp, clean tone, but I’m personally quite fond of them. Unless they’re dull. If you’re going to use them, go for dynamic, heart-rending, vivid words that scream their meanings and don’t allow the reader to skim for even a second. Evans didn’t. It didn’t work too well.
Secondly, the characters had…issues. The majority of them were flatter than notebook paper and about half as interesting. I tended to forget who was who and who had what powers and why they were there in the first place. Hatch’s electric children in particular had very few distinguishing qualities, and the few they had were shared by every other character in the book. Michael and Jack were better than most, but the rest were fairly 2-dimensional. And on a sidenote, they thought and spoke like junior high students rather than high-schoolers. If you’re going to write about teens, do your research.
Also, there was Taylor. Outside of being there as a love interest for Michael and an author’s tool for revealing information, she had no discernible purpose other than being kidnapped and rescued. Token girl characters tend to be rather annoying to me, and she was no exception. Also, she was described as being essentially perfect. That again is somewhat annoying.
All in all, it was sad. The story had a lot of potential, in the fact that it was actually an interesting concept with a well-executed plot. But the other factors dragged it down so much that it was hard to pay attention to the good points and easy to focus on the bad ones. I may find the sequel at some point and see if it’s any better. Hopefully so.