The Prisoner of Cell 25 – Richard Paul Evans

The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1)The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Michael is a 14-year-old who gets bullied in school, and just so happens to have electrical powers? The tale seems familiar until the exciting addition of having these special abilities is introduced. One of my favourite superpowers or forms of magic is one that is based on the elements, so I was very curious to see how electricity would be represented here. It was fascinating to see how it could manifest itself differently and be used in a variety of situations.

The overall idea of this story was very intriguing, although I found the writing to be lacking at times. One of the biggest elements that drew me out of the story was the author’s inability to choose a word other than said to describe when a person was speaking. It became frustrating to listen to the characters talk when the entire page just repeated, “he said… she said… then they said… he said again.” By that point, I was pretty over the word said. It definitely detracted from the story, which I found enjoyable overall.

It was definitely very trope-y, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it completely depends upon your reading preference. I personally enjoy some tropes but when they’re overused you tend to connect with the characters less because they’re no longer unique. The biggest one for me in this book was the characterization of our three leads and how one dimensional it made them. I don’t want to spoil the story, but once you read the book you will understand my issues with the characterization. I would love to see more character development over the next few novels.

As there are six other books in the series, I expect that the character development and world building will be improved upon. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I started to feel more of a connection to the characters and curiosity about the world. The author definitely writes for a younger audience; the writing style was not as developed or mature as I would expect for a young adult reader.

I would recommend it to middle-grade readers, as well as young adult/teen readers who enjoy their fantasy books in a familiar setting. Don’t expect flowery writing or deep characterization, just let the story take you on a fun, easy journey.

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3 thoughts on “The Prisoner of Cell 25 – Richard Paul Evans

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