Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Michael is a 14-year-old who has electrical powers and is joined in this novel by his fellow Electro-Clan members. In this book, Michael and his friends must battle the Elgen again in order to save his mother from their clutches. It was nice to see the world we had come to inhabit in the first book expanded in the second. We got a deeper look into the Elgen, their plans and one of their other secret locations. If you haven’t read the first book, this may spoil you so please read that (or my first review) before you read the second book’s review.
I felt the same way about the second book as I did the first. 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.
There was a little more character development in this novel than the first, as I found myself connecting to the characters more. Although I still don’t find that they are three-dimensional enough, I do care if they succeed or not. The relationship between Michael and Taylor was very insta-love-y in the first book, but I liked seeing more support for it in this book. It is starting to feel more authentic and less like an overused trope.
As there are five other books in the series, I hope that the character development and world building will be improved upon. It definitely continued from the first to the second book and I felt more knowledgeable about the world as the story continued. 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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