Michael Vey, Rise of the Elgen
by Richard Paul Evans
Michael was born with special electrical powers—and he’s not the only one. His friend Taylor has them too, and so do other kids around the world. With Michael’s friend Ostin, a tecno-genius, they form the Electroclan, an alliance meant to protect them from a powerful group, the growing Order of Elgen, who are out to destroy them. The leader of the Elgen, Dr. Hatch, has kidnapped Michael’s mother, and time is running out. Michael must save his mother.
After narrowly escaping an Elgen trap, Ostin’s discovery of bizarre “rat fires” in South America leads the gang to the jungles of Peru, where the Electroclan meets new, powerful foes and faces their greatest challenge yet as Michael learns the extent of the Elgen’s rise in power—and the truth of their plan to “restructure” the world. (Courtesty of Goodreads)
Adult Point of View
Evans has ramped up the intensity in the sequel. It is action packed and full of scenes with rats that made me squirm. The intended audience is about 11 to 13 years old, though some of the sentences may be a bit hard for them to understand. The twist plots are predictable, however, are fine for the intended audience. There are some truly gruesome scenes with torture and (spoiler alert!……) where humans are to be fed alive to the rats who go into a feeding frenzy stripping all the flesh from living creatures. There are also deaths in the course of the book. The teen romance is fairly light, thankfully.
One thing I was happy to see is that the Michael Vey’s tourettes is no longer such a focus in the novel and recedes into the background allowing him to be a hero, though at times reluctant. This is not my favorite series, but it seems to be of high interest for reluctant readers and in particular boys. In my experience there are many books of interest for girls and not as many for boys, so it is nice to have books that young boys gobble up.
– the Mother
The Daughter has outgrown this series and has not read it, however, the next Son has read it and loved it! I am sure he would rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
Michael Vey, Battle of the Ampere
by Richard Paul Evans
Michael, Taylor, Ostin and the rest of the Electroclan have destroyed the largest of the Elgen Starxource plants, but now they’re on the run. The Elgen have teamed up with the Peruvian army to capture them, and only Michael remains free. With his friends due to stand trial for terrorism—a charge that may carry the death penalty—Michael will need all his wits and his abilities if he’s to save them.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Dr. Hatch and his loyal Electric Children have seized control of the E.S. Ampere—the super yacht the Elgen use as their headquarters. With the seven ships of the Elgen fleet now under his control, Hatch heads back to Peru to gather his army and begin his quest for global domination.
Michael must free his friends then find a way to stop Hatch, but Hatch knows Michael and the Electroclan are coming. And he’s ready for them. Can the Electroclan win the battle of the Ampere? Or has Michael’s luck finally run out? (Courtesy of Amazon)
Adult Point of View
This installment quickly picks up where the last cliff hanger ended, whisking Michael, and Tessa, out of the Amazon and into peril to protect and save the Electroclan. It seems like the intensity of the violence is growing with each installment in the series. I didn’t actually count, but it seems like there are even more deaths and again more torture. This is still not my favorite series! I keep reading it to preview it for my son who wants to read it and so we can talk about things if he has concerns or problems understanding the novel.
Battle of the Ampere enters a new level of dark when (remember spoiler alert!) a main character within the Electroclan dies. (I have resisted naming the character, but it is NOT Michael!) Usually in children’s series it seems the main characters are impervious to death and I think this will probably upset some readers. Harry Potter is another series that crosses that line when beloved main characters die. Perhaps this is a new trend in children’s books where there will be more realism, that death can touch anyone. I’m not sure that I don’t prefer the impervious main characters that will pull through anything no matter what, for young readers.
To answer the question in the title. There is not exactly a cliff hanger, however, things are not resolved and we are thrown enough information to know where the next novel is heading and Michael Vey and his friends will have new adventures trying to stop Dr. Hatch and his plans for world domination. (Perhaps, a sound track with evil chuckling should play anytime someone says “world domination” out loud.)
This novel persists in the flaws of predictable twists and a repetition of the same scene played out again and again. I keep reminding myself it was not written for me, but for young (boy) readers. Thankfully the romance is not too intense for boys. I do like that Taylor is a strong female character, and has natural flaws of jealously and insecurities that she works through. Michael’s character has improved since the first novel as well as his best friend, Ostin.
– the Mother