Tag Archives: Michael Vey

BOOK REVIEW: The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders #1) by @PeterLerangis

colossusSeven Wonders is a new science-fiction/fantasy series from children and young adult author Peter Lerangis. The Colossus Rises is the first installment of the series. It had been on the New York Times Middle Level Best-Sellers list every week back in March, and it has popped back in a couple times in the top-15 over the last month. This book is probably most appropriate for the early middle school reader (grades 5-7). I suspect fantasy fans all the way through high school would enjoy this book.

I am not a big fantasy reader. Most fantasy books I start usually get abandoned, but this book kept me entertained and engaged. I really enjoyed the  narrative voice of Jack. It is humorous and witty and keeps you smiling throughout the story. I thought the book had solid characters as well. Jack, Marco, Aly, and Cass have unique personalities that I think will allow different types of readers to connect to.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the mixture of the history of the seven wonders of the ancient world with the fantasy elements. This novel takes the kids to the Greek island of Rhodes (The Colossus of Rhodes). I love science fiction, and Lerangis has mixed a little bit of science into the plot that helped with my buy-in. The kids all have a special genetic marker (G7W) that will cause the kids to die when they turn 14. To cure themselves they must gather all of the Loculi that are hidden around the world at the locations of the seven wonders.

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Peter Lerangis

There’s nothing groundbreaking about this book, and it is not a book that has deep thematic elements.  In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Lerangis’ editor, David Linker, calls it, “Indiana Jones meets Percy Jackson.” This is a pretty accurate description of the book. There is even an allusion to Indiana Jones as the kids enter a volcano with a hidden maze inside of it. It is a fun read, and would be good for the avid middle level reader that just wants to be entertained. Fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and the Michael Vey series will enjoy this book. Overall, it’s a solid first effort of what looks to be a decent series.

Lexile=580

Check out the official book trailer from HarperKids:

Buy a copy of The Colosuss Rises in our Amazon Store!

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Book Review: Michael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen

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This is the exciting follow-up to Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 from Glenn Beck‘s Mercury Ink. As I mentioned in my review of that book, I was disappointed with parts of it. With this follow-up I set my expectations low. I am happy to report that this book is everything I expected the first book to be!

When we left Michael in the first book, his mother had been kidnapped by the evil Dr. Hatch and the Elgen. This book is focused on Michael and the other members of the Electroclan going to free Michael’s mother.

One of the best parts of this book is the main character, Michael Vey. Michael is not your typical hero. He struggles with Tourette’s syndrome which often flairs up when he is under stress. At the end of the book, Michael is faced with a dilemma of certain death, or sell out his friends and values to save himself. Michael makes the right choice and faces certain death.

Some will say that Vey is not a believable character because he does not act like a real high school aged student. Maybe, but I tend to find that many teenagers would never make the character driven decisions that Vey makes in this book. We live in a society that seems to view immaturity as a positive. We are led to believe that kids like Michael never exist, or if they do, there is something wrong with them. So, maybe it is a good thing that Vey doesn’t exactly resemble the average high school teenager in America.

One of the things the first book struggled with was that it was poorly edited. Personally, I thought it was poorly written at times, too. This led to plot holes and a story that seemed choppy and forced. The dialogue in this book is still flat at points, but overall this book is a marked improvement from the first one.

I was interested in the science that Evans included in the book. Michael and his fellow Electroclan members all have special electric powers that were the result of a medical device that did not work properly. In this book Evans adds in even more science. The Elgen have figured out how to create genetically modified rats that create energy. It is definitely a unique form of renewable energy, and oddly, it seems to work quite well. The Elgen have these power plants where they put millions of these modified rats into this bowl that acts as a conductor. The feeding of the rats is, well, a little gross, especially when the evil Dr. Hatch tosses in a human.

Speaking of Hatch, Evans has done an excellent job of creating a very evil villain. Hatch seems very real, spooky real at times, and Evans has developed him nicely from the first book. In this one he is even more evil and dangerous than the first one.

I rated this book a five because it kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. The action sequences towards the end of the book are very engaging and entertaining. I enjoy good science fiction that seems believable. I also love a story that has a character that demonstrates integrity and leadership. Michael Vey should be in every middle school library in this country.

Lexile 610

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Book Review: Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

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Before I get into my review (it is a little critical), I want to explain why I think this book series is so important. Michael Vey is published by Mercury Ink. For those of you that don’t know what Mercury Ink is, it is the book imprint of Glenn Beck‘s Mercury Radio Arts. Beck is one of the few conservatives that seem to grasp the connection between culture and politics. The exciting thing about this series is it is expected to be seven books long, and it’s not political at all. This means there is no reason that this book should not be in every middle school library in the country.

Because of the above, I had really high hopes for this book, but I ended up being a little disappointed by it. My biggest complaint would have to be the writing, it’s careless at times.

Michael Vey is a freshman who lives in Idaho with his single mother. Yes, Idaho, the state with the potatoes, and, well, not much else. Trust me, he is there for a good reason. Michael is not quite like the other kids, he has Tourette’s, and there is that peculiar issue of him being able to shock another person with about 1000 volts of electricity if he chooses to. Michael is one of 17 children that have special powers. You are probably wondering why Michael has these powers. Well, you’re going to have to read it to find out, but let’s just say it involves an evil corporation and a plan to take over the world. We’ll leave it at that.

There are some really good aspects of this text. To begin with, it is a really easy read. It has a Lexile level of 500. This makes it accessible to almost every reader at the middle school level and up. The text of the book is very dialogue rich, and that seems to advance the story quickly. Second, it is a new young adult series, and it is not vampires or fantasy!

The main conflict of the story presents the reader with a clear choice between good and evil, and you find yourself rooting for Michael and the other characters involved in the story. It’s about character, Michael is a great kid that lives in a loving single-family home. Finally, the science fiction part of the story is good science fiction, in other words, it seems plausible. It is not some weird alien story that is off-putting to readers that do not like science fiction.

As I said above, the text is sloppy at times. Plot events seem to advance at inappropriate speeds. There are a couple of specific events in the story that make no sense. The final conflict in the story did not add up to me either. It seemed too easy for the characters’ situation. It struck me as a book that was rushed to deadline, or had an editor that just was not very good.

I also struggled with the characters. They appeared a little immature for their age. I have had several students in my classroom (7th grade English) read this, and that does not seem to bother them. So, it is probably just my perception as an adult reader reading a young adult book. Many of my kids have given this book a five-star review.

All in all, this is a good first attempt at a new young adult series, it’s different, and in today’s young adult marketplace different is good. The good news is the second book is outstanding! I will have a review up for that one in the coming weeks.

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Glenn Beck’s Great Deal for Young Adult Readers!

We came across this today and couldn’t resist sharing it. We imagine this may cause severe trauma for those that buy into the progressive ideology.

Glenn Beck has started numerous new ventures in recent months. One of which is Mercury Ink, and it will be the publishing imprint of Mercury Radio Arts. Beck announced the first release today and it’s a sci-fi thriller directed at the young adult book market; Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans. And today only, from Barnes and Noble, you can get it 50% off, $8.99 plus shipping.

An overview of the story:

My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.

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.

Here’s the book trailer:

Go visit the official Michael Vey website.

You can follow Michael Vey on Twitter.

You can like Michael Vey on Facebook.

Now, we can hear the left now. Glenn Beck is violent, Glenn Beck is a racist, Glenn Beck is (enter some generic leftist insult here). Whatever….

Beck says about the book:

Michael Vey is a story about hope and the power of goodness in an increasingly dark world. It exposes the drive in us all to persevere against hardship, peer pressure, and disabilities. It teaches our children that if they persist, and do what they know to be right, no matter how much pressure they face to do otherwise, then anything is possible. And it does all of this teaching without any preaching.

If you want to attack this, there’s something severely wrong with you.

 

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