Dr. Hatch is the main antagonist of the book. He recruits (or kidnaps) the Glows to the Elgen Academy and gives them whatever they want (no matter the cost) at first; later, however, he guilt trips them into using their gifts for his own personal pleasure (using manipulation). He is an evil genius and attempts to capture and kill Michael and his friends several times throughout the book.
Jack Vranes is one of the bullies that often attacks Michael. He is also friends with Wade and Mitchell. Jack drives Michael to Pasadena, along with Wade and Osteen, and the four of them eventually bond. Jack has been held back several years and is around age 17.
Wade West is one of the bullies that attacked Michael with Jack. He is friends with Jack and Mitchell and helps Jack drive Michael to Pasadena. Wade develops a deep gratitude for Michael, as Michael saved his life at least twice in Pasadena.
Michael Vey is the protagonist of the series. He is fourteen at the beginning of the novel, but is fifteen for the rest. Michael has been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, which results in him involuntarily blinking and/or gulping when he is stressed or nervous. Due to his small stature, Michael has endured many years of being bullied and was unable to retaliate from fear of his powers being exposed. Michael's powers consist of him being able to shock people by contact or if they are connected with something that can be conducted. He can also cause electrical surges that can destroy electrical equipment and stun people. Michael not only is immune to electrical attacks or discharges, he is also able to absorb them, which makes him more powerful. According to Hatch, Michael could be the most powerful Glow alive and has hinted that Michael may have killed his own father by accident. His best friend, Ostin, and eventual girlfriend, Taylor, formed the Electroclan and as a group learned that there were fifteen other teenagers like himself and Taylor.
Taylor Ridley is a fifteen-year-old high school cheerleader who is a very popular girl at Meridian High, and, as Michael describes her, "the most beautiful girl". She was adopted when she was young and did not know that she had a twin sister named Tara. Her abilities are mainly attributed to electrical signals in the brain. These abilities include being able to "reboot" a person's brain, making them forget what they were doing at that moment. She is also able to read people's minds, with this ability being stronger if she is touching a person.
Ostin Liss is Michael's best friend and is considered a genius by everyone. It is said he has a GPA of 4.00 but only because it doesn't go any higher. His mother named him after the city in Texas but spelled Austin wrong, which Michael finds ironic because Osteen is a genius, but his mom can't even spell the city they lived in.
Nichelle is a girl who helped kidnap Taylor. Her power is being able to electrically depress the nerve endings to cause pain and pressure comparable to the worst migraines. Nichelle can literally "suck the power" from a Glow the same way mosquitoes suck blood from a host. She is disliked by the other kids at the Elgen Academy and is also gothic in style. Nichelle is looked at as a freak because of this, and the fact that she enjoys torturing others with her dark power. She can only inflict pain upon others when she is in close distance. She could not affect Michael when he was absorbing electricity from a power source as it was too much electricity to handle at one time. This is similar to the way mosquitoes cannot handle excessive blood while drawing it out. In the end, Nichelle is banished to go live in the "real world." She admits that she would rather die than live there as she would be a "nobody".
Zeus His real name is Leonard Frank Smith but he is called Zeus due to his ability to shoot bolts of electricity that are similar in appearance to lightning. He became part of Hatch's group when Hatch fabricated his memories, saying Zeus killed his whole family by jumping into a pool they were in, thus shocking them to death. Due to his inability to touch water, he cannot bathe because he would shock himself, thus making him sensitive and violent about people commenting about his stench. He joins the Electroclan after the truth about his family is revealed. He starts to fall for Abigail.
Ian is an African American fifteen-year-old who is first introduced in Purgatory when Taylor is sent there. Although he is blind, it is not a weakness, as his ability is what is called electrolocation, which means that he can see through most substances and track anything with electricity. He can also share his ability with Taylor by relaying his thoughts.
McKenna is a Chinese-American girl. She has the ability to create light and heat on any part of her body. She can heat herself to more than 3,000 Kelvin. She is also Ostin's crush.
Abigail is a platinum blonde haired girl who is first introduced in Purgatory. She is also known as Abi. Her ability allows her to relieve pain by contact by stimulating nerve endings. She is kind and optimistic.
Grace acts as a “human flash drive,” and is able to transfer and store large amounts of electronic data. She left Dr. Hatch's group of electric children to join the Electroclan. She is shy, even to people she's known for years.
Tanner is a very regretful person. He has the ability to interfere with an aircraft's navigation and electrical systems, making it crash. He murdered thousands under Dr Hatch's bidding.
Torstyn One of the more ruthless and lethal of the electric children, Torsten can create microwaves. He is introduced in book two (Rise of the Elgen).
Tara is Taylor's identical (but evil) twin sister that is completely and unmovable loyal to Dr. Hatch. Like her sister, Taylor, her abilities also deal with the mind, although that is the extent of their similarities. Tara can stimulate different parts of the brain to cause emotions such as fear and happiness. She is able to make the person she is using her powers on a sea and feel what she wants them to, as seen when she causes Michael to believe there were things crawling around in Cell 25 with him. She later gains the ability to make others think that certain objects or people, including herself and others, are whatever people want, fear, or even a particular person by manipulating the brain's functions.
Quentin, also known as Q, has the ability to produce a small EMP or electromagnetic pulse. He is a flirt and both Tara and Kylee have a crush on him. He is loyal to Hatch and has shown to be corrupted, acting without any regard to other humans except for Dr Hatch, some of the other Glows, and the leader of the Elgen guards.
Bryan has the ability to create highly focused electricity that allows him to cut through solid objects such as metal by burning through them. He is loyal to Hatch, and has shown to be corrupted, acting without any regard to "ordinary human beings".
Kylee was born with the ability to create electromagnetic power, she is basically a human magnet. She is loyal to Hatch, and has shown to be corrupted, acting without any regard to "ordinary human beings".