Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is a 2011 young adult/science fiction novel by Richard Paul Evans, and published by Glenn Beck's owned Mercury Ink. The story follows Michael Vey, a teenager who is diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome and has the ability to pulse or surge electricity out of the palms of his hands. It is the first book in a heptalogy.Plot
Michael Vey is a teenager diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. He has also been born with electrical powers. He attends the Meridian High School in Idaho, with his best friend Ostin Liss, and his crush, cheerleader Taylor Ridley. He accidentally reveals his powers in front of Taylor while fighting off his bullies, Jack, Mitchell, and Wade. She reveals to him that she has electrical telepathy powers and mind reading abilities. Ostin, who is also aware of Michael's powers, researches the hospital where he and Taylor were born at, and he shows a newspaper to Michael printed when Michael was born. At the Pasadena General Hospital, where Michael was born, a new machine was being tested on babies, the MEI. The inventors of the MEI, doctors at a medical equipment corporation named Elgen Inc., had designed it to cure diseases. However, the device malfunctioned and most of the babies the machine was tested on were killed. Only 17 children survived. The CEO of Elgen Inc. at the time, Dr. Charles James Hatch, kept the deaths a secret from the public, information which could cost the company billions of dollars.
Both Michael and Taylor receive scholarships from Elgen Academy. When Michael tells his mother about the scholarship, she immediately makes him leave PizzaMax, the restaurant where they are eating. On their way to the car, a man attempts to rob them. When Michael shocks him, another man appears accompanied by two teenagers. The man, who goes unnamed, tells one of the teenagers to demonstrate their power. Michael then passes out after being drained of his electricity by Nichelle, one of the teenagers. When Michael wakes up, he is in a hospital and Ostin's mother tells him that his mom has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Taylor has been taken captive from her cheerleading practice after a horrible headache to Elgen Academy, where she finds out that she has an identical (but evil, to be found out later in the story) twin, named Tara.
Taylor lives a life of luxury at Elgen Academy, thanks to Dr. Hatch, the Elgen's former CEO, who buys her whatever she wished, serves her with high-class food, and brings her and the other Glows (Tara, Quentin, Nichelle, Zeus, Kylee, Bryan, and Grace) to expensive concerts and games, but she soon discovers the dark side of Hatch. He likes to use the teenagers' powers for his own benefit and pleasure in ways that have possible harmful consequences. When given an order by Dr. Hatch, Taylor disobeys him, is tortured by Nichelle, and gets put on Floor D with three other kids: Ian, McKenna, and Abigail who disobeyed Hatch's orders and suffered the same fate as Taylor. After getting a car ride to Pasadena with the guys who were bullying him, Michael unsuccessfully attempts to free Taylor. Dr. Hatch tells Michael after his capture that Michael killed his own father, and makes him choose between his own freedom and his friends. Taylor, Ostin, and the other rebels on Floor D escape their cell only to be caught again. Michael is told to kill Wade to prove his allegiance to Dr. Hatch. He refuses and so his mother is shocked instead. Michael is sent to Cell 25, the torture cell for those who are enemies of Dr. Hatch and his methods.
After 26 days, Michael is released from Cell 25 and is taken to the same room where he failed his first test by not shocking Wade. Hatch leaves Michael (who is weak from his treatment in Cell 25) alongside Ostin, and Taylor, who are restrained in chairs. Ostin and Taylor are supposed to be killed by Zeus, but after Michael tricks Zeus into shocking him, he grows more powerful from Zeus's lightning, and pulses, causing an electric wave, knocking both Zeus and Ostin unconscious. He checks on Taylor, who is okay, and then Ostin, but finds that Ostin's heart stopped. After applying two shocks in a fashion similar to a defibrillator Ostin's heart starts up again. Taylor then goes into the mind of Zeus and searches his memories, to find that Hatch tricked him into believing that he killed his family while swimming in a pool at the age of 7. He then sides with Michael and the rest of the Electroclan and helps them break Ian, McKenna, and Abigail out of their cell, and using his powers, disables all the cameras they come across. A lengthy battle between the Electroclan and Dr. Hatch's loyalists occurs. Michael's group takes control of the control room and releases the human captives (including Jack and Wade) who overpower the remaining guards. Meanwhile, Dr. Hatch escapes from Elgen Academy in a helicopter with most of the other electric children that are loyal to him.
After the battle, Taylor goes to call her parents, and after dialing three digits, she decides to confess her feelings for Michael. The two share a kiss. Then another electric child, Grace, who supposedly ran away from Hatch, arrives to join the "Electroclan". With the suspicion that she may be a plant, Taylor reads her mind and confirms that she is against Hatch. Grace also says that she downloaded all the Elgen's computer files onto herself before they were deleted: her power is being able to upload and download data from computers, like a human flash drive. Nichelle is sent to be a normal human where she can't hurt anyone after Michael finds out her weakness. The book ends with Ostin proclaiming that "This is the rise of the Electroclan."Characters
Dr. Hatch is the main antagonist of the book. The former CEO of Elgen Inc, (and the principal of Elgen Academy). Hatch recruits (or kidnaps) the Glows to the Elgen Academy and gives them whatever they want (no matter the cost) at first; later, however, Dr. Hatch guilt trips the children 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. It was revealed that when the malfunctioning MEI was tested, he was demoted to executive director.
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 Ostin, and the four of them eventually bond with each other. Jack has been held back several years and his age is around 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 of the novel. Michael has been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, which results in him involuntarily blinking and/or gulping when he is stressed out 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 pulse. He does this by contact or if someone is connected with something that can be conducted with electricity. 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 his power gain an increase in power. 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 Ostin 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. He is only mentioned in the book and first appears in Rise of the Elgen.
Tara is Taylor's identical (but evil) twin sister that is completely 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 seeing 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 (Welch).
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"
Mr. Welch was a minor antagonist in the book. He is the chief of security at Elgen Academy. He flees the academy with Hatch in his helicopter.Sequels
Mercury Ink has released the following sequels:
- Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen on August 14, 2012
- Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere on September 17, 2013
- Michael Vey: Hunt for the Jade Dragon on September 16, 2014
- Michael Vey: Storm of Lightning on September 15, 2015
- Michael Vey: Fall of Hades on September 13, 2016
- Michael Vey: The Final Spark on September 12, 2017
On September 15, 2015, on Glenn Beck's radio program, Evans announced that he reached a deal with a British producer and Warner Bros. Television to make a TV pilot.
[ref] They've done with TV, but on Netflix, there is still a movie of Michael Vey.Honors
- Number one book on the New York Times Chapter Book list for the week ending August 28, 2011.
- Number one best-selling book in Barnes and Nobles, number 2 in Amazon.com for Michael Vey.
- On August 25, it was ranked number 38 on USA Today's best sellers.
- Michael Vey reached Number Seven on the chart for USA Today in August.
- The Salt Lake Tribune announced that Michael Vey made number seven on the Deseret Book for the week of Aug. 22 through Aug. 27 chart.
- ^ New York Times Bestseller List: Children's Chapter Books, <https://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2011-08-28/chapter-books/list.html/>.
- ^ It's Official: Glenn Beck Is The New King Of Book Publishing Business Insider Glynnis MacNicol 3 August 2011 http://www.businessinsider.com/glenn-beck-michael-vey-2011-8
- ^ "USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS." USA Today. 08252011: n. page. Web. 21 Sep. 2011. <http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/25/usa-today-best-sellers/>.
- ^ Donahue, Deirdre. "Best-selling novelists dive into a young adult genre." USA Today. 20092011: n. page. Web. 21 Sep. 2011. <https://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/story/2011-09-19/grisham-picoult-gregory-young-adult-novels/50474590/1>.
- ^ "A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries" among best-sellers at Desert Book ." Salt Lake Tribune. 06092011: n. page. Web. 21 Sep. 2011. <http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsburger/52530658-53/book-mormon-anita-aug.html.csp>.