Denae Christine's Reviews > The Prisoner of Cell 25

The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
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Jul 31, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: sci-fi, 1st-person-narrative
Read from July 31 to August 01, 2012 — I own a copy

Reader thoughts: Very exciting!

The powers are all very well defined and similar and no one gets "all the power," which happens far too frequently in YA fantasy books. Actually, one of the characters that accomplished the most was the normal human, which was neat.

The bad guy was pretty typical (wanted to take over the world but thought his motives were pure and that the ends justified the means). He was very rich, but the few operations we see him engaging in just seem to be getting him more money. This was a little odd, since he allowed his students to spend almost without limit on stupid things like clothes and $300 glasses of wine. Of course, he needed them distracted so they wouldn't question his brainwashing, but still.

While this book was Michael's first person pov, a couple chapters now and then were from Taylor's pov in third person. Or we'd get a page from Dr. Hatch's pov twice or thrice. It was never jarring between the switches, and every scene added to info or tension or suspense in someway.

While a few things were predictable (the gunman was a trap and little things like that), I never found myself rolling my eyes at the MC's stupidity. Michael just didn't have the info I had, and I never wanted to smack him for not doing the obvious thing which would have stopped the bad guys way back at page 30 (which seems like it has happened in other books I've read).

Michael was also truthful. One of my pet peeves is an MC that lies all the time to get out of trouble. Michael didn't (except when he told the principal that he "forgot" who had stuffed him in his locker). Oh, and Michael has Tourette's, which really made this a better book. I do like it when the main character has an abnormality or a handicap (ie, Tyce Sander, Percy Jackson, Noah Zarc). Oh, and he absolutely adores his mother. He has a completely sane mother; so do his best friends, actually. I like to hear about normal parents. :)

The plot. There wasn't too much emphasis on being cool, even though they're almost all in ninth grade. There was one after-game party, but it was completely clean. No mention of alcohol or drugs or anything dumb like that (finally, characters who are realistic). Noah did get cornered into a fight with a wrestler, which was funny to read. The kidnapping, the running away, the attempted escapes, the attempted brainwashing, were all well done.

The final fight . . . I'm not sure yet. It was very rushed, and I'm still a little suspicious of how the gang pulled off all their feats, but it was well planned out and didn't end perfectly well. There are plenty of loose ends for the next books.

Writer thoughts: I love when characters have disabilities or weaknesses or just something that sets them apart from regular people. Michael has Tourettes.

As an author, I'm always afraid of writing different characters in the wrong way. Like, maybe I'll offend people if my male character sounds too much like me, or if my old woman character sounds too young, or if my amputee veteran sounds too normal, or if . . . you get the idea. These only get harder as authors add more differences (skin color, nationality, magic ability, handicaps) to our rather complex characters. Most authors haven't dealt with these things personally, but we are very good at pretending.

Here are some of my other favorite books with characters who have some disability that plays directly into the plot.

Death Trap, where Tyce is a paraplegic because the rod in his spine lets him control robots.

Open Minds, where Kira is a zero because she can't read minds . . . because she can jack them instead.

Cyber Dawn, where Ben has a fake leg that can hack computers.

The Lightning Thief, where Percy has ADHD because he's always ready for battle and he's dyslexic because his mind is hardwired for ancient Greek.

The Yellow Wallpaper, where the MC was insane because she was isolated and confined. (No, really, I love this story, despite it being "classic literature.)
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09/17/2016 marked as: read

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