Battle of the Ampere
Michael Vey #3
by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: YA sci-fi adventure
Spoiler notice: The following review may contain some spoilers for the previous books in the series, starting with The Prisoner of Cell 25.
Michael Vey is separated from the rest of the Electroclan after the destruction of the Starxource plant in Peru. While the electric teens and their normal friends attempt to escape and regroup, the Elgen are licking their wounds and dealing with a change in management—a change that Michael and his friends are determined to reverse.
I think that part of the issue with this book is that the title doesn’t really come into play until the last quarter (or less) of the book. This is similar to the first in the series, The Prisoner of Cell 25, where Cell 25 is a really minor part of the book. But at least there, we have the initial world building, the introduction of the main character and him learning about the Elgen and the other electric teens. Here, the bulk of the book is the Electroclan trying to get free of the jungle and their pursuers, then a little bit of a battle, as promised in the title, at the end. Maybe that’s the reason that the book came down half a star for me, compared to the first two. I still enjoyed it, but I think it didn’t really deliver on what it promised.
I did like the introduction of a new character and that, though a love triangle seemed to be in the offing, Evans went a different way. I also appreciate that Hatch is more of a background villain this time, rather than being a big part of the story. I felt he was a little over the top in the previous book, but fortunately his extreme villainy then allows both the electric teens and the reader to be fully aware of how dangerous he is without needing it pushed on us so much.
Something that really didn’t sit right with me in this book is the emotional maturity displayed by these teenagers. Various difficult situations happen, even some serious tragedy, and I feel like the characters handle these things in ways that don’t seem realistic for their age (around 15), and they display empathy that many adults haven’t mastered. Saying more would give spoilers, and it’s not necessarily a major flaw in the book, but it did strike me as strange. Overall, though I liked this book just a little less than the first two, I still read it quickly and look forward to the next.
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