I'm just so loving this series! So full of action and great characters, and also "clean" of cussing and romantic times. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but YA spans such a large amount of maturity, and sometime I need books I can hand to younger YA readers. And while clean, the Michael Vey books are definitely not boring or preachy! They are so chock-full of excitement that there's no room for sexytimes.
In Rise of the Elgen, Michael and the Electoclan are off on another adventure, this time to rescue Michael's mom from the evil Elgen corporation. In this one, the teens travel to Peru! In Peru, the Electroclan encounters even bigger and badder (yup; I'm aware that's not a real word) villains. Oh, and there's rats in this book. If you're squeamish about rats, this may not be your book. (See the cover above. Rats that glow.)
For me, I really appreciated that The Rise of the Elgen opens with a bit of a recap of Prisoner of Cell 25. It's been two years since I read Prisoner of Cell 25, so the recap really helped. And the recap wasn't dry at all; it was skillfully woven right into the plot.
Don't misunderstand me: even with a slight repetition to refresh your memory of The Prisoner of Cell 25, The Rise of the Elgen still jumps right into the action. I was totally absorbed in this book the entire time I was listening to it. When I got near the end, I was tempted to just sit in my car and listen through to the end and be late for work. (I resisted.) I was so glad that I already had the third book, The Battle of the Ampere already in my car so that I could start it immediately after finishing this one. The Rise of the Elgen has a doozy of an ending!
The characters: just as I said in my review of The Prisoner of Cell 25, Richard Paul Evans has managed to create such a great dynamic with his group of electric teens. They're smart and funny and courageous. I love hearing their conversations too: many of them are a bit snarky. Totally my kind of humor. It's pretty impressive when an author can get so much depth of character to secondary characters. The entire Electroclan is really well fleshed-out.
And finally, the narration: I listened to this on CD and I thought the narration by Fred Berman was fantastic! He has a great cadence to his speech that is Goldilocks-just-right. Not too fast or too slow. And I never "tuned out" while listening. Oh, and I never had to adjust the volume once it was set. Just super great narration.
*I checked out my copy of The Rise of the Elgen from my public library.