Michael has a secret. And he does a good job of keeping it hidden—even when he’s taunted by school bullies. But when those bullies take things too far, Michael loses control. He pulses, electrocuting the bullies and blowing his cover. Now the bullies know that Michael has electrical powers. And Taylor, the cute cheerleader who witnessed the fight, knows too. When Michael’s mom finds out what happened, her first instinct is to move again. But then Taylor confronts Michael, and he learns something amazing about her. And as Michael and Taylor unravel the mystery as to how Michael got his powers in the first place, they discover that they’re being hunted. When Michael’s mother is kidnapped, Michael will stop at nothing to get her back.
This book is packed with everything teen readers like: action, adventure, superpowers, an underdog saving the day, and even a tiny bit of romance. The characters are tons of fun. Michael has Tourette’s; that and his small size make him a target for bullies. But he’s smart and has a good heart, qualities which soon turn the bullies into friends. Michael’s best friend Ostin is crazy intelligent—he’s one of my favorite characters, always spouting off random facts. I also came to love Jack, one of the bullies who beat up Michael in the beginning.
This is a good versus evil story, big time. Hatch’s goal is to get the electric children under his control. He bribes them with endless amounts of wealth and tells them they are special and that regular humans are nothing but guinea pigs. He lies to the kids, bribes them, threatens them, and tortures them to “reeducate them” so that he can use them for his own gain. Each character is asked to join the bad guys, and if they refuse, they’re tortured and imprisoned. And Hatch wants Michael most of all.
Michael is courageous, and while Hatch’s threatening his mother does make him consider switching sides, he’s smart enough to know that one can’t negotiate with a megalomaniac. This is a fast-paced book that will keep you turning the pages, but it also gives readers a lot to think about. Lots of fun.
Rated PG-13: There is a lot of violence in this book, though it’s not overly graphic. The bullies put Michael in his locker upside down, then later try to remove his pants in public. Human guinea pigs are forced to wear electric shock collars. When they are no longer needed, they’re executed. The electric children are asked to cause accidents that kill people. Some refuse, some obey. Those who refuse are punished: ridiculed, made to suffer guilt, or tortured physically or psychologically. Sometimes their friends or families are threatened or tortured instead. One of the teen characters is used as a torture device since her ability is to suck the power out of the electric children, which causes immense pain.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!