Storm of Lightning by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Once again, I find myself reading a Michael Vey book and find it wanting. Don't get me wrong, the plot keeps moving at a pretty breakneck speed, but it gets annoying when Evans keeps throwing in POV switches and calling each one a new "part" of the book, and in less than 300 pages there are 14 or 15 "parts." Not to mention, while the plot does keep moving quickly, it's mostly unmemorable, except for a scene or two with Hatch, who by now is level with Umbridge or Negan or the Joker in terms of obvious - and obviously cartoonish - villainy. It's extremely hard to take him seriously at this point, especially with his title of "Admiral-General," reminding me of Sacha Baron Cohen as Aladeen in The Dictator.
Despite this book being officially considered young-adult (at least, at my library, and according to GR), it really does feel more like middle-grade sometimes, and I'm not just talking about the aggressively clean content for a story revolving around teenagers. It feels like Evans doesn't have enough ideas to write more than 300 pages of material for a new Michael Vey book each year, and he stretches the story out so thin because of it that it becomes really, really annoying to read when each successive entry feels like more of the same. At this point, I'm not at all sure it was wise to retry the first book, as much as I loved it much more on the second read, because the sequels have really lost that magic.
I'll still take a look at the sixth book, and maybe the seventh as well...but I really hope there's some improvement over this book, the nadir of the series thus far for me. (It doesn't help, of course, that it has a redundantly-worded title to go along with its redundant plot.)
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