Friday, January 06, 2023

Guy Friday

Twenty years doesn't seem that long to me, is. I had a student tell me that I had her mother in 2004. We also have a health teacher at my school who graduated from high school in 2014, and he was one of my library helpers! He's a great guy, and was a huge reader, so we often have conversations about books. He was kind enough to loan me a copy of Evan's Michael Vey #8, The Parasite, which he bought because he had read the other books. 

While this made me feel really happy, it also reinforced my feeling that series should be published all at once and not over huge amounts of time. The first Michael Vey book came out in 2011, about the time my students were born, and the seventh in 2017. I didn't post reviews of most of these, since they weren't quite my thing, and I lost any notations I had on Goodreads. Still, I was pretty sure that The Final Spark was the last book, and Mr. Buxton's review confirms that. 

Evans, Richard Paul. The Parasite (Michael Vey #8)
September 27, 2022 by Simon Pulse
Copy loaned to me

Michael is in college at Boise State, studying business management so that he can work with his father at Veytric, Inc. Not that he needs the money, since he's tooling around in a four million dollar car. After saving a woman from her abusive husband in the parking lot of the school, he spends some time with Taylor. It's her birthday, and the two are thinking a lot about the upcoming Electroclan reunion. There are concerns that the Starxource factory has been attacked, perhaps by Shining Path terrorists, and they find that Grace is in a vegetative state. When Taylor's sister Tara is kidnapped, everyone is brought in to help find her. The group spends some time in Texas before heading to the Amazonian jungle in Peru, where they think Tara is being held. Jack is in Peru as well, and not necessarily working on the side of good. How will Michael be able to continue his work with the Electroclan? Can they save Tara?
Strengths: Clearly, some fans were waiting for this, but even my former student who loaned me the copy was a little disappointed. There's a lot of action and adventure, a lot of descriptions of food, and a sweet four million dollar car. Fans of Patterson's Daniel X would definitely like this one, but it never really spoke to me. 
Weaknesses: Perhaps I missed how the woman with the abusive husband figured later in the book? It was a lot of time to spend on someone who didn't seem to show up again, but since I skimmed, maybe I just missed it. I don't normally think too hard about writers' politics, but I'm not sure that I would buy this series today for the first time, knowing that Evans has some opinions with which not everyone agrees.
What I really think: I'm going to stick with just the first seven books and not continue the series, mainly because I think there are going to be more books. A few kids pick up the first one, but the copies are pretty worn. Had this been super good, I might have considered it, but having Michael in college was just a bit strange. This is why I try to read all of the books before I buy them. 


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