I haven’t done a book review in a little while and I just read Mik Murdoch: The Power Within by Michell Plested.
I read the first book in the series Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero a year and a half ago and it was one of my favorite books of 2013. Here’s my review.
Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.
In sequels, especially YA, I find that the characters can either change unrealistically or stagnate. (I call it 90’s sitcom syndrome. It’s where the character’s personality, reactions, and likes are completely overruled by the book or episode’s storyline.)
Not only does this book avoid it, but it has one of the most authentic character development I’ve seen in a long time. Mik is both clever and kind in a way that superheroes once were. He’s a true good guy and it’s nice to see the hero in him develop.
The secondary characters, like in the first book, make you want to learn more about them. Each had their own personality and I felt could have held up their own story or book.
I didn’t like
There was only one character that didn’t seem right to me and that was the doctor. He seemed overly obsessed and unreasonable. I suppose he acted as a foil for Mik’s constant big heart but I would have liked more of a discussion on ethics between him and one of the other characters.
For characters, I give it 5 out of 5
Plested’s style has improved. He’s able to stretch out character interaction and mental thoughts into beautiful structure.
I envy his ability to write characters so believably. Again I applaud the fact that Mik never speaks in a lower vocabulary and the book, while not a challenge to read, doesn’t use dumbed down language.
The story also stayed grounded in the life of a young boy instead of suddenly turning him into an action hero. Something that is always tempting to do but rarely pays off if done too quickly.
I didn’t like
This was a story or episode or comic arc that a lot of comic like to use. It’s the one where the hero goes away from his life in order to learn his new powers. That’s fun, but it means the rich characters and places we meet and grow to love are now gone.
I give it 4 out of 5.
The story was structured perfectly as a bridge between Mik without powers and Mik kicking butt with powers. It is a transitional story and lays hints and foreshadowing for future books.
While the first one felt like he was writing a bunch of short stories or planned comic books, this one feels like he’s written a detailed plan on where the story is going. I only hope that it’s going to keep going for a lot more books.
I didn’t like
I can’t fault the author but I would have liked more. More discussion about the ethics of capturing a creature for study, more information about the animal’s ties to the land, and maybe a little more “hypothetical” conversations where he works ideas out with his parents.
I give the story 4 out of 5
This book was fun from beginning to end.
I didn’t like
I would have liked more, but I can wait for the next one. Having to wait sucks but I would be sad if the series didn’t continue.
I give it 5 out of 5 for fun
This is a wonderful sequel and a great transition.
I would highly recommend this book, and series, to anyone who enjoys superhero, YA, or good storytelling.
I look forward to more!
Final score is 90%
1 thought on “Mik Murdoch: The Power Within – Book Review”
Thank you for the well thought out review! It definitely helps me to get better as a writer and story-teller.
I hate waiting as much as the next person so let me assure you, another Mik Murdoch book is being written with several more in the planning stages. My initial thought was this series will go six books (I’ve already got plans for at least one spin-off series too).
I’m glad you enjoyed the new book; I was a bit concerned when I first released it because it was so different than the first. I felt the style of the first book fit the whole origin story theme but wouldn’t work as well for follow-up books. You have validated my decision to do book two as a cohesive whole.