08 February 2014

Review: Tesla's Attic

Closer to a 3.5. Tesla's Attic is what you get when you get a well-known, experienced author like Neal Shusterman to tap into the resurgence of popularity of Nikola Tesla while offering up a science fiction adventure for a middle grade audience. The results, honestly, are mixed, but the good is solid enough to make up for the missteps along the way. The story is about kids who find some of Tesla's old inventions in the attic of a Victorian house and sell them at a yard sale. The inventions turn out to be part of a larger set, do some strange things to those who possess them, and are actually part of a much larger conspiracy called "The Accelerati," thus requiring the kids to retrieve the sold items and keep them out of the hands of the Accelerati. The science fictional elements of the story are very solid. The gadgets are fun and inventive, and Tesla-esque enough to spark some interest in a man that the target audience almost certainly wouldn't know. The downside to the book is that the story feels like it slows down very quickly once things are established and we reach the second half of the book. In a section where the plot's pace should be scrambling forward, it instead lumbers, and that's a shame for a book that's looking to be a series. Overall, a decent, but flawed read. Certainly worth a look for the right reader.

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