Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tesla's Attic by Neil Shusterman and Eric Elfman

Halfway through this book, I had this sneaking suspicion that the author is a fan of Cracked (the science section anyway), if not a contribute. Why? Because
a) Tesla
b) [SPOILER ALERT] Einstein is the founder of the evil organisation (aka the Accelerati)

But, since this book is targeted at middle-schoolers (so I'm guessing upper primary to lower secondary?), there are no f-bombs or such swear words. Instead, what you get is a fun and exciting read.

Tesla's Attic follows Nick, a new kid that moves to Colorado Springs after a fire destroys his house and takes his mom away. His dad is an ex-professional basketball player, which means that's the main breadwinner of the family was mom. Soon after he moves in, he discovers an attic full of stuff and decides to host a garage sale. His garage sale is almost a failure, until he switches on a lamp that attracts people to his sale.

Later, Nick realises that the objects that he's sold are more than they appear. So together with Mitch (he looks like a loser, but there's a bit more to his family), Vincent (the emo kid) and Caitlin (the popular cheerleader who's not satisfied with her life. Also, she makes weird smash-art). At the same time, he's being stalked by Petula, a creepy girl that loves anything new, and has to deal with Theo, Caitlin's boyfriend.

In this sense, the book is normal. The cast of characters interact in ways that you'll expect. They're all well-written characters and even if the book was just about how Nick tries to fit in, I would have liked it.

But, the book goes beyond that. It has an awesome premise - protecting Tesla's inventions. For most of this book, Nick and friends are busy trying to get back the items he sold, figuring out what to do with them, what they do, and of course, trying to figure out why the Acclerati wants them so badly.

So in this way, this book is mainly about introducing the key players and establishing the larger narrative, and it ends in a way that very clearly tells you: THERE IS ANOTHER BOOK COMING. And yes, I'm looking forward to the next book very very much.

Disclaimer: I got a free galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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