Tesla’s Attic Review (Kid’s Science Fiction)

Title: Tesla’s Attic  | Series: The Accelerati #1 | Author: Neal Shusterman, Eric Elfman | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | Pub. Date: 2014-2-11 | Pages: 256 | ISBN13: 9781423148036 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: Recently deceased mother | Source: Kindle Unlimited | Purchase on Amazon


Tesla’s Attic

After their home burns down, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother, and their father move into a ramshackle Victorian house they’ve inherited. When Nick opens the door to his attic room, he’s hit in the head by a toaster. That’s just the beginning of his weird experiences with the old junk stored up there. After getting rid of the odd antiques in a garage sale, Nick befriends some local kids-Mitch, Caitlin, and Vincent -and they discover that all of the objects have extraordinary properties. What’s more, Nick figures out that the attic is a strange magnetic vortex, which attracts all sorts of trouble. It’s as if the attic itself has an intelligence . . . and a purpose.

Ultimately Nick learns that the genius Nikola Tesla placed the items -his last inventions- in the attic as part of a larger plan that he mathematically predicted. Nick and his new friends must retrieve everything that was sold at the garage sale and keep it safe. But the task is fraught with peril -in addition to the dangers inherent in Tesla’s mysterious and powerful creations, a secret society of physicists, the Accelerati, is determined to stop Nick and alter destiny to achieve its own devious ends. It’s a lot for a guy to handle, especially when he’d much rather fly under the radar as the new kid in town. -Goodreads

Book cover for Tesla's Attic

Tesla’s Attic Review

 

Tesla’s Attic seems to be one of the few kid’s science fiction books that don’t include robots or (mostly) outer space. We need more books like this. That introduce children to the wonder of sci-fi without beating them over the head with the idea that sci-fi only has robots or space in it. It also has kids that are dealing with problems that readers may be able to identify with. Specifically, the loss of a parent. Nick, Danny, and his dad have moved to Colorado Springs after a fire that cost their mother her life. It has messed up their entire world, and all of them are obviously feeling it.

Although Tesla’s Attic is only 256 pages, it does feel like a much longer read. This doesn’t necessarily work well in its favor. it took me a while to get through it. (Albeit, it was my ‘phone book’ for this week, so I only read it in downtime.) It does take things a while to get going, and then the middle bogs a bit one area. The last third was solid and entertaining.

Tesla’s Attic is an interesting book with a variety of characters (and it’s very own secret society). Nick is fourteen years old but, perhaps due to circumstances, he does not fall under the average ‘rebellious teen’ heading. His little brother is sweet and understanding. His father is broken-hearted but trying to provide for his boys.  The other characters vary between cliches to characters discovering their own depths.

Danger, deceit, and mysteries await the brave 8-12-year-old who picks up Tesla’s Attic, the first in the Accelerati Trilogy. Parents/Teachers may want to pre-read the book to judge suitability for your child. Tesla’s Attic does require a good bit more comprehension than most books in the 8-12 range.   It’s well-written and mostly well-paced and the dialogue seems appropriate for the age range. There are a few puns to make an informed reader giggle.

Tesla’s Attic is part of a trilogy, but can easily be read as a standalone novel.

It seems like Nikola Tesla pops up in science fiction books recently nearly as much as Lovecraft pops up in horror. It’s a good thing. Maybe tales of his fabulous inventions – both real and imagined – will spur the imagination of this generation’s Tesla. It’s something that’s desperately needed.

4 Star Rated Book on Sci-Fi & Scary