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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: TESLA'S ATTIC by Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman

Title: Tesla's Attic (Book 1 in the Accelerati Trilogy)
Author: Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman
Pub info: Disney-Hyperion, 2014; 256 pp
Genre: MG sci-fi

I can't count this as one of my 2014 TBRs because I just bought it on impulse this month and read it right away. But I can't not tell you about it. It's just too good.

Goodreads summary:
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.
Status: finished 3/23/14

My impressions:
I truncated the Goodreads plot synopsis above because I think it reveals too much of the story without quite taking the fast train to Spoiler Town. This book is best read if you don't know too many details. Suffice it to say that Nick, who has just lost his mother and whose dad is still shell-shocked by the experience, is on his own in this new town and has to deal with a lot of strange goings-on thanks to the junk in his new attic. The rest, as they say, is mystery.

I absolutely loved this book. I've never read either of these authors (I know, I know!), and I adore their writing. On one hand, this is a paranormal, sci-fi-ish tale about fantastical happenings, but it also explores love and loss as well. It's certainly not heavy, but neither do the characters blithely go about their business--tra la la--even though Mom has just been killed in a fire. The relationship Nick forges with his new friends--and I use the term loosely--is interesting all by itself, as well as the dynamics of middle-school life. There's a lot of good story even before you throw in the weird stuff. And come on, I love weird stuff. Tesla's Attic can be read as a standalone, but several unanswered questions and loose ends will compel me to snap up the second book in the trilogy as soon as it comes out. A nicely layered story, some genuine creeps, good writing. Sold.

About Neal & Eric:
Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. His many books include the Skinjacker Trilogy (Everlost, Everwild, Everfound) for young adults.

Eric Elfman is the award-winning author of books for kids and teens, including Almanac of the Gross, Disgusting & Totally Repulsive; The Very Scary Almanac; the Three-Minute Thrillers series, and three X-Files novels. He has also written movies, TV shows, animation, and more.

Indulge your need to know all Neal info at his website, and follow his Twitter musings here. Visit Eric's world of UFOs and other weird and gross happenings at his website, here. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

Want to win a free copy of this book? The first Monday of each month features a giveaway of any of the titles I've reviewed the previous month. Pick your fave, enter, and win!  Next giveaway: April 7.



  1. This sounds like a terrific book, one both my grandson and I would like. I didn't know about it before and appreciate you telling me about it.

    1. This is a wonderful book for boys, Rosi. Most of the chapters are from the boy's POV, though there a few from a girl's POV too.