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.
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
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:
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.
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