Tesla 1 by Mark Lingane
|Tesla 1 by Mark Lingane|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Once Mr L gets into his stride, he shows us his best stuff yet in this teen steampunk versus cyberpunk post-apocalyptic adrenaline rush.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 280||Date: January 2014|
|Publisher: Insync Holdings|
|External links: Author's website|
Sebastian has lost both his parents. His father died of a mysterious wasting disease whereas his mother is... well...just lost. The only thing he has he has to remember his mother by is her note telling him to go to the mysterious Steam Academy. However, first he has to find it in a futuristic Australia without reliable transport but with dangerous cyborg warriors. What's worse, despite fighting humans in general for thousands of years, the cyborgs now seem to have turned their attention and energy to killing Sebastian in particular. What's he done to deserve that? More to the point, whatever he's done, how can he survive it?
The prolific Aussie writer Mark Lingane turns to YA science fiction and, in the process, produces his best novel yet. To begin with the narrative may be a little clunky but hold tight; Mark has a gift for dialogue and action so, once that starts, the excitement rips and there's no looking back.
A tesla is not only a unit of magnetic flux density (ok - I googled that!) it's also Sebastian. I'll leave you to find out how he discovers this but en route we're shown some interesting, well-explained physics that sits well in a very accessible plot. (And I speak as someone who failed every physics exam I ever took!)
The main hero may be male, but don't get the idea that this is a novel that excludes the other half of the world. Sebastian makes a friend in the feisty Melanie, a girl slightly older than him who would give any action hero or baddie a run for their money. The only thing is that Seb is still at the 'all girls are yuck stage' but if anyone can make him change his mind it will be knife-wielding, weight hurling Melanie.
Mark likes to pay homage to past examples of the written and visual arts and 'Tesla' gives him another opportunity. The cyborgs remind us ('us' being the older generation in this case) of the Terminator and Mad Max movies, while Seb's nasty Aunt Ratty is a tribute to Roald Dahl that the young readers it's aimed at will recognise from their past. Then there are nods to The Wizard of Oz, Oliver Twist and probably a lot more waiting for the more observant among us.
Mark also believes that writing should be as much fun as reading and so we can almost hear him giggle as we meet Merv and Sheila and Marv and Shirl. This may be a world Post-Reckoning but these are people who prove that the Australian way of life will survive, ice cold one in the eskie and all. (Your turn to google!)
Once we're in the flow, Tesla may be considered a good read by 12 year olds (and perhaps more mature 11s) as well as teens in general. If I'm anything to go by, there may even be an adult or two who may 'borrow' a copy (just to check it on behalf of the youngsters, of course). We may have to hone our borrowing technique though as this may not be the last time we have to use it - there are enough loose ends to warrant a sequel and that '1' in the title kinda hints that its heart will go on. (If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!)
We'd like to thank Insync for providing us with a copy for review.
Further Reading: If this appeals then we heartily recommend The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth.
You can read more book reviews or buy Tesla 1 by Mark Lingane at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Tesla 1 by Mark Lingane at Amazon.com.
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