Decay: 2 (Tesla) by Mark Lingane

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Decay: 2 (Tesla) by Mark Lingane

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ani Johnson
Reviewed by Ani Johnson
Summary: The second in the excellent teen dystopian Tesla series ramps up the tension. The war against the enemy cyborgs intensifies but not all enemies are as easy to spot, especially once they're mingling among the allies.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Insync Holdings
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0992377984

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The city has been rebuilt for war. The waves of cyborg attacks are just the beginning – what follows is more devastating. Not only that but also the flood of refugees surging in daily is as much of a problem as a resource. Actually in one or two cases the word 'problem' is a bit of an understatement. In the middle of this hell Seb and Melanie are doing their best to fight and survive, although survival doesn't look like an option once they realise they have to go into the enemy's hive and bring the battle to the cyborgs.

Aussie author Mark Lingane has enjoyed a writing career that has spanned genres. He's brought us interesting adult fiction offerings in crime romps, sci-fi and even sci-fi detective noir however, as good as they are, none have been as excellent as YA sci-fi Tesla 1 which was definitely his best. Was? Yes, was, because this, Tesla book 2 is even better and totally rave-worthy.

By the way, the books are best read in the right order as the explanatory stuff in the first book isn't recapped here, making room for more action. Trust me, the science may be fascinating but that's not a complaint as the action more than makes up for it.

The battle lines are drawn and life just keeps getting worse for Seb and Melanie. You'd think that being Teslas would help but, this time, it's definitely a handicap. (By the way, Teslas in Mark Lingane's dark world are humans who can sense and manipulate electrical fields.)

As usual across all his books, Mark slides in cultural references and puns for both younger and older readers alike. He always was good at it but here he's perfected it, enriching rather than distracting and in some cases working leaping across the age spectrum in a single bound. For instance the cyborgs' new super weapons are Sullivans. Ring any bells? Indeed, those among us not old enough to remember the Australian day time soap will harken back to Monsters Inc without any problem.

In Decay we learn more about the dragons and their ominous link with disability (not the one we'd expect). We also learn the conventions for naming cyborgs and smile in empathy as the names are rejected. (We may not be cyborgs but we've all been there at some time!) The enemy hive is rather familiar too. Oh and Merv, Sheila and Bindi are back to make us smile for at least a little while.

Mark also has the knack of plotting around some interesting themes. He offers us the timely demonstration of people in times of darkness choosing political forces brandishing appealing rather than logical arguments. Entwined with this there's also a science-vs-religion thread. It proves his skill and the sort of voices on the side of religion that on this occasion, despite being a clergy wife, I'm on the side of science.

I read the book in one sitting as the tension and action climbed to one stonking great climax and a pretty huge cliff-hanger. At one point past battles are described as various types of intense carnage and it's not over yet! (By the way, there is gore but to a manageable level for all but the most delicate young or older person.)

Typing as one who's been privileged to review Mark's novels from debut onwards, it's obvious to see how he's grown as writer and the Tesla series is more than a pinnacle: it's a pinnacle with the phrase 'movie material' balancing on the top. As for that cliff-hanger, Mr Lingane you're a cruel man. Luckily for you (as well as us) that the wait isn't too long. Tesla 3: Faraday comes out late summer for the northern hemisphere and in your late winter if you're antipodean.

(Thank you very much Insync for providing us with a copy for review.)

Further Reading: As previously mentioned, do please read the first in the series before this one. If you're already a fan of one about-to-become-a-classic, try The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor which has already become one.

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Buy Decay: 2 (Tesla) by Mark Lingane at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Decay: 2 (Tesla) by Mark Lingane at


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