Monday, March 10, 2014

Tesla by Mark Lingane

Author: Mark Lingane
Publisher: Insync Holdings Pty Ltd 
Pages: 280
Release Date: January 1st, 2014
Source: Received free from the author in exchange
for an honest review.

One thousand years in the future, nuclear war has wiped out much of civilization in the northern hemisphere. The planet has slowly been getting hotter and water is becoming a rare resource. Out of the ruins of a civilization that has collapsed in on itself, have arisen a new breed of people - those with the power to control magnetism.

Seb, a young orphan boy from a quiet rural town, is being hunted by strange part-machine, part-human people. His only hope is Melanie, an angry, dying teenage girl who is dragged into the adventure and sets out to deliver him to the Steam Academy, even if it’s just to stop him talking. Seb must confront an unknown past and fight against everything he believed in. And occasionally wash his hair.

Tesla by Mark Lingane, is a creative novel that crosses genre boundaries to create a compelling and engaging read. Steampunk, cyberpunk, dystopian and urban fantasy mingle together in this novel, and as a reader I was impressed by the results. While some elements may be difficult for younger readers to engage in (as we engage more in the Tesla's abilities the 'science talk' gets a little heavy), I think this novel was worth the read and it will be interesting to see what future books hold. 

Described as "Cyberpunk vs. Steampunk", Tesla follows young Seb, who is an orphan who is being hunted by part-human, part-machine monstrosities. The only hope he has is to get to Steam Academy, with the assistance of those he meets along the way including Melanie, an angry dying teenager who is dragged into his adventure. In a world where a new breed of people who can control magnetism exists, and water is a rare resource, even the safety of this school may be in jeopardy. 

In the beginning, I was really drawn into Sebastian's world. While he is a young protagonist (twelve, almost thirteen according to him), the story itself read a bit older which would match the teen audience. Sebastian is curious and courageous, and he takes whatever happens in stride. There are a few times this feels a little too easy for him, but the way Seb was written didn't make me question it much. It felt believable in the end. 

Melanie was a nice addition to the story, although there were times she felt less developed as a character. She seemed so strong at the start, then she was gushing over Gavin and we start to loose her. Isabel felt like two different characters at times, and I wish we saw a bit more transition from the motherly figure we saw to the 'warrior' sort of character near the end. Transitions were a problem in general with this book though, and it was like taking a really nice walk with a rock in your shoe. There is a lot of nice scenery, but that darn rock just keeps jabbing.

While you're reading, Scenes cut off at unexpected places, and the transitions just don't feel smooth for some reason. While the prose is vivid and engaging, scene changes can feel a bit staggering if you aren't prepared for them. There are also some scenes that were just generally confusing. Merv, Marv, Shiela, Sherl...that whole troop felt like it was meant to be a bit too comical and maybe it could have been toned down a bit. The same thing happened when the Oliver Twist "I want some more!" moment pops up later in the book. I'm not sure if it was the location in the story, how it was written, or just my personal taste but I felt confused by those passages. 

The science talk could also be a bit heavy for someone who isn't into that sort of thing. In some ways we drifted into sci-fi with the facts and the actual control of the magnetic fields and such. I didn't mind too much, but I feel it's worth noting in case someone doesn't like that sort of thing. 

Overall, Tesla was a fun adventure, and certainly one of the more creative novels I've read lately.

No comments:

Post a Comment