Tesla, by Mark Lingane


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.

I’ve never been one to give a YA story a pass because it’s not aimed at me as a demographic. Good storytelling is good storytelling, regardless of the target audience or the genre. Steampunk isn’t my “go-to” genre, but when I read the description on NetGalley, there was enough sci-fi and dystopian for me to request it.

I also demand more from an author-published work. If the indies want to play in the same sandbox as the traditional big publishers, then they need to bring their “A” game. I’ve read some clunkers from both camps.

The plot of Tesla did seem to jump around. There seemed to be portions of the story missing, but after swiping through the eBook, I can’t seem to find where that something missing was. If I had to wager a guess, I’d say that portions of the story were written years apart, and there is a distinct change in prose and style. I did like the female protagonist, but the young boy I really didn’t care much about.

I’m awarding this story three stars, because it wasn’t as bad as some people seem to think. I’d still be interested in reading the next book in the series to see what strives the author has made from book one to book two.

Mark was first published at the ripe old age of eight, when a local newspaper published his review of Disney on Ice. The next time his name was in print was a life time later at the age of fifteen, when a national magazine ran his review of the Commodore 64. It was downhill from there, picking up a weekly column in the Sunday Times which funded a rather noncommittal path through university, studying a wide range of topics from Robotics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Computer Science, and Psychology.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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