Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage
Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage
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"Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith, illus. by Scott Garrett
ISBN 9781594746499
Quirk, 2014.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: adventure experiments mystery nick-and-robot-army-rampage pflugfelder-and-steve-hockensmith science

Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage
by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith, illus. by Scott Garrett

This companion to Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab opens with a bang--literally--as 11-year-old twins Nick and Tesla work alongside their Uncle Newt in his basement lab, and the experiment, involving a compost-fueled vacuum cleaner, explodes. (This mystery--with five experiments readers can do themselves using household items and things easily retrieved at a Radio Shack--stands alone.)

It's still summer, and the twins remain with their uncle while their parents are in Uzbekistan. When the vacuum cleaner explosion drives the trio out of Uncle Newt's home, at least until the smoke clears, they head to Ranalli's for pizza. But it's 10 a.m. on a Sunday and the place is empty--except for a pizza dough–twirling robot. That gives the twins an idea. They head to Wonder Hut for supplies, and although the store doesn't have what the twins need, Uncle Newt meets scientist-owner Hiroko Sakurai and is struck by "love at first sight." Back at home, Nick finds supplies for a "wander-bot" and Tesla constructs a "semi-invisible bottle bot," but Uncle Newt is still consumed with Dr. Sakurai. When the mint-condition comic Stupefying #6 goes missing from their friend Silas's father's shop, the twins are on the case.

Pflugfelder and Hockensmith cook up a string of thefts and some AWOL robots in a mystery with many twists and turns. Nick, Tesla and Newt gain depth in this installment, and a closing cryptic message from the twins' mother will draw readers back for the third adventure.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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