The Tesla Legacy by K. K. Pérez
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication date: 1 April 2019
Genre: YA science fiction
Page count: 368 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
I’m always on the lookout for some good science fiction, and The Tesla Legacy caught my eye. Not only did I meet the author at YALC last year, it’s a YA sci-fi novel set in a modern high school that sounded so much fun. I whipped through this book incredibly quickly — it’s a perfect read-it-in-a-day book.
THE TESLA LEGACY follows a precocious young scientist named Lucy Phelps whose fateful encounter in the Tesla Suite of the New Yorker Hotel unlocks her dormant electrical powers. As Lucy struggles to understand her new abilities through scientific experimentation, she is thrust into a centuries old battle between rival alchemical societies.
One side wants her help and the other wants her dead, but both believe she is the next step in human evolution. Unfortunately, carriers of the genetic mutation—including Nikola Tesla—have a greatly reduced life expectancy. Even if Lucy can outrun her enemies, she can’t outrun herself.
I didn’t entirely know what to expect from The Tesla Legacy, but I’m really glad I ended up taking a chance on it. I found the book a little slow to start — there was a lot to establish within the plot and the science — but once it got going, it was hard to put down. I really loved the modern setting for this book, and it’s a fantastic take on the ‘chosen one’ trope, which is one of my favourites. Given the name of the book, I would have thought there would be a stronger connection to Tesla himself. I think this is such a shame because he’s a fascinating figure, but having finished the book I can see why he wasn’t as much of a feature of the story as I had assumed.
Lucy is a fantastic character that carried the story well. She’s very much an average teenager with a mediocre boyfriend and overprotective parents, but she stands out in my mind as such a memorable character because of her brains. She’s incredibly intelligent in a way that feels so natural, and she’s always applying science and scientific technique to her real life situations. In addition, she suffers from epilepsy and it’s an ever-present threat to her safety. I can’t speak to the epilepsy rep in this book, however it was really great to see it represented in a book. Her condition and overall health was incorporated into the plot smoothly and it added to the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Tesla Legacy. Is it a groundbreaking book? I don’t think so. But it’s an incredibly fast and fun read that would be the perfect companion for your summer holiday. I think that now the scene is set and the sequel is only going to improve upon the story.
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Have you read The Tesla Legacy? What did you think? Is it in your TBR? Let me know!