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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Review: The Tesla Legacy

The Tesla Legacy is a young adult science fiction novel from K.K. Perez. Based on the story ending, without spoilers, I'm going to assume there is a sequel planned as the story wraps up to some extent, but is clearly intended to continue.

Lucy Phelps in eighteen years old, has been homeschooled for most of her life as her parents worry about how vulnerable her epilepsy makes her if she is not with them. This leaves Lucy frustrated and desperately wanting a life of her own. She has persuaded them to let her attend the local school and now in her final year before college. She is passionate about science and when a photo gets scratched she turns to a scientific method to repair it, which takes her on a journey that she was not expecting.

Lucy is an interesting character, she applies scientific method to everything, which is understandable given her sheltered upbringing, but perhaps takes it a bit far. It's much easier to use a graphics programme to fix a photo rather than separating the ink colours in a maths programme! Here relationship with her best friend Claudia feels very real and the normalisation of same sex relationships through this character is a nice touch.

Claudia's relationship with Jess is very believable. Lucy's relationship with Ravi, while totally believable, does come across as a little exploitative. Although there is only three years between them, Ravi is 21, he is an position of responsibility as a teaching assistant, with specific responsibility for Lucy's final project. He has lied to her to get close to her and is still not giving her all the information she needs. At this stage in the story that is fine, Lucy has been entirely taken in by this, which is a realistic situation. However, I have to hope that the author chooses not to endorse the behaviour and instead addresses this more fully in a later novel.

The shadowy organisations with links through alchemy and history is not an entirely unique idea, but it is well done in this instance. The historic links give it a slightly nostalgic feel. but there is not too much in the way of lengthy exposition to explain these, so the plot continues to move at a reasonable rate.

It is always lovely to see a disabled protagonist, particularly where the story makes it clear that Lucy is less disabled by her epilepsy, than she is by the attitudes of people around her. Her parents insistence that she avoids stress or situations that contain any risk, limits Lucy's life far more than the actual condition. Even if this protectiveness is later explained by a different motivation it is not one unfamiliar to me as a disabled person. The idea that her disability may be the source of her "superpower", could be a little bit cringeworthy, but it is not handled badly.

Overall it an interesting tale, with a diverse cast of characters and and a good concept, I will be looking for the next volume to see where the tale leads.

If you have read this, do let us know what you thought below.

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