Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Nick & Tesla 3Kidnappers? Easy. An army of robots? Piece of cake? But now Nick and Tesla, twin 11-year old geniuses, are up against someone who is trying to find out their secrets – secrets that they don’t know themselves. All they know is that their scientist parents are off working on a secret project – which is why they are staying with their eccentric Uncle Newt – and that their only contact has been a telephone message warning them not to trust anyone…

A message that arrived on the same day that the house is assailed by a pair of cleaners, an exterminator and an unexpected lab assistant for Uncle Newt. And when Tesla’s pendant – a gift from her parents – goes missing, it seems that there is a spy in their midst. Time for some gadgets designed for spying on the spies…

Thanks to Quirk Books for my review copy of this, the third in the Nick & Tesla series. Yes, it’s not the usual fodder for blog, being a children’s book, but it’s written by one of my favourite authors and the first two books were a lot of fun.

You know what – this one’s even better. Not only do we get a real whodunit – the suspects for the spy are presented clearly and, while there’s not much actual detection – the villain reveals themselves, rather than being caught out – there’s a lot of fun and games along the way.

On top of the events of the book, there are some major plot developments for the series – we find out what the twins’ parents are up to, and there’s a very interesting development for Uncle Newt. Not what the reader might have expected – it’s actually rather clever, and extremely welcome.

Add in Steve Hockensmith’s wit – and the book is genuinely funny in places – and the various inventions for the reader to make (two of which are refreshingly low-tech that anyone could make – a wise choice given the complicated creations in the first two books) along with the extremely positive presentation of science in general – no bad thing for kids – and you’ve got a cracking little read that I’d Highly Recommend to anyone with kids. Roll on Book Four – I want to know what happens next!

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