Sunday, May 8, 2016

Book Review: Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith (Nick and Tesla #6)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Answers to series long questions in a great story
Cons: One character seems over the top to this adult
The Bottom Line:
Hunting for Parents
Series fans will like answers
Solar-powered fun

It’s Time for Nick and Tesla to Learn the Truth

While the books in the Nick and Tesla series have featured stand-alone mysteries, there has been a larger mystery in the background.  All is not well with their parents, and no one seems to quite know where they are.  That mystery is the focus of Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Power Showdown, the sixth book in the series.

If you haven’t met them yet, Nick and Tesla are twelve-year-old twins who were surprised when they were suddenly sent across the country to spend the summer with their uncle Newt in Half Moon Bay, California.  Their parents are scientists, and the twins have inherited a love for science as well.  Each book features about half a dozen simple projects you can create yourself and that Nick and Tesla use to solve the mystery.

This book opens exactly where the previous book ended.  Nick and Tesla are staring at an e-mail they just got that promises them a way to save their parents.  And yet they can’t agree about what to do with the e-mail.  However, they do agree with a plan that would allow them to get in touch with the agents they’d met earlier this summer who seem to know more about what their parents are currently doing than they are telling.

And that’s when Nick and Tesla learn the truth – their parents are officially missing and the government doesn’t even know who might have them.  Now with a clear mission in mind, the twins set out to find their parents with the help of Uncle Newt and their two friends DeMarco and Silas.  But how can they do something that government agents can’t seem to do?  What will they find at the end of the trail?

Of course, since Nick and Tesla are the lead characters of the series, they are able to track down some clues and figure out what is happening.  This leads to a climax that not only wraps up this book but also solves the series long mysteries.  Of course, we get a couple of good twists along the way.

The characters are developed enough for the target middle grade audience to fall in love with them.  I know I would have as a kid.  A couple of characters seemed a bit over the top to me, but I have a feeling that was me reading as an adult and kids would have no issues with their antics at all.

We get another half dozen projects in this book, most of them are indeed solar-powered, too.  They range from a hot dog cooker to a solar powered car and even another alarm (because you can never have too many when dealing with villains.

This is the climax of the series, so if you jump in here, you should expect to have a few things spoiled for you.  The authors make plenty of references to the previous events in the series, although there is only one book truly spoiled.  Still, it’s best to read them in order to fully appreciate what happens here.

Longtime fans of the series will be satisfied to find out the answer to the questions we’ve had.  And if that isn’t you, back up so you can full enjoy the fun that is Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown.

Need more of these science mysteries?  Here are the Nick and Tesla mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.


  1. Oh my! guess I have missed a couple. Love Nick & Tesla - and can't wait to see what trouble - er, solutions - they come up with.

  2. Never read this series but I like the adventurous nature! Sounds fun for young readers!