Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage Review
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In Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith, young readers were introduced to a pair of clever 11-year-old crime-solving twins. In the follow-up, Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage, they take on a grown-up mystery to save a friend in need.

The story begins immediately following Nick and Tesla’s first crime-fighting adventure. As the twins continue their summer with their eccentric Uncle Newt, a rare comic book is stolen from their friend’s family’s comics shop, and Nick and Tesla are called in to help them get it back. Tesla is happy to have something to distract Nick from worrying about their parents—where they’ve really gone, what they’re doing, and why they haven’t been in touch. But the investigation turns dangerous when the duo ends up witnessing a second robbery.

The second installment in this fun-filled kids’ series combines mystery, science, and geeky mad scientist romance into one entertaining and instructional adventure. The characters are almost as lovably quirky as before—from timid Nick and strong, confident Tesla to their comics-loving friends and their wacky uncle. This time around, however, the kooky characters do tend to take a backseat to the investigation at hand—mostly because returning readers have already gotten to know them. With a story that features things like comic books and robots, though, kids won’t really mind the lack of character development.

Once again, the story is also sprinkled with real science projects that aspiring inventors can try at home—most of which involve robots (though there’s a homemade super soaker, too!). The projects here seem a little more advanced than those in the first book—and, instead of using items that are generally found around the house, they require motors and batteries and light bulbs and other things that might call for a trip to the nearest RadioShack. If you happen to have a little scientist at home, though, these cool new projects are sure to have him or her eager to dive right in.

If you know a young reader who loves mysteries or science (or both!), don’t miss this action-packed series. Kids will love the quirky characters and their ongoing adventures, and they might learn a thing or two about building robots in the process. And, after the book comes to a close with a new revelation about Nick and Tesla’s parents, fans will be excited to continue on to the next book in the series, too, to see what’s next for these scientific siblings.

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