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review 2016-02-18 21:16
The Altar Girl by Orest Stelmach
The Altar Girl: A Prequel (The Nadia Tesla Series) - Orest Stelmach


The Altar Girl is a prequel to the Nadia Tesla series.  Nadia Tesla is divorced and she has just lost her job as a financial forensics investigator in New York.   She must return to her hometown, where she is now judged as an outsider by friends and family, to attend the funeral of her Ukrainian godfather.  


Although her godfather's death was determined to be an accident, Nadia isn't buying it.   After asking too many questions at the funeral, Nadia finds that she has attracted unwanted attention and ruffled more than a few feathers in the neighborhood.  While working to uncover the secrets her godfather held, she must examine her relationships with both her mother and her brother as well.


After having finished the Nadia Tesla trilogy, I moved on to read this prequel which was the last book published.  I'm just not sure, but I feel like having the background contained in this book would have made me like the first book a little more.  The one thing I felt the first book lacked was the building of a connection between the reader and Nadia.  I did wind up liking the end of the series quite well though.  I also quite like it when there IS an end to a series.  And it's always nice to have a prequel, whether it was written before or after.  


NOTE:  As an added perk, I borrowed each of these books on my Kindle for free because I'm an Amazon Prime member.



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review 2016-02-12 23:21
A satisfying ending to a good series
The Boy Who Glowed in the Dark (The Nadia Tesla Series Book 3) - Orest Stelmach

Bobby Kungenook and his guardian Nadia are both aware that the locket he has always worn contains part of a groundbreaking formula that could counteract the effect of radiation poisoning.  When Bobby receives an email from a person known as Genesis II, it suggests that the sender has the other half of the formula and would like Bobby to meet with him in Japan. Nadia and Bobby agree that the opportunity is not one they can pass up, so they are off to Japan.  


Once they get to the meeting place, things start to go wrong.  Genesis II is kidnapped and Bobby is shocked to see someone from his past.  When Bobby takes off on his own in an attempt to follow the kidnappers, Nadia is hot on his trail trying to keep him safe. 

The first two books brought us an interesting look inside the Ukrainian culture and the resulting consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.  The third book brings us an additional look at the Fukushima nuclear meltdown initiated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan.  We all saw the horrifying pictures of the tsunami, and watched as the Japanese fought to contain the nuclear meltdown.  The upheaval it left behind and the potential for more disasters of this level are all the more emotional to read about since this was such a recent happening.  In reality, if the formula in this book was real, it would indeed be a treasure beyond price to good and bad guys alike.  


This is a fast-paced and exciting conclusion to the Nadia Tesla series.  I was very satisfied with the unpredictable ending.  I am also very positive that there will be readers who aren't so satisfied.  Which will you be?


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review 2015-12-30 22:55
The Boy Who Stole From the Dead by Orest Stelmach
The Boy Who Stole from the Dead - Orest Stelmach

In The Boy Who Stole From the Dead, we re-enter the world of Nadia Tesla after she has become guardian to her young cousin, now going by the name of  Bobby Kungenook.


Bobby is a rising star in high school hockey and has garnered national attention for his talent on the rink.  Sports reporter Lauren Ross thinks there is more to Bobby than meets the eye and she is determined to uncover his unknown background.  


When Bobby is accused of murder, he refuses to talk to Nadia or her friend and lawyer, Johnny.  Bobby has confessed and there is a witness to the crime.  Nadia refuses to believe that Bobby is guilty and returns to the Ukraine to uncover more of Bobby's past and find out the truth behind the alleged murder.  


Once again, I found myself enjoying the history given between the Ukraine and Russia.  If this is not a region you know much about, this series gives you great background on the current conflicts happening between these two countries.  I got a much better feel for the characters themselves in this book than I did in the first book. They seem to be slowly coming into focus. The relationship between Nadia and her family members is drawn in a little more and we learn that Johnny has the hots for her.  A quick adventurous read!


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review 2015-12-07 20:30
The Boy From Reactor 4 by Orest Stelmach
The Boy From Reactor 4 - Orest Stelmach

The Boy From Reactor 4 is the first book in the Nadia Tesla series.  These books are available to borrow for free on Amazon Prime.  This book is a mystery/thriller that is a little weak on the thrills but did have some interesting cultural history.  


Nadia is the daughter of two Ukrainian immigrants.  She has solved her godfather's murder but now finds herself on the run from the criminal organization she uncovered.  When she meets a stranger who knew her father, and he is shot dead in front of her, his last words lead her on a cross-country quest to solve a family mystery.  


This is a fast-paced book and very much a series introduction.  I wasn't involved by the characters or surprised by anything in the plot-line.  I did enjoy the glimpses of the Ukrainian culture and of Chernobyl's exclusion zone after the nuclear fall-out.  An unsurprising twist at the end will carry me on to read book 2 in the series.  

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review 2015-02-24 07:42
The Boy Who Glowed In The Dark
The Boy Who Glowed in the Dark (The Nadia Tesla Series Book 3) - Orest Stelmach

I hadn't noticed this book was the final part in a series until I started reading. By then, it was too late to turn around as I was immediately pulled into the story. Yes, I felt like I missed certain things because I hadn't read the first two books, but no, this never really bothered as the story still can be read and understood (it's just the backstory that's somewhat lacking).


I was intrigued by the title, The Boy Who Glowed In The Dark, I'm not even sure why. I wasn't sure what kind of story I was supposed to be expecting, except that it had something to do with Chernobyl. Bobby is a Chernobyl survivor, now living undercover in America. An ice hockey talent and somehow the carrier of a part of a very important formula. Besides, he's got some serious skills in loosing tails and other spy-related stuff. Apparently these come with a big dose of radiation.

When he receives a mysterious email from someone claiming to also be a part of the formula he and his aunt Nadia Tesla'll need to travel to yet another nuclear power disaster to find some answers.


What I really liked about the story was the different settings, Ukraine, Russia, Japan. It worked great. It was a fast-paced thriller that kept me guessing for some time. Here and there it could have been a bit tighter, a bit more organized, but all in all I really quite enjoyed myself reading this. The ending did feel a bit hurried. However, I have gotten myself a copy of the first book in this series and plan on reading it sometime soon.


The boy who glowed in the dark is the final book in the Nadia Tesla series. The first two books are The boy from reactor 4 and The boy who stole from the dead.


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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