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review 2015-04-15 05:17
Blast to the Past
The Wells Bequest - Polly Shulman

This was a fun book for tweens that I appreciated, although I'm much older than that age. :) Shulman moves from fairy tales The Grimm Legacy to science fiction novels with this book, but it still takes place in the New York Circulating Material Repository. Leo is the least scientifically-gifted in a family full of science geniuses. But he gets the opportunity to explore science in a way that his siblings never had. He'll find out for himself that time machines are real, among other really cool devices.

I thought this was pretty cute. I liked Leo's characterization. He was adorable with and his floppy black curl on his forehead. His crush on Jaya was very cute. Jaya seemed very mature for her age, which was interesting. I like that it's no big deal that he's Russian American and she's Indian American (not Native but the country). The use of various science fiction novels in the story was a fun touch. I mean, that would rock to be able to use The Time Machine and to meet Nicola Tesla.

Also, the use of Nicola Tesla was an interesting touch. I learned some new things about his conflict-ridden relationship with Thomas Edison and about Lewis Latimer, who was a black man whose work with electricity went a long way towards Edison inventing the light bulb. He actually drafted the patent for the telephone with Alexander Graham Bell before his work with Edison.

I'm always a fan of metafiction, and I liked that idea that devices from classic science fiction novels really worked in this book. Don't expect technical explanations that would stand up under rigorous scientific scrutiny. It's a major suspend disbelief in some aspects, but that's what fiction is often about.

I only gave this three stars because I felt like some parts of the story was lightweight. I would have preferred a little more story development in some areas. I think the ending wraps up a little too neatly. But I still enjoyed listening to this, narrated by the excellent Johnny Heller.

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text 2013-10-17 19:58
The Wells Bequest - abandoned for now
The Wells Bequest - Polly Shulman

I only got 22 pages into this one and then stalled. I plan to give it another go at a later date, because I don't think it was bad, it's just that I wasn't in the mood for it. I loved the idea of the New-York Circulating Material Repository.

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review 2013-09-01 00:00
The Wells Bequest - Polly Shulman 2.5 stars

I enjoyed [b:The Grimm Legacy|6760780|The Grimm Legacy (The Grimm Legacy, #1)|Polly Shulman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1317628126s/6760780.jpg|6958044], but this one just did not interest me.
a) I am not all that big on scifi. In books. I know.

b) Teens barely into their teens falling in love is one of the things that will immediately annoy me and turn me away from any work, written or visual. Just. No.

c) The villain's whole raison d'etre is that he is madly in love with his what, 14 year-old co-worker? Buh-bye now.

Other than that , I applaud the idea. I just do not think that I will be continuing with the series.
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