Title: Where the Hell is Tesla?
Author: Rob Dircks
Genres: Sci Fi, Comedy, Nikola Tesla
I'll let Chip, the main character tell you more: "I found the journal at work. Well, I don't know if you'd call it work, but that's where I found it. It's the lost journal of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors and visionaries ever. Before he died in 1943, he kept a notebook filled with spectacular claims and outrageous plans. One of these plans was for an "Interdimensional Transfer Apparatus" - that allowed someone (in this case me and my friend Pete) to travel to other versions of the infinite possibilities around us. Crazy, right? But that's just where the crazy starts."
CHIP'S OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction: the events depicted in the collection of emails did not happen. I have never been in contact with a covert government group attempting to suppress knowledge of the lost journal of Nikola Tesla. I have not been threatened with death if I divulge the secrets contained inside. They did not buy me this handsome jacket (oh crap, you're reading this - trust me, it looks great on me). They did not come to my place, and liquor me up, and offer to publish this book as a sci-fi comedy novel to throw the public off the trail of the real truth.
Or did they?
I'm kidding. Of course they didn't.
Or did they?
God, I can't keep my big mouth shut.
This is a shorter book I picked up at audible (Appx 5 hrs of audio), for around two bucks. I like to think of the style as "A serious science fiction story that was interrupted by a few idiots that only kinda knew what they were doing", with the idiots of course being the main characters. I can get pretty touchy with my Sci-Fi pseudo-science, but the lack of credibility the science had in this book didn't really bother me. I think it struck the same chord that I would expect from a comic book, or something of the kind. Basically, because it succeeds in being fun, I found it easy to overlook the confusion some of the scenarios introduced.
The fun in the story comes from a few areas. The first is the characters complete lack of ability to understand the complex ideas they were interacting with, but solid determination to tamper with those ideas as much as possible, leading to lots of fun but short adventures. The second bit of fun is the simple fact that the story involves hunting down Nikola Tesla through a vast array of alternate dimensions. The last reason is the middle of the story, where you can tell the author is just having some crazy fun with some of the possibilities he's opened up.
The main problems I had with the story came as a side effect of some of the premise. In many cases, the characters seem so unaware of how their actions will affect anything, that it's a bit hard to get invested into what they're doing. Also, the story is told entirely in sometimes brief emails sent to the main character's absent love interest, so the writing style comes off a bit odd. Sometimes this style works to the book's benefit (sounding like a crazy story one of your friends told you after a few drinks), and sometimes it's jarring next to what's going on at the time.
All in all, it's not a great book, but if you want a fun read for killing an afternoon, it's enjoyable. I'd recommend picking it up if you ever saw it on sale, or can get the Amazon Prime discount or something, but I'd probably have been a bit disappointed with the book if I had paid full price. (Mind you, most books I buy are with audible credits, so "Full Price" means "The same price as buying the Fellowship of the Rings", or something equally substantial.)
Special Awards: (Things the book did very right)