Welcome back to Reviewers Go Punk! This week we have Jeffrey Cook detailing his trip to Sechin Tower’s Mad Science Institute. File it under Tesla Punk and enjoy!
Mad Science Institute by Sechin Tower
Review by Jeffrey Cook
This was a fantastic story. It opened on a great hook, and the pacing and characters were consistent and well written throughout.
It took me a little while to get a feel for a number of the characters. At first, it seems like the main protagonist, “Soap” (and some of her fellow students) are almost overly flawed – socially awkward to an extremely high degree, accident prone, does poorly in school despite genius-level gifts, non-athletic, and a germaphobe, to start with… and eventually it all makes sense. Tower has his academy populated not just with gifted teens, that’s been done – but well-rounded mad scientists. Once you get a feel for that, it makes some of the questionable decision-making that makes some of the plot function actually really make perfect sense. The characters are brilliant, but flawed – and consistently so.
No one in this YA needs to be the chosen one – they can get themselves into plenty of trouble all on their own… and if anything really places them at the center of the adventure, it’s the setting itself. The premise of the Academy itself is especially fantastic.
Despite being 300+ pages, the book is a rapid read. I devoured it in a morning. There’s not a lot of big surprises, and a lot of the story is fairly black and white – the bad guys are the bad guys, the heroes are… stumbling over each other as often as not, while still managing to be well intentioned, and ultimately all bring something to the table. Ultimately, and most importantly, the story is fun.
It’s also well edited, clean, and an easy read.