Review of 1st book in series here.
The second book expects you to have had your introduction in the first book, as it hits the plot running. The characters both old and new are introduced or walk in as needed and the mystery starts basically from the beginning. With set up out of the way, we're able to get to the fun stuff!
After a less then perfect experiment, Uncle Newt and the twins, Nick and Tesla, find it desirable to get out of the house for awhile. They end up at their favorite shot, The Wonder Hut, where all manner of hobby items and different parts for building a variety of things can be found. However, it's gotten a face lift from it's new owner, a Hiroko Sakurai, who used to work at the same place their uncle did. They get along instantly really well, particularly as Uncle Newt is clearly smitten with her. She hasn't changed everything though, as the same worker, Duncan still mans the desk. The shop is also responsible for a number of robots who greet people at various shops in Half Moon Bay.
However, the twin's friend Silas soon comes to them with a new mystery to solve. Someone has stolen a rare comic book from his father's shop, one that all their financial hopes are pinned on. With the help of their friends Silas and DeMarco, Nick and Tesla are going to solve another mystery in the small California town; this time by building some robots of their own.
I liked this book a lot more then the last one I read. Not that the first volume was bad, but this is able to stand on it's own with the foundation of the first and it shows. We already know the characters, so we can learn even more and spend more time getting to know the new characters as well as the story for this particular book. The robotic focus was really fun and I really enjoyed those elements. And the DIY instructions looked like tons of fun.
The mystery was interesting and had good clues, set up, and conclusion. I did figure out early on who it was but that didn't distract from my enjoyment of watching the kids try to figure out the identity. I feel this was more of a mystery then the first book had.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the published version of the third volume. On to spies and sneaky gadgets!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher; the opinions are my own.