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Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself

(Nick and Tesla #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  366 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Nick and Tesla return in an all-new, robot-filled adventure!

When a rash of robberies hits the town of Half Moon Bay, 11-year-old sleuths Nick and Tesla are determined to catch the criminals—but to do so, they'll have to build a host of new gadgets and gizmos!

In this robot-themed follow-up to Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab, the brother-and-sister duo build four
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Quirk Books
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  366 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Start your review of Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Lately I've been going through this reading phase where all I want to read is middle grade. Recently, I read Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab. I loved it so much that I started the second book, Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage immediately. While I didn't love it as much as the first book, I still thought it was an enjoyable sequel.

I'm not entirely sure why I didn't enjoy Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage as much as the first book in the series. There was just something magi
Wayne McCoy
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
'Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself' by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith is both a mystery and a series of home science projects that the reader can make at home.

Nick and Tesla's parents are away on a mysterious trip, so the kids are left in the care of their eccentric uncle Newt who lives in Half Moon Bay. When a series of strange robots show up right before a series of crimes starts happening in town, the ki
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This sequel to Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab is almost entirely an all-around improvement — which is something, considering I rated the first a 4.3 out of five. The humour is perhaps the standout: ramped up somehow, intangibly, there are a lot of funny situations and conversations which Nick and Tesla find themselves in, and the authors don't hesitate to use the most prominent adult, their Uncle Newt, for comic relief.
"You're just trying to provoke me," Nick said. "You know I'm just a
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm obviously not the targeted audience, but this is now my favorite new series. I have also passed it on to three other adult friends who are just as enamored as I am. So, if you like a little mystery and a great deal of fun science projects, then this book is a must have.

In the second installment of Nick and Tesla's mysteries, the two young detectives are determined to help their new found friends catch a thief. It seems that a comic book worth quite a lot of money has been stolen with
Beth Cato
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was provided a copy of the book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. It's a sequel to Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab, which I also read and reviewed through the program.

This series for middle graders brings together two elements in a fun way: the old-fashioned children's mystery novel like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, with interspersed science projects that use basic around-the-house materials to make cool stuff. This time around, 12-year-old twins Nick and Tesla (Tesla
Dec 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was excited to read this book because I know Half Moon Bay, so even a fictionalized version made me think I was in for some fun. But the writing of this story did not work for me. The clichéd characters were such an insult to their own stereotypes (do we really need another absent minded professor mad scientist uncle?) and the kids this is geared to deserve something more smartly written. The book is a great concept, however, and I hope it inspires some kids. If families take the time to build ...more
We join Nick and Tesla on another daring adventurous mystery! Things are stolen and it could be robots! I enjoyed this. So did my son. We are gearing up to make all the fun robots they have instructions for at the end of various chapters.

I really enjoy Tesla's character. She's always the one thinking on her feet and getting the stuff done. And they have a continuing mystery arc involving their spy parents. Are Nick and Tesla in danger? Are their parents?

Looking forward to the next one.

*I receive
Literary  Chanteuse
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
For middle graders who enjoy a scientific mystery with fun and adventure. This story proves it pays to be smart. A brother and sister team along with a few quirky characters definitely add to the entertainment. Throw in a few robots with how to make instructions and you've got a dynamite book. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sheila Read
Jun 17, 2013 marked it as to-read
I might read it than donate it to the local cancer center.
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My daughter may have liked this one even more than the first. Also, I wound up learning to solder (poorly, so far) as a result of one of these projects (I didn't read the description very well for a substitute part). So that's bonus points for getting me to do something I've been meaning to do for years.
Clayton Hildebrandt
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this book the twins are helping a friend of theirs when they realize that their most prized possession was taken. When they try to help by going to a robotic store, they realize that the robotic store is the reason!
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Another great mystery and kid-friendly experiments!
Tim Lewis
Read the review on my blog:

Premise: In this second book in the series, Twin siblings Nick and Tesla have been sent to live with their Uncle Newt while their parents are in Uzbekistan where they claim to be researching soybean irrigation. In the small town of Half Moon Bay, Nick and Tesla learn about a string of robberies plaguing the sleepy community. Once again putting their scientific knowledge to work, they decide to help one of their friends by attempting to solve the mystery themselves.

Uncle Newt is smitten by Hiroko Sakurai, a former colleague of his from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who also happens to have purchased the Wonder Hut where Nick and Tesla purchase electronics and other scientific doodads for their experiments. She is in the process of cleaning it up when a series of break-ins begin, including at the comic shop, Hero Worship, Incorporated, owned by their friend Silas’ family. A rare comic that could help save Silas’ family from a mound of debt has gone missing.

With the help of some ingenious robots and quick thinking, Nick and Tesla go to task on helping their friends and the town by tracking down the thief. They will just have to watch out for the strange robots that are also popping up around town.

Themes: Robot Army Rampage, as with the previous book, exemplifies the loyalty between siblings and with their friends. As Silas’ shop is in jeopardy, Nick and Tesla do their best to track down the thief of the Stupefying #6 comic book. Nick and Tesla also do their best to protect their uncle, even if it means endangering his relationship with Dr. Sakurai.

Nick and Tesla does a good job of showing that even when it appears that kids are up to no good, they might have more noble reasons for what they do. Even their friend DeMarco, who is always getting into trouble, is loyal to his best friend Silas. And the hijinks that occur because of Nick and Tesla’s investigation are because they care about their friends, family, and the town of Half Moon Bay.

Also: more science!

Pros: Robot Army Rampage has some even cooler projects than High Voltage Danger Lab, especially if you’re into robots. The instructions for building are straightforward for building simple robots, including part numbers that you might need to buy at an electronics store. The dialogue is funny and the tone lighthearted, perfect for kids and fun for adults. With most of the same characters from the previous book, Robot Army Rampage stays consistent by developing each of the characters deeply enough for the reader to care about them and enjoy the story.

Cons: The robot projects will probably require some assembly help from an adult, and will definitely require money to buy parts like batteries, motors, and LED lights. Contains mild peril from exploding robots.

Recommendations: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage is a load of fun, but kids will probably enjoy it even more than adults. If it weren’t for a little deeper background setting from the first book, anybody could pick this one up and jump right into the action without needing to read High Voltage Danger Lab. As each book contains science projects that correspond to story elements, you probably won’t want to skip it anyway. I think Robot Army Rampage is even better than the first, especially with these projects. They are fun for electronics buffs and for piquing kids’ interest in science, but most of all this is just a fun story.' rel='nofollow'>
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this book to review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the first Nick and Tesla book and was excited to read this one. I liked this book even better than the first one, it was a fun and quick read with some neat gadgets to build throughout.

When Nick and Tesla’s friend has a valuable comic book stolen from their parents’ comic book shop he is desperate to get it back. Nick and Tesla promise to look into the mystery. When they do they find out tha
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage
Author: Science Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith
Read by: Macleod Andrews
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Length: 4 CDs, approximately 3 hours, 47 minutes
Source: Kewaunee Public Library. Thank-you!

We traveled to Michigan to visit my family recently and I brought this along to entertain the kids. Kile had checked it out from the library during summer story time on robot theme day. We didn’t realize this was the second novel in a series, but it worked out w
Stacy - The Novel Life
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
review first appeared at

Robot Army Rampage begins with the theft of a rare and expensive comic book from Hero Worship, Inc., owned by the Kuskie family ~ Silas Kuskie is one of two boys to befriend the twins since their move to Half Moon Bay. This one comic book was going to keep the family from financial ruin, losing the store and losing their house. Enter precocious take-charge Tesla and soon the duo, along with Silas and DeMarco, are enmeshed in solvin
Lisa (Lisa Likes Books)
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Thanks to the publisher for giving me this book to read in exchange for an honest review.


Guys! I hope you like science experiments and kids with perseverance and lots of wits, because that’s exactly what you get in Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

I just can’t start off this review any other way than saying how enjoyable Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage was to read. I really enjoyed Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab when I was reading it and was super stoked to read
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing


Nick and Tesla have been sent to stay with their reclusive uncle in California while their parents spend the summer watching soybeans grow someplace unpronounceable. Uncle Newt is know for being an eccentric so when he doesn't show up at the airport to pick them up, these resourceful twins take a taxi and are met at the door by, well, by no one. They also notice a black SUV tailing them that is now parked down the street. When they do find Newt stuck in the basement
Amanda Northrup
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick and Tesla, twin brother and sister, solve crimes using science. When a pricey comic book is stolen, the twins build 4 different robots to support their investigation, find the thief, and save the comic book shop.

What a great, new middle grades series! For those who enjoy traditional mysteries ~ crime, clues, suspects, witnesses ~ this is it. For those who enjoy realistic characters you can cheer for, this is it. Unlike many other kid-detective books, Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage is w
Kathy Martin
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nick and Tesla are still living with their eccentric Uncle Newt and wondering why they haven't heard from their parents. They are trying to distract themselves by working on their own inventions in their uncle's laboratory. Uncle Newt is working on a new type of vacuum cleaner powered by rotten bananas with his usual limited success.

To get out of the house after an unfortunate explosion, the family heads down to Rinalli'a pizza place. They are too early and decide to spend some time in the loca
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
My thoughts on the series:
This is a lot of fun. I am way out of the target age range, but I enjoyed the stories. Middle-grade detectives, crazy scientist uncle, and international intrigue all converge. The projects are the type that kids in the target group will enjoy—my (bright) third-grader can’t wait to try some out. The illustrations could be clearer for the technically inept such as myself. However, there are videos available, as well as other cool information, at
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, reviews, kidlit
Having read the first book in the Nick and Tesla series I had high hopes for Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Nick and Tesla have stumbled upon another plot to solve through using cunning and new inventions! Everything that I said in my previous review is true of this book- it is well written, highly entertaining, and in all honesty- it is also inspirational in a way. Though this crazy summer Nick and Tesla are experiencing is not typical, it provides ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick and Tesla are spending some time with their eccentric Uncle Newt while their parents are away. The siblings soon find themselves in the middle of a mystery, and they plan to solve it. Using their creativity and powers of observation the children believe they found out who done it, but they may not have a chance to tell anyone else. [return][return]The typical aspect of this story is the children s independence. They are pretty much on their own, as their well meaning uncle is busy with his ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great adventure for Nick and Tesla's - this time involving more of what every kid loves - Robots! Even I loved the ideas and designed they talked about in the book. They sounded like so much fun. While the projects in this book are more complicated than the ones in book one, the instructions are much more detailed as well. They set off to find out who is responsible for a string of thefts in their little town, starting with a rare comic book from their friend's parents.

They make a few m
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I won this book in exchange for an honest review.

Nick and Tesla fall into the genre of young kids turned detective. I not big on these stories because they often seem flat with unbelievable characters.

I liked this story and the characters of Nick and Tesla. They story was lively and the characters likable. What I found endearing about Nick and Tesla was their constant refusal to acknowledge that they had become kid detectives. The plot flows nicely with enough robot action to keep young readers
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The adventure continues for Nick and Tesla, a pair of 11 year old twins. After successfully solving one mystery, the grownups ask their help in solving a new mystery. Local businesses are being broken into without the alarms going off. The police force of one has no ideas, so the twins are on the case. Robots are being given to all the businesses having problems but are they what they seem to be? And a new wrinkle has emerged; their parents may not be in Karakalpakstan after all. They receive a ...more
Oct 17, 2014 added it
Shelves: mystery, science

Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage was written by Pflugfelder and Hockensmith. An award-winning elementary school science teacher and an author of a series of mystery books. Using their backgrounds in science and mystery writing, they have developed a story that will inspire children to explore and create using text to real life projects. Included within the body of the book are full page "blueprints" with directions and illustrations that show how to take things found at home or a local hobby
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-arc
Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage focuses on two siblings who along with their friends search to solve the mystery of the robberies that are happening in Half Moon Bay, California. The siblings, Nick and Tesla, are like a newer version of The Hardy Boys. They occasionally solve mysteries but also love science and robotics.

The story moves along at a nice pace with instructions and illustrations so kids can build some of the robots portrayed in the story. The robots will really interest kids
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Based on chapter length and vocabulary, it is seems to be geared towards middle school and older kinds, but my son still found it enjoyable. The authors are able to combine the ability set a scene that can appeal to slightly geeky kids, a reasonably engaging mystery story, and building projects that are both achievable and which are relevant to the story. I read it with my 7 year old (who is a good reader), and we both enjoyed the story, he laughed out loud at some of the middle school humor, an ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
My 12-year-old son is very into science (probably helped by the fact that he attends an environmental science charter school), so I got this book hoping that he would like it (especially the robots, as he's currently doing LEGO robotics). Unfortunately, that was not the case. He said the book was "OK" but it didn't really seem to hold his attention very well. When he was finished, I took my turn, and it was...OK. I liked the blueprints and instructions for kids to build their own robots out of m ...more
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Science Bob is an award winning teacher and television personality with a mission to share the amazing world of science. Through his website, television appearances, and now a series of books coauthored with Steve Hockensmith, Bob shows that science is fun, accessible, and inspiring. Bob has shared his love for science as a regular on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Live With Kelly & Michael, and the Dr. Oz Sh ...more

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Nick and Tesla (6 books)
  • Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
  • Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle: A Mystery with Spy Cameras, Code Wheels, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
  • Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove: A Mystery with a Blinking, Beeping, Voice-Recording Gadget Glove You Can Build Yourself
  • Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular: A Mystery with Animatronics, Alien Makeup, Camera Gear, and Other Movie Magic You Can Make Yourself! (Nick and Tesla, #5)
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