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The Boy From Reactor 4 (The Nadia Tesla Series) Paperback – 19 Mar 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (19 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612186084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612186085
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 654,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Orest Stelmach was born in Connecticut, the child of Ukrainian immigrants. He didn’t speak English until he began school as a child, going on to earn academic degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago. Along the way he earned his living washing dishes and stocking department-store shelves, later teaching English in Japan and managing international investments. In 2012, his short story “In Persona Christi” was published in the Mystery Writers of America anthology Vengeance. He speaks Ukrainian, Spanish, and Japanese. The Boy from Reactor 4 is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A debut novel, a sort of thriller but more a passage of time in the company of some strange characters. I confess to having to find a map to see where the action was taking place. Apart from the Bering Straits, I had never heard of all the other outlying places in Russia, so that, in itself, was interesting.

The title suggests this is more about the boy but, frankly, most of the action surrounds a young woman born in New York of Ukrainian parents who is inveigled into travelling to Kyiv to discover the whereabouts of 10 million dollars.

Naturally enough, all is not what it seems. Chernobyl features high on he list of places not to visit but Nadia Tesla finds herself in the midst of this ravaged zone, looking for an uncle previously presumed dead. He's not but almost is when she finds him and from here the story does indeed bring Nadia into contact with the boy, her cousin, with a plan to return to America with a secret formula safely tucked into a locket around his neck. Of course, all is not what it seems!

It's a good story, just realistic enough to believe in the characters, some of whom are positively mental but, through it all, is the charming and determined Nadia. I do hope she returns in another book. She has all the attributes needed for a dogged investigator with plenty of guts and a lot of guile. I liked her. I liked, too, the detail provided about Ukraine, a country which has for decades had a soft spot for the UK. Here, of course, the emphasis is on America, the land of opportunity; Nadia and her cousin, the boy from Reactor 4, fit in very nicely. I only hope in the finished book, there will be a map!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What I enjoyed most about this novel was the unusual setting of the Ukraine mixed in with the horror of Chernobyl. Makes for a dark and atmospheric background against which to set this cat and mouse/thriller.

Nadia is the main character and she's quite a typical blend of fighting, surviving, smart mouthed, tough cookie popular at the moment. The plot kicks off with Nadia searching for clues about her father. Just at the point Nadia believes she's getting somewhere towards solving that particular mystery her contact is murdered right in front of her. That's the incident which acts as a catalyst for all kinds of action sequences/chases spinning the reader from New York to the Ukraine.

Unfortunately, at around the half way mark, the novel seems to lose it's central plot and becomes a helter skelter of mystery, movement and action with too much going on. Events and characters become random, the plot loses some credibility and the whole thing becomes more and more difficult to take seriously.

I particularly didn't like the revelation of Nadia's previous involvement with the FBI, I had to suspend too much belief to stay with that, although it does allow the character of the 'noble gangster' Victor to enter into the frame and a criminal gang element to spin off.

Ultimately; the central theme becomes no more than a chase to gain possession of a piece of microfilm containing an important and secret formula though there's a good deal of money swindling along the journey.

Without a doubt The Boy from Reactor 4 is much more about action, chase sequences and pace rather than careful character and plot development. Nothing wrong with that in general except the plot loses out on depth, believability, and it becomes difficult for the reader to empathise with the characters.

The first half of the novel is worth 3.5 stars rather than just a flat 3. The second half I seriously didn't enjoy and 3 stars is more than enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Much as I loved the sound of this book, and some of the other feedback gave it glowing reviews, I just could not get into this. Thats not to say I did not finish it but I found it hard to distinguish characters with such similar names.

The 1 or 2 chapters that dealt with the chase across the globe did get nice and involving but sorry, the rest of it did nothing for me
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have only ever quit 4 books and this is one of them. Fairly humdrum premise but for 99p I'll take a punt.
A terrible decision.
The writing is bad, and I don't mean language errors or style which are far better than my Ukrainian, but the characters. I think the main protagonist was the least convincing female I've ever read. The other characters are, as other reviewers put it, flat as a pancake. And that might be one of the good points about them.
Just avoid.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am quite stubborn when it comes to reading books and even if I don't enjoy them at the beginning (or the middle!)I try to given them a second chance. I failed when it came to Boy from Reactor 4.

I've read the first few pages before buying the book and they were interesting so I was hoping for an enjoyable read. How disappointed I was when the characters turned out to be flat like a pancake, running around like headless chickens and making decisions that no one in their right mind would do. Ok, it's fiction, characters do not have to be fully believable, but even the greatest amount of goodwill would not make me see sense in the highly predictable, but still ridiculous twists.

Unfortunately the descriptions weren't much better. Lifeless and with either too much or not enough detail.

I was finally defeated by an off-putting sex scene that sprung at me out of nowhere.

Reading other people's reviews, I think it may be it's just not a book for me. But I'm not even going to try to finish it. There's plenty of better fiction around to spend my time on.
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