Fantasy Book Review: The Wells Bequest

The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman

Leo never imagined that time travel might really be possible, or that the objects in H. G. Wells’ science fiction novels might actually exist. And when a miniature time machine appears in Leo’s bedroom, he has no idea who the tiny, beautiful girl is riding it. But in the few moments before it vanishes, returning to wherever—and whenever—it came from, he recognizes the other tiny rider: himself!

His search for the time machine, the girl, and his fate leads him to the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out objects instead of books. Hidden away in the Repository basement is the Wells Bequest, a secret collection of powerful objects straight out of classic science fiction novels: robots, rockets, submarines, a shrink ray—and one very famous time machine. And when Leo’s adventure of a lifetime suddenly turns deadly, he must attempt a journey to 1895 to warn real-life scientist Nikola Tesla about a dangerous invention. A race for time is on!

Leo comes from a family of geniuses. And though he feels like the odd one, Leo is a brilliant inventor. Researching for his science fair project, leads him to the mysterious New-York Circulating Material Repository. The Repository is a library of all sorts of objects instead of just books. (Think Warehouse 13 or The Librarian movies – but this place loans out its objects.) And a secret collection stores some of the most amazing items – right out of HG Wells’ science fiction novels.

This is a companion novel to The Grimm Legacy, not a direct sequel. So they don’t necessarily need to be read in order. While The Grimm Legacy obviously centered on Grimm fairy tales, The Wells Bequest blends science fiction, fantasy, and history in this fantastic adventure for all ages. From HG Wells’ time machine to Nikola Tesla’s death ray, Leo and Jaya have an action-packed, thrilling quest that brings them face-to-face with several historic characters. Full of suspense, mystery, time travel, humor, and a bit of young romance – this was a brilliant novel that was hard to put down.

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