The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell: Tesla Time by Karen Mueller Bryson

Tweens looking for some adventurous reading don’t need to look far. Just pick up a copy of The Incredibly Awesome Adventure of Puggie Liddell: Tesla Time by Karen Mueller Bryson.

Puggie Liddell is a whiz kid with a sharp tongue. His prissy older sister Gigi gets on his nerves. When his modified Gameboy activates a time portal that sends Puggie and Gigi back to the 1890’s, the kids must work together to find a time portal back to the present before Nikola Tesla or his arch nemesis Thomas Edison can steal it to complete a death ray machine.

The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell is an action-packed adventure story that tweens are sure to enjoy. The rivalry between Puggie and Gigi will hit home for them, and the fast pace will have them turning page after page. What Bryson did very well in this story is blend interesting historical tidbits into the kids’ adventure. Having first gone off to search for Edison who is attending the World’s Columbian Exhibition (Chicago World’s Fair) in order to get his help to return home, they are soon on the run from Edison, who seeks to use Puggie’s modified Gameboy for evil purposes. Bryson also managed to paint great pictures for her readers as she described the many historical places the kids end up.

While Edison’s and Tesla’s rivalry is well known, it bothered me that most of the historical figures in this book were portrayed as bad guys. Tesla was actually working on a death ray machine,  but Edison and Tesla spend the majority of the book chasing after the kids with less than good intentions. Even Mark Twain, who befriended Tesla in middle age, doesn’t truly escape being portrayed in a negative light because he doesn’t do anything to try and help Puggie and Gigi. He pulls a Pontius Pilate type of deal by saying he’s just a writer and practicing non-involvement.

I also wish the book had some interior illustrations. It’s the perfect book for it. Laurie Tiz did a fabulous job with the cover art. I would have loved to see what she added to the interior, especially because there are a few short chapters that run only a quarter to half the page.

The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell by Karen Mueller Bryson is definitely worth looking into. Tesla Time is the first book in a planned series. I look forward to the next one.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Zeta Comics
  • ISBN-10:0986842818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986842818
  • SRP:  $6.95
  • Also available in a Kindle edition

I received a FREE copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide this review.

The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell: Tesla Time by Karen Mueller Bryson

History made fun! In this fast-paced and action-packed time travel adventure, the wise-cracking whiz kid, Puggie Liddell’s modified Gameboy activates a time travel portal and he lands in the 1890s with his sibling rival, annoyingly prissy teen sister, Gigi, who thinks history is like-totally-gross.

The kids must learn to work together to find a time travel portal back to the present before the eccentric scientist, Nikola Tesla, or his arch nemesis, inventor Thomas Edison, can steal the Gameboy and use it to complete a death ray machine, an invention powerful enough to disturb the very fabric of space-time and create an instantaneous world disaster.

Read an excerpt!

A bead of sweat poured down 12-year old Puggie Liddell’s chubby cheek as he trudged through a dark and dense forest. Before he knew what was coming, an ax flew past his face, barely missing his pug nose. Puggie took aim and jabbed his sword toward the mid-section of a hideous green ogre that was now towering over him. The ogre leapt out of the way and snarled at Puggie. The beast swung his ax towards Puggie’s head but Puggie ducked and the weapon only grazed his mop top. Then Puggie swung a leg into the air and Karate kicked the ogre in the shin.

More angry than hurt, the ogre grabbed Puggie by the collar and lifted him off the ground. As the boy tried to wriggle free from the ogre’s vice-grip, his sword tumbled to the ground. Puggie experienced a brief moment of panic before he prepared to kick the ogre again but a knocking sound distracted him.

It was Puggie’s prissy sister, Gigi, 14, knocking on her brother’s bedroom door. When her knocking was met with no response, she barged into Puggie’s room.

“Puggie,” she yelled as she slapped her sibling’s arm.

Puggie removed his virtual reality goggles and glared at his sister. “I could have killed that ogre,” he said. Puggie hated being distracted mid-videogame, especially when he was in the middle of a battle he thought he could win. And even more especially when it was a video game he developed himself.

“You’re such a loser fanboy,” said Gigi.

“I’m not a fanboy,” said Puggie. “I’m a video game designer.”

“You’re a geek,” said Gigi.

“And to what do I owe the honor of your presence?” Puggie asked.

“Class trip, remember,” she replied.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen downstairs, the sibling’s father, Mr. Liddell, 45, was preparing breakfast. Since the death of his wife five years ago, Mr. Lidell made a point of cooking his kids an exceptional breakfast every morning before driving them to school. He hoped in some small way it would help them miss their mother a little less.

As Mr. Liddell flipped a pancake in the air, a hand snatched it mid-toss. Puggie stuffed the pancake into his mouth, grabbed syrup from the counter, and took a big a swig of the stuff.

“We own plates,” said Mr. Liddell.

To which Puggie replied, “I’m trying to save natural resources. Washing dishes by hand wastes three gallons of water a minute; twice as much if you leave the water running while scraping the dish. Dishwashers typically waste fifteen gallons of water a load.” Puggie generally had a quick comeback for every remark and a clever answer to every question, even the unanswerable ones.

Gigi hurried into the kitchen and made a show of snatching a plate from the cabinet. She waved the dish in Puggie’s face, then placed a pancake on it and loaded it with syrup.

“Want some more pancakes with that gallon of syrup?” Puggie said to his sister, who was still pouring.

Puggie plucked another pancake from the pile, crammed it into his cake hole and added a gulp of syrup.

When Mr. Liddell flipped the final pancake onto the stack he said, “You kids need to eat a good breakfast. You’ve got a big day ahead of you.”

Puggie and Gigi merely glared at each other.

Read the reviews!

Karen Bryson hits it out of the park! I have read and thoroughly enjoyed Karen M. Bryson’s adventure novel, The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell, Tesla Time, Book 1. The talented author created for me a fun, entertaining and educational story. In her book, Ms. Bryson transports me into the utterly believable world of Puggie and his semi-nemesis sister, Gigi, as Puggie’s universal remote turned time machine plunges the two back in time and they come face to face with Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla, two talented inventers but stalwart adversaries of the 1800’s. Each scene keeps me on the edge of my seat as Puggie and his sister search for a way back to the present but each effort and escape brings new and exciting adventure. This story is funny and filled with interesting historical scientific facts that I still recall today. I highly recommend this well-written and satisfying book for teachers, parents and students of all ages.

Geoffrey Zimmerman, Author and Screenwriter

Dr. Karen Mueller Bryson is an optioned screenwriter, produced playwright and published novelist.

She is the author of several romantic comedy novels for adults and is the creator of Short on Time books, a series of fast-paced and fun novels readers can finish in one sitting.

The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell is Karen’s first novel for young people.

For additional information about Karen Mueller Bryson, visit her website:

 Look for our review coming on December 8th!