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The Boy from Reactor 4 (The Nadia Tesla Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Orest Stelmach
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (898 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nadia’s memories of her father are not happy ones. An angry, secretive man, he died when she was thirteen, leaving his past shrouded in mystery. When a stranger claims to have known her father during his early years in Eastern Europe, she agrees to meet—only to watch the man shot dead on a city sidewalk. With his last breath, he whispers a cryptic clue, one that will propel Nadia on a high-stakes treasure hunt from New York to her ancestral homeland of Ukraine. There she meets an unlikely ally: Adam, a teenage hockey prodigy who honed his skills on the abandoned cooling ponds of Chernobyl. Physically and emotionally scarred by radiation syndrome, Adam possesses a secret that could change the world—if she can keep him alive long enough to do it. A twisting tale of greed, secrets, and lies, The Boy from Reactor 4 will keep readers guessing until the final heart-stopping page.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This debut thriller takes the reader from New York to Ukraine. Nadia Tesler is an immigrant’s daughter, and while she is fluent in Russian, she is not close to her mother and lost her father as a young teenager. All she remembers of him is a perpetually angry man, and she knows nothing of her family background. A stranger contacts her, saying he knew her father well, and they arrange a meeting, but he is shot dead on the street in front of her, whispering a cryptic message as he dies. She quickly realizes her own life is in danger and sets out on a quest to decipher the message, learn some of her family history, and keep one jump ahead of whoever is after her. It isn’t until she visits her ancestral homeland that she really starts deciphering her family story. The key turns out to be Adam, a young hockey star who grew up skating at Chernobyl and now suffers from radiation syndrome; he has a secret that many want—and will kill to get. This is a fast ride with lots of thrills and will appeal to adrenaline junkies. — Stacy Alesi


"A top-notch, fast-moving thriller with gripping authenticity from Stelmach's knowledge of politics, history, and crime in Eastern Europe and America." —Neil McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of Toys, and Dead Silver

"Stelmach brilliantly pairs breakneck pacing with heart-of-gold insights into regions as beautiful as they are troubled. The Boy From Reactor 4 is phenomenal." —Dan Mayland, author of The Colonel's Mistake and The Leveling

“Bravo to Orest Stelmach for getting it all right…I’ve lived in Alaska, Ukraine, and Siberia, three of the locations featured in the story, and he paints life as it is in those places. I'd swear the characters are real people pulled off the streets. The locations…are laid out brilliantly before the reader.” —Eight Months in Ukraine

"Sweeps you up with...espionage, danger and action. Plot twists and turns all the way through the end." —Night Owl Reviews

Product Details

  • File Size: 1451 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612186084
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (March 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BU75D6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edit, read and reread, verify April 8, 2013
By dido
On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 4:22 AM, roman voronka <> wrote:

Why was I not surprised when the contents of a locket, which is at the center of the tale, were revealed? In the very fast moving thriller the reader learns quickly to expect very sharp twists and turns in the plot. Expect the unreasonable, the unlikely. Too frequently, randomly introduced characters complicate the plot. Thus, not only is the plot unnecessarily convoluted, but the number of characters is much bigger than needed in telling a rather interesting tale.

In a novel, the events must take place somewhere, and here most occur in Lower East side of NYC, in the area where many Ukrainians reside, in Ukraine and Russia. The author, being of Ukrainian descent, attempts to inform the reader about Ukraine and Ukrainians. In this he abysmally fails. To an informed reader the author frequently displays how little he knows. Shevchenko and Franko, two giants of Ukrainian literature, the first died in 1861 the other in 1916 are said to be victims of the evil Soviets. Another surprising revelation is that in year 988 (the year Ukraine accepted Christianity) Batu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, destroyed Kyiv. Such an event occurred in 1240. These are gross errors, but there are may other places in the novel where Stelmach reveals how little he knows Ukrainian and lacks command of facts about Ukraine..

If I were to give a grade, I would give Stelmach a B for creativity but an overall C for the book, and advise him read and reread, correct and edit with much greater care..
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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the Boy from Reactor Four March 19, 2013
By Pags
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fast paced with interesting characters I loved the Boy from Reactor Four. Nothing traditional in the way this story is constructed, many unexpected twists and turns. The author took the time to finish strong. Too many books set up well and get lazy at the finish. This book kept me hooked all the way to the last page. Plus Chernobyl today is a fascinating place. One I hadn't thought a lot about. Stelmach did his homework here too.
There will be moments when your stomach muscles tighten with suspense, and times when you laugh out loud. Plus you are left with the question; what is in the locket? Now I'm waiting for the sequel!

All is all a very entertaining novel. Well done!
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81 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Emotional Value. March 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I probably shouldn't have read this after a week of re-reading some classics, but the very beginning seemed interesting so I kept going, but it rapidly deteriorates after the first chapter.

If I were to take a piece of white paper and cut out a figure and draw a face on it (naming it NADIA) it would have more personality than the main character of this book. If I placed my paper doll on the coffee table and had her periodically jump from it to the couch to the love seat to the couch (New York, to the plane, to the Ukraine, to the taxi, to the motorcycle, to Chernobyl, to the caves, to the plane to the bus, train, the the the city....blah blah blah)--well, you get the gist of this book. Honestly--so much fast-paced but trivial action it becomes quite irritating.
Sadly there aren't enough details to make you feel as though you are IN a foreign country (try the ice rink scene in 'Gorky Park'/ heck, even the first hour of waking up in `A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' has one shivering uncontrollably as though you were really there!); the action isn't even realistic: Nadia is trapped in a cave filled with tourists and in a brief sentence or two the author has her out by crawling through their legs--and she's OFF AGAIN to another area in moments--maybe she just transports! There is no mystique or suspense.

When I read something I want to FEEL EMOTION! I want chills during a frightening passage, I want to blink back tears during despair, I want to grip my book tightly with excitement....but there are NO emotional qualities within. Everyone is a blank paper doll.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wholly original, can't put it down! March 19, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stelmach masterfully interweaves multiple plotlines that keep you guessing all the way through. He does this while still creating original characters with a lot of depth, each of whom is distinct, with their own agenda, which isn't always what you think it is, and countless plot twists arise as a result. It's easy to get behind the protagonist, Nadia Tesla, who is troubled by her past and not so sure she's so interested in this subterfuge that seems to be her present and future. But her quick-wittedness and resourcefulness, her mental acuity and physical endurance make her easy to admire. I never saw what was coming and enjoyed it all the way through. The action sequences were a particularly fun and suspenseful ride. The final sequence is fantastic - I couldn't read it fast enough! Stelmach has a wholly original voice, and one that will keep me coming back for future installments. Great book!
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71 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a LOT of story lines and sub story lines in this book. Each character seems to have its' own story that continues all the way through the book. A bit unusual for that to happen and it does not do any justice to this book.

Some of the story line scenarios were hard to believe especially when you have someone shot in New York City and one hears or sees anything even when the body turns up missing and the shop keepers are oblivious to any crime that was committed.

There were a few other places in the book where it just didn't add up at all. Another was an assassin that was found out before killing the victim and she starts crying. Really?
Poor character development of some and over development in others.

The dialog was a bit off too with dialog being spoken then all of a sudden a weird phrase pops up into it that doesn't really belong there. Calling workers on Wall Street a "criminals"? Business partners constantly beating on each other and trying to kill one another? It it just didn't work for me.

Sorry, not a fan of this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise
I've actually been avoiding this book for awhile as I thought from the title that it was sci-fi, nothing against sci-fi, but it is a genre I haven't read in many years. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Jack Hawthorne
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
I particularly appreciated the insight into the place Chernobyl holds in Ukraine (and Russian) culture. Read more
Published 2 days ago by rmepants
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!!!
Despite being the somewhat introspective character whose perspective is the basis for this book, Nadia's motivations and feelings are still a bit of a mystery to the reader. Read more
Published 2 days ago by M. A. HUFF
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful Story
Another nail biter in a terrific series.
Published 3 days ago by Linda H
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boy From Reactor 4
A really good book about the Chernobyl aftermath and one family's plight. The novel seems realistic in its tale of the victims in Russia.
Published 3 days ago by paticia a jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I thought this one was better than the first. A serious techno thriller to be sure as the radioactive mud splashes your feet. I liked it.
Published 5 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boy from Reactor 4
Nobody would help a boy from the Zone. Nadia was following the money. By helping him, she helped herself. Eluding the Ukrainian Mafia was becoming second nature for her. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Crystal
4.0 out of 5 stars I could understand the story better and then the reading got faster...
I had a hard time getting into the story in the beginning but after I had read a couple of reviews, I could understand the story better and then the reading got faster and I had a... Read more
Published 6 days ago by JMS.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my new favorite author. His writing style is great, keeps you...
This is my new favorite author. His writing style is great, keeps you engaged and wanting more. I can't wait to read the other books in the series.
Published 7 days ago by Kimdes
5.0 out of 5 stars Orest Stelmach
This was enough exciting read for me. Can't wait to start reading the next series book 2. Lots of suspense.
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

I was born in Connecticut to Ukrainian immigrants. I didn't speak English when I went to kindergarten. I've earned a living washing dishes, teaching English in Japan, and managing international investments. I donated 25% of my royalties from the third book in the Nadia Tesla series, THE BOY WHO GLOWED IN THE DARK, through December, 2014, to Chernobyl Children International. I also donated 10% of my royalties from the first two books in the series, THE BOY FROM REACTOR 4 and THE BOY WHO STOLE FROM THE DEAD. CCI funds surgical missions to Ukraine to help victims of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. The people of Ukraine helped inspire this series, and this is an opportunity for me to show my appreciation.

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