Nikola Tesla was one of the 20th century's great pioneers; his role in advancing electrical energy through the use of alternating current, and his stupendous engineering finesse, make this biography by journalist John J. O'Neill a fine read. Born in a Serbian village to a religious family, Nikola demonstrated an early interest in physics. The nascent science behind electricity - in the 1870s a mysterious, unharnessed force - became his passion. Though the young man's engineering aspirations were almost derailed when he contracted cholera, and later by Austro-Hungarian conscription, Tesla managed to enrol to study in Graz, Austria. A top-class student, tutors admiration for Tesla's gifts and boundless curiosity was tempered by concerns over his tendency to overwork. These attributes marked Tesla's professional life; an obsessively driven man, Tesla's gifts for invention were amply demonstrated and rewarded in the United States. As his ambitions grew in size and scope, Tesla was hailed as a visionary.