Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke

The Neptune Project
by Polly Holyoke

Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 340
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: May 21, 2013
Suggested tags: middle grade, dystopia, science fiction

First in The Neptune Project series. From Goodreads:
"With her weak eyes and useless lungs that often leave her gasping for air, Nere feels more at home swimming with the dolphins her mother studies than she does hanging out with her classmates. Nere has never understood why she is so much more comfortable and confident in the water than on land until the day she learns the shocking truth—she is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of the "Neptune Project" are supposed to build a better future under the waves, safe from the terrible famines and wars and that rock the surface world.

But there are some big challenges ahead of her: no one ever asked Nere if she wanted to be part of a science experiment; the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the new Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying on their wits, their loyal dolphins and one another to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids ... dead or alive.

Fierce battle and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friend race to safety in this action-packed marine adventure.

{ I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. }

This is the first book I've read which takes place mostly underwater, and once I finished it left me wanting to get back to that ocean world as soon as I could. In The Neptune Project, a group of kids have been genetically altered to live underwater, and they're traveling through the ocean to get to the Neptune colony where they'll be safe. There is adventure, danger, and drama as they make their way through the seas and its hazards while getting to know each other and their new abilities.

I found myself immediately hooked on The Neptune Project, and it kept me interested the whole way through. The kids have to learn to work with each other, to adjust to their new water-based lives (which some of them resent, as they had no say in the matter), and to survive the dangers that they find themselves facing at nearly every turn. Plus, they find there are other kids like them in the ocean, and they have to decide who can be trusted and who is an enemy. There is a little innocent romance also, but their focus is on survival. They get into life-threatening situations, which don't always end with everyone safe and sound. I loved Nere - she's brave, kind, and determined, and although she's not sure of herself at first, she's a strong leader.

I think The Neptune Project would be perfect for middle grade readers, both boys and girls, who prefer their books to have a lot of action and adventure within a unique setting. It also has great interactions between the characters as they try to form a mini society and sort out what everyone's role will be. Readers who are interested in the ocean will probably love it, as there is a lot of detail about their underwater world. It would be great for dolphin lovers also, as a pod of dolphins are important characters in the story and have a really unique way of communicating with Nere. The Neptune Project is a great introduction to the series of the same name, and I can't wait for the next book to come out! According to Holyoke's website, it will be called The Neptune Challenge and is scheduled for release in April 2015.

Final verdict: I loved it! I thought this book was great! I might buy it for myself and I would definitely recommend it to others.

{ The Neptune Project book trailer }

More about Polly Holyoke }

Polly Holyoke's Goodreads profile
Polly Holyoke's website
Follow Polly Holyoke on Twitter
Follow Polly Holyoke on Facebook

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe it took me this long to read Polly's debut. I mean, my kids were pestering me for years - "It's one of the best books ever!" they said.
    They were right. In the mood for adventure? DO IT.