Welcome to my stop on The Neptune Project blog tour! You can see the full tour schedule here.
Title: The Neptune Project
Author: Polly Holyoke
Release Date: May 21st 2013
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.The Neptune Project caught me by surprise. I'd known that it was about a group of kids who were genetically-engineered to survive living underwater, but I had no idea that it was post-apocalyptic/dystopian. That actually made the story so much more interesting, knowing just how desperate the parents of these kids were: enough to risk subjecting them to gene-splicing before they were even born. And the reason for the demise of their world? Something that's already happening to ours.
It was hard to connect with Nere, especially at first, because she sounded so mechanical. But nonetheless, I admired her. She got scared just like the other Neptune Project (I'll shorten that to 'NP' from here onwards) kids, yes, but she always put their safety before her own, even when they were mean to her.
There was action very early on in the book, but the introduction to Nere's life and world confused me. It got even more mind-boggling when the other NP kids who were to become Nere's traveling companions towards the safe haven that her father had built for them were acquainted to the story; I couldn't remember who was who most of the time. And don't even start with the pod of adorable dolphins that, unfortunately, also had names.
The Neptune Project taught me quite a lot about the ocean and the creatures in it. I'm actually scared of the big blue basin, but this book just made me fascinated with it. It also reminded me of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne because reading The Neptune Project also felt like going on an undersea tour. But unlike the classic, this book never got boring.
Incredibly fast-paced and action-packed, The Neptune Project was a great adventure read. The high stakes were made known as soon as the NP kids set off on their journey, and reminders of the danger posed by both humans and sea creatures were constantly given. Although the ending was satisfying enough, it still left a lot of questions that I demand to be answered in a sequel!
MY FAVORITE PART was this:
Dai, I know you mean well, but why would I want to eat something that looks like a giant orange caterpillar, eats sludge all day, and can vomit up its own intestines?Sure cracked me up :))
About the author:
Polly Holyoke has been imagining stories since she was in fifth grade. When she isn’t writing, Polly loves reading, camping, skiing, scuba diving and hiking in the desert (where she quite stupidly got herself bitten by a rattlesnake). She lives with three rescue dogs, two spoiled cats and a nice husband who is tolerant about the piles of books all over their house. Her debut middle-grade novel, THE NEPTUNE PROJECT, is the story of a young girl leading a group of genetically altered teens fighting to survive in the sea. She is thrilled that this novel will be published by Disney/Hyperion and Puffin Books UK summer, 2013. She thinks the best part about being an author is going to work in her sweatpants and getting paid for daydreaming!