The Neptune Project

The Neptune Project

4.7 34
by Polly Holyoke
     
 

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Nere has never understood why she feels so much more comfortable and confident in water than on land, but everything falls into place when Nere learns that she is one of a group of kids who—unbeknownst to them—have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of "The Neptune Project" will be able to build a better future under the sea,…  See more details below

Overview

Nere has never understood why she feels so much more comfortable and confident in water than on land, but everything falls into place when Nere learns that she is one of a group of kids who—unbeknownst to them—have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of "The Neptune Project" will be able to build a better future under the sea, safe from the barren country's famine, wars, and harsh laws. But there are some very big problems: no one asked Nere if she wanted to be a science experiment, the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim through hundreds of miles of dangerous waters, relying only on their wits, dolphins, and each other to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids...dead or alive. Fierce battles and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friends race to safety in this action-packed aquatic adventure.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Holyoke keeps her prose well-pitched to her audience...this suspenseful, undersea dystopia should keep middle schoolers hooked."—Kirkus Reviews

the book revels in the beauty of the underwater world and the creatures that inhabit it. The relationship between the teenagers and the dolphins-who actually become characters themselves-is especially well crafted. The Neptune Project will attract male and female readers.—VOYA

Children's Literature - Barbara Troisi
Thirteen-year-old Nere Hanson does not do well on land—she is a misfit who struggles with weak eyesight, burning lungs, shortness of breath, and lack of endurance. Put her into an aquatic setting and she is akin to the sea and her dolphins to whom she communicates using inherited telepathy. Her marine biologist parents anticipated early on that the life-threating Western Collective government directives were deteriorating their world. An alarming edict prompted them to genetically transform their daughter Nere, and friends Lena and Robry, to be able to survive in the ocean. This action-packed science fiction title unleashes the Neptune Project, a futuristic sea adventure consisting of twelve young "teen-mates" and a pod of dolphins that battle to survive in order to reach the underwater Safety Harbor. Excitement, fear, and even humor abounds as one creates images of their (altered but still human landlife) features and adaptation to daily seaworthy endeavors—diet, rest, health, recreation, communication, relationships, and training. The author's action-packed descriptions of strategies and combat are filled with suspense, characterizing the value of trust and leadership developed amongst the team. Readers can sense the impact of environmental changes (global warming, pollution, species extinction) and mutant alien gangs, even as the troop journeys to their destination. Realistic descriptions of sea creatures and seascapes add authenticity to the adventure. Communication between the altered team and dolphins is identified with colons in the text. Spotlight this title by reading one of its brief thrill-a-minute chapters or use it as a read-aloud. This unique innovative encounter in an underwater world is sure to grab readers' attention! Reviewer: Barbara Troisi
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
Nere feels like a freak with her pale skin, thick glasses, and weak lungs. She would rather swim with the dolphins her scientist mother studies than spend time on land with kids her own age. When an authoritarian government commands her village to move inland, Nere finds out how different she truly is—her parents biologically engineered her to live underwater. Now she is suddenly living in the sea with a group of kids she has never met before, facing dangers from both the open ocean and humans bent on capturing them. But for an outcast like Nere, the greatest challenge of all might be fitting in with her fellow mutates and learning how to lead them. At first The Neptune Project seems like yet another young adult dystopian knockoff: autocratic government, genetically altered teens—we have seen it before. But after a slow start, it suddenly turns into an adventure novel. Almost every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, forcing the reader to flip the page for more. In addition, the book revels in the beauty of the underwater world and the creatures that inhabit it. The relationship between the teenagers and the dolphins—who actually become characters themselves—is especially well crafted. There is even a touch of romance when Nere becomes the object of a romantic rivalry between two boys—quiet, reliable Tobin and sarcastic, daring Dai. With both romance and adventure, The Neptune Project will attract male and female readers. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 6–8—In this dystopian adventure, Earth can no longer sustain life in many places and the United States has devolved into a totalitarian government. Nere lives by the ocean and has always had an affinity for water. She thinks nothing of her comfort with the sea until the day her mother breaks the news that Nere is a product of a genetic-mutations experiment called the Neptune Project. Now the government wants to close down the project and kill all involved. Nere and two other children are given injections that finalize their mutations and enable them to breathe water. Their journey through the ocean to asylum isn't easy, but with some help from Nere's telepathically linked dolphin friends and other Neptune Project victims the kids just might make it-if they can stop quarreling among themselves. This is an enjoyable book, with lots of adventure, suspense, and underwater scenes. The novel hits the target audience right between the eyes on "hot button" issues, especially global warming and its consequences, but should be popular with readers who are looking for a slightly different dystopian adventure or those who just dream of living in the ocean and playing with dolphins.—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Several centuries after global warming has devastated the planet, a tyrannical government has taken control of the West Coast of America. In a small seaside community in what was Southern California, Nere lives with her scientist mother and a pod of trained dolphins. Unbeknownst to Nere, her parents have genetically engineered her and several other children to breathe under water so they can live free there someday. When the government announces its intention to move the entire community inland, Nere's mother finishes the alterations on the children and sends them away into the sea, where they will try to join Nere's father's colony for these new "Neptune children." Nere and her friends, along with their friendly dolphins, must make their way there under the sea while fighting sharks and avoiding capture by government forces. They communicate telepathically, and Nere is even able to talk with the dolphins. Together with other Neptune children from Southern California, they head north, hiding and fighting all the way. Holyoke keeps her prose well-pitched to her audience, providing enough violence and even death to create suspense but muting it appropriately. She creates an interesting and diverse set of characters, including the dolphins. The science-fiction elements are nothing new, but they are built on good information about oceanography. This suspenseful, undersea dystopia should keep middle schoolers hooked. (Science fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423179719
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Series:
Single Title (One-Off)
Sold by:
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE -EBKS
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
163,638
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Polly Holyoke grew up in Colorado, where she spent her childhood skiing, camping, reading, and dreaming up fantastical stories. Polly went on to graduate from Middlebury College and become a middle school social studies teacher. She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband and their two daughters, as well as two cats, two Chihuahuas, and a Beagle.

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