Reviews for Neptune Project


Booklist Reviews 2014 February #2
Here is a dystopian novel with a neat underwater twist. Nere and her mother, Gillian, live in a world almost destroyed by global warming and under the thumb of a totalitarian government, the Western Collective. Still, Nere can concentrate on her passion for dolphins (with whom she can telepathically communicate) until the ax falls. First, the government decides to move the residents of her area away from the sea. Then, Nere learns that she has been part of the Neptune Project. Gillian has altered Nere's genes so that she can be one of the first humans to live entirely underwater. With relocation imminent, Nere is given an injection that finishes her transformation. But no one has taken into account Nere's wishes. Feeling betrayed, Nere isn't sure that she wants to participate, nor does she want to swim across the sea to join the rest of the colony. Although the writing is pedestrian, the adventure element is a real draw. That Nere can experience regular kid situations throughout all of this--friend issues, parental problems--makes the story relatable, even if her best pals are (totally terrific) dolphins. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
In a devastated post global warming country overtaken by a tyrannical government, Nere and her classmates, known as the Neptune children, are genetically altered to survive underwater and create a new human colony beneath the ocean. This fast-paced science fiction adventure with well-developed characters offers a vivid and exciting oceanic setting complete with villains, dangerous sea creatures, and protective dolphin friends.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 October
This book plunges young readers into intense action and mystifying science fiction tinged with dystopian themes. The government has forced people to move inland and labor in work camps. Gillian conducts a science experiment with her teenage daughter Nere that genetically changes Nere's body to live and breathe underwater. Youth all over the country have been genetically altered and they must swim treacherous open waters to evade the grasp of the government's marine guard. Holyoke describes the ocean so that readers experience the vast and frightening scope of this new world. Additionally, Holyoke wonderfully illuminates Nere's intricate transformation and delightfully incorporates telepathy for underwater communication. Nere attempting to survive in a new home keeps young readers entertained. Holyoke has composed a magnificent novel that explores significant themes of survival, global warming, and community. Brad Veeder, Graduate Student, SUNY New Paltz, New York. RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 December

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

[Page 115]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2013 June
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.--Cheryl Clark 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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