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Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Neptune Project Blog Tour {Review, Dream Cast, Giveaway}


I'm so excited to have The Neptune Project stopping by today with my review, my dream cast picks, and a blog tour wide giveaway...

The Neptune Project
by Polly Holyoke
5/21/13
Disney Hyperion
Purchase: Amazon

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 an ARC of this title from the pub in exchange for my honest review)

Polly Holyoke makes a fantastic splash with her middle-grade debut The Neptune Project! Part dystopian, part sci-fi, and overflowing with adventure, action, and suspense, this middle-grade read kept me captivated for hours.

Nere Hanson lives in a grim dystopian future where the Earth has been ravaged by global warming and humans lack of care. Nere has always felt like a freak, with her super pale skin, weak lungs, and telepathic abilities, but she learns that she's special. Nere and her companions were genetically altered to be able to live in the sea, and when the corrupt government finds out what Nere's scientist parents have done, she and the other altered kids must take to the sea and travel hundreds of miles to an underwater safe haven. Guarded by her beloved dolphins, Nere and her companions must face dangers, like sharks and the government divers after them, and fight to survive.

The Neptune Project was such a fun, fantastic middle-grade read! Holyoke as crafted a truly original and unique dystopian/sci-world and has done so wonderfully. With superb underwater world-building, an exciting plot, and great characters, The Neptune Project is sure to please readers of all ages.

The thrills, chills, and twists are plentiful and the underwater setting makes for an endlessly exciting and unpredictable story. I have one issue with this book, which I'll get out of the way first, and that is the world-building outside of the ocean. Nere obviously lives in a dystopian future where the seas have risen, the air is polluted, the government is corrupt, and important wars have taken place, but I don't feel like we are given enough history or backstory regarding how and why the world has become like it is. We're pretty much plopped right into Nere's world and I would have appreciated a little more information. But that aside, the underwater world-building is superb, and 95% of the book takes place in the ocean, so this world-building is the most important.

Holyoke has clearly done her oceanography research and it shows in the realistic underwater world she has created. This ocean landscape is breathtakingly vivid and detailed; every smell, sound, taste, and color jumps off the page. I felt completely immersed in this beautiful, mysterious, and thrillingly dangerous world. This underwater world is full of mesmerizing beauty, wondrous mysteries, and terrifying dangers, and I love that Holyoke doesn't hold anything back when painting this world. This is a world that will simply enchant and enthrall young readers.

There's a great diverse group of characters that includes humans and dolphins. Each of the characters brings something worthwhile and interesting to the table and together they create an eclectic, amusing bunch. Nere is a wonderful heroine, full of curiosity, intelligence, bravery, and compassion. I really enjoyed watching her grow throughout the story and become a capable leader. Nere gets a few cute boys to interact with (I'm totally Team Tobin), and the romantic elements are very innocent and appropriate for the book's audience. I really loved all the dolphins and how each is given their own personality, and the way they interacted with the altered kids.

I was pleasantly surprised to find how intensely suspenseful The Neptune Project is. The action-packed plot, electrifying dangers, and wicked chapter cliffhangers kept me on the edge of my seat and turning pages with gusto until the very end.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Polly Holyoke had me completely hooked with this excellent midle-grade adventure. The Neptune Project has enough action, scares, romance, and awesome underwater world-building to keep even the pickiest readers entertained. This would make a fantastic summer read for all ages!

MY RATING
Polly Holyoke
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 middlegrade 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!


I've been given the fun task of picking a dream cast for some of the characters in The Neptune Project. Here are some of my picks...

Willow Shields as "Nere"

Madison Pettis as "Lena"

Cameron Boyce as "Robry"

Connor Jessup as "Tobin"

Ryan Potter as "Dai"

What do ya think of my dream cast choices?!

Win a finished copy of 
The Neptune Project!
(blog tour wide giveaway, US only)
You can enter below

2 comments:

Shane Morgan said...

Great review & casting :)

Thanks for participating!

Molli Moran said...

This book sounds really cool! I've been wanting to read a few MG titles, so I think I'll add it to my TBR. I like the premise, and it's awesome you found it to be such a good read, Aiecha. Too bad some of the above-water world building was such a let-down, but 4 stars is still great! Whoo-hoo!