From School Library Journal
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, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper