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The Neptune Project Hardcover – May 21, 2013

99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423157567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423157564
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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 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!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jen on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love love love it! Fantastic characters, wonderful plot - my middle schoolers are going to live this book -, I can't wait for the next - soon please!

Update - my daughter loves it! Several of her friends have read it now too - consensus is : much better than twilight (we like characters who know, yes you are worthy) much better than hunger games, love the under water world - so interesting! Oh, and we really want to see Cam in book two!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Whelan on June 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book! I can't wait to find out what happens next. I would recommend this book to children and adults. I bought a copy for the ten year old boy that I nanny for, he read it in one day and immediately asked if there was a sequel yet. He's an avid reader and he loved it! I bought another copy for my 11 year old niece, can't wait to give it to her! I will let you know what she thinks.
The characters were great, and the book is packed with adventure from start to finish. I can picture it all on the big screen! Please tell me that the next book is coming soon!
Wendy Whelan
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By constance s. searby on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this on Amazon for my 11 year old daughter, who couldn't put it down after starting. I decided to read it as well and it is great. A wonderful book for young girls. The protagonist is strong and smart and a leader, yet girls can relate because she has so much self-doubt that she hides. Great GIRLPOWER!! I'm hoping there is a sequel because we're dying to know what is going to happen to Nere next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lili Lost in a Book on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Neptune Project was just amazing! First of all, I have never read anything like it! I mean, the whole thing basically takes place in the ocean! How cool is that?

The descriptions of the sea were incredibly accurate and were crystal clear in my mind! It was so amazing, it was like I was in the sea myself! I really enjoyed exploring this magnificent underwater world.

There was a lot of action...when it wasn't the government after them, it was other natural, equally scary things.

I thought it was such a great story with the genetic experimentation, teens fighting to survive in a dystopian world, and the underwater setting...it was all just awesome! Another awesome thing: telepathic communication with the dolphins! How cool is that?

It did have some sad moments, though, and then other parts were I literally laughed out loud. But I do love a book with emotion :)

The book also had a lot of different characters. Dai was a complicated character for me...I'm still trying to decide whether I like him or not. Nere was a great character. A great leader and very level headed when it was needed. I adored Robry, he was just an adorable, likable kid! However, because there were so many characters and some of them had similar names and similar personalities, I just had a hard time keeping them all straight. Also, it was never really mentioned how old they were...I vaguely remember the number 14 being mentioned once. And since this is an MG novel that would make sense...

This book was just great! I honestly cannot wait for more! I am very excited to learn more about this project with a Roman god name (LOVE mythology, BTW) and explore more of this beautiful underwater world the author has created.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward on June 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
'The Neptune Project' is a wholly original and unique young adult fantasy/dystopian novel that follows leading lady Nere as she lives in the dystopian future where she struggles to come to terms that she is a part of "The Neptune Project" - one of several children who were genetically engineered to survive in the ocean. Nere and the other children of the project are supposed to help build a better world underneath the water, where the wars and famine of the current earth won't effect them. Now, on top of dealing with the startling news of her origins and destiny, Nere must learn to get along with the aloof Neptune kids, swim hundreds of miles in the ocean in order to reach the undersea colony, and stay ahead of the government who will stop at nothing to get their hands on her and the other Neptune kids.

This was a really fun novel that takes the reader on a journey and adventure that you'll never forget. The plot is completely refreshing and brings a whole new level to the YA genre. It mixes several genres together, including action, fantasy, science fiction, adventure, dystopia, and even some romance - and creates a beautiful novel like none other. The characters were all well written, especially the main character of Nere. She's a typical teenage girl who has health problems and family issues like everyone else, but underneath all of that she is courageous, smart, strong, and resilient. She's also an extremely devoted friend, which shows a lot throughout the book. The plot was totally fresh and original - I've never encountered a novel like this one before. The author did a fantastic job intertwining several genres and story lines to create a wonderful novel that will appeal to fans of all genres and readers of all ages.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Willow on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
THE NEPTUNE PROJECT by Polly Holyoke is a crisply written action adventure with a reluctant, compassionate heroine, young love lost and found, and lost again, with themes of courage, forgiveness, strength of family ties, and ultimately of redemption. As the title suggests, the story takes place at sea. Not on the sea, but in the sea. Without submarines or even scuba gear. It is a futuristic fantasy, and while I admire so many things about this story, one of my favorite aspects is its authenticity. I know that human's can't breathe under water like fish, yet this story is so good, so well told, that I was willing to suspend my disbelief and follow where the storyteller took me. Also aiding the realism is the rich descriptive scenes, coupled with the harsh, serious realities that are a part of this natural world. As beautiful as it is, the ocean is a dangerous place.

Subtly woven into the fabric of the entire story, the haunting question: What are we willing to sacrifice to protect our world and the future for our children, and what is the cost of our actions or inactions? It's a compelling question raised, and THE NEPTUNE PROJECT provides one captivatingly imagined answer. I'm not joking when I say that I truly hope this story is made into a movie. Live action, with someone like James Cameron guiding the way. It would be difficult to produce, yes, but worth it. To me, this story has the feel of X-Men/Hunger Games/Abyss with a touch of the gilly weed scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If these stories are interesting to you, my guess is that you will love THE NEPTUNE PROJECT.
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