Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Talk - THE NEPTUNE PROJECT by Polly Holyoke

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.

Nere has never been able to run with her few friends, or spend too much time on the sun-drenched beaches of the Western Collective. Her asthma limits her physically, and her reliance on sunglasses (a hard to find luxury) leaves her squinting everywhere she goes. But when the Western Collective Marine Unit soldiers move against the fisherman of her small beachside town for failing to provide enough fish for the landlocked citizens, Nere learns her inabilities exist for a reason.

Her scientist father and mother spliced her genes with fish genes when she was young, along with the children of other renegade scientists involved in an illegal experiment called The Neptune Project. Believing that humankind had ruined the land of earth, these scientists chose their children to build the next step in human habitation - the sea.

Breathing water and peering through kelp fields does not come easily, but Nere is with friends she's always trusted - dolphins. Maya and her pod can keep Nere and her follow Neptune kids somewhat safe by letting them know when Marine Guard boats are nearby as the government flushes them out of their caves, determined to eliminate the illegals.

Nere's never had a lot of friends on land, and fitting in with the other Neptune kids isn't as easy as she'd hoped. Personalities clash as their group grows, and when Nere is elected leader of their group because of her abilities to telepath with the dolphins, she realizes it might be a good thing she's kept herself at arm's length from the other girls, and been cool to the advances of more than one boy.

Her decisions as leader can mean life or death as they traverse the ocean amid soldiers, sharks... and a few other experiments that not-so-ethical scientists have created.

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