ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published May 21, 2013. Hyperion. 342 pp.
In this middle grade novel, readers are introduced to a group of kids who have been genetically altered by scientists to survive in the sea. Once transformed, they will never be able to live on land except for very short periods of time. Their world is run by a cruel and corrupt government, global warming has caused famine across the land, cities have disappeared under rising waters, and the only place left to populate is the ocean. This new breed of humans seems to be the only chance for Earth to repopulate itself and rectify the mistakes of the past. They are collectively known as The Neptune Project.
Unfortunately the government has made it their mission to kill or capture these kids and anyone helping them. Nere didn’t know she and hundreds of others had been genetically altered by her scientist parents until she and her friends were forced to flee an invading governmental force. Soon they join up with another group of similar kids and, using telepathy and helped by her dolphin pod, they battle giant squid, sharks, the government’s divers, themselves, and other undersea creatures as they try to make their way across hundreds of sea miles to the safety of her father’s Neptune colony.
“The Neptune Project” was not advertised as a series, however, it definitely is going to have to be a series as it ended with many unanswered questions and mysteries. I doubt any writer will leave a book with so many unanswered questions and not return to answer them in another book.
Readers may want to fling the book across the room just as I did once they reach the end and find out nothing has been settled. I give you permission to do so, but at least I warned you it was a series. I was not given that opportunity before I started reading it.
Excellent for adventure, ocean and dolphin lovers aged 12-15.