June 24, 2013

The Neptune Project Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on The Neptune Project blog tour! Today I have an exclusive excerpt from the book, my review, and don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway!

The Neptune Project
Author: Polly Holyoke
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopia
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Buy Link: 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 wake to an urgent tap at my window. My heart thudding, I sit bolt upright in bed. The night is hot and still.

I push my sweaty hair away from my face and try to ignore the twist of fear in my gut. But no one brings good news at this late hour. I slip from my bed and peer cautiously through my window.

Cam is standing outside, his dark eyes shadowed. "The Marine Guard just sank Jac's boat. We need the dolphins to look for survivors. Are you in?"

"Gillian will kill me if she finds out." My mother hates smugglers, but some of them are Cam's friends.

"Please? They might still be alive."

"Fine." I sigh. "Just a minute." I step into my boat shoes but don't bother to change out of my faded black shorts and my brother's old brown shirt. Dark clothes are good for tonight's work. I wriggle through the small window headfirst.

When I get stuck, Cam helps pull me the rest of the way.

"Thanks, Nere. I owe you one, " Cam says as he steadies me on my feet. His hands are rough from hauling lines and nets on his father's fishing boat. The silver light fro a slim crescent moon highlights his black curly hair and the strong planes of his face.

I want to tell him he doesn't owe me anything, but already he's turning away and jogging down the steep, winding path that leads to the dolphin dock and fishing pier in the harbor below. I can feel the day's relentless heat still radiating from the dirt and gravel beneath my feet.

"Let's take Gillian's zode," I tell Cam breathlessly as I hurry to catch up with him. He looks back at me like I'm crazy.

"There's no wind tonight," I explain. "It'll take forever to get there in your sailboat."

"Gillian will kill us if she finds out." Cam flashes me a grin.

"Well," I say, panting, "it's nice to know I'll have company when my mother murders me."

At the next turn in the path, my chest starts to tighten and burn. Please, not now. This is the worst possible moment for my useless lungs to fail me.

"I'm sorry. I need to go slower," I have to admit after three more steps.

Cam stops and looks at me searchingly. "Are you all right?"

"Yes," I grit. "I just have to walk this last stretch."

"I'll run ahead and get the zode ready."

"I need to call Mariah. Where did Jac's boat go down?"

"Just off Reynard Point." Then Cam's away, racing down the final switchback with a healthy speed that makes me jealous. I breathe slowly and carefully, trying to relax the muscles in my chest. I have a breather in my pocket that I can use if I have a full-scale lung attack, but I only have three doses of the precious lung med left.

I reach out with my mind to contact the dolphins. I hope they aren't too far away.
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. The writing itself was incredibly well done with a quick pace and effortless flow to the book that had me flying through the pages. Definitely recommended for YA fans of all genres!

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!

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  1. Nice excerpt & great review. Thanks for participating!

  2. I can't wait to read this! I already had it on my Goodreads TBR list :)