Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkins

Neptune's Children Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
It happened when they were at the Isles of Wonder, designed to be the “ultimate theme park.” For them it would soon be their home.

When a mysterious, genetically engineered virus kill all the adults and older teens, the younger teens, children, and infants, have to find a way to live in a world with no parents or any other adult. They have to recreate their own world and new lives. For Josh and his little sister Maddie this means creating their new life where the old one had abruptly ended in the Isles of Wonder Amusement Park.

As the older kids come to terms with the tragedy, they begin to organize and follow the charismatic Milo who steps up as the leader of the Isles along with a core group of kids who volunteer to help him. They create borders and try to protect the Isles from those from the outside who would try to steal what the surviving islanders have. As time progresses, Josh, his new friend Zoe and some of the other islanders begin to wonder if there are other reasons the core insists that they shouldn’t venture out of the Isles.

This novel was terrifying. In a sense it was a modern Lord of the Flies. The thought of infants and small children suddenly left to be raised by older brothers and in some cases complete strangers was a difficult concept. At the same time it was a book that was very hard for me to put down. I had to know what would happen next. I recommend this to anyone who likes books about survival, dystopian futures, or is looking for a quick read.

Cautions for sensitive readers: In the very beginning of this book all the adults die and the kids have to organize the burials for all of the dead while this is not explicitly described it is referred to. There is also violence in this novel. As the teens get older they do form families, and some sex is referred to although there are no explicit details.

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