Thursday, February 28, 2013

Neptune’s Tears (Timedance #1)

Neptune’s Tears (Timedance #1)
Susan Waggoner
Henry Holt, 2013
$16.99, Hardcover

Genre: Science Fiction
Age: 14+
Description: The year—2218 A.D. The place—London. Zee is a 17-year-old girl who is interning at a hospital as an empath. She really loves her job, especially helping her favorite little old lady, Mrs. Hart, with her therapy where she forms a mental bridge between their minds which allows her to help guide them through their pain. In order to be a really good empath one must be totally focused and Zee is. She’s seen other empaths before her crash and burn when they fall in love (are “pierced”). Zee never thinks that will happen to her until the day that an attractive boy winds up in her ER and she is told to work with him. At first she doesn’t want to believe the feelings that are stirring within her but soon she can’t stay away from the mysterious David, especially when she discovers that he is an alien. Unfortunately, society has varying opinions about alien races. She fears for David’s safety as some people are blaming aliens on a number of anarchist bombings—shock wave bombs which are hard to identify and people only know they’ve been hit with one when their internal organs begin failing—occurring around the city. When she finds out the true meaning behind David’s visit to Earth, will Zee be prepared to love him no matter what?
Opinion: This was a quick read. The chapters were short and the pacing moved fast. I felt that the author did a good job of revealing aspects about Zee’s futuristic world. The science and idea behind the shock wave bombs was very interesting and terrifying at the same time. Of course, here is another science fiction that really a love story. David is, for once, a really genuine nice guy. He’s kind of geeky and fun. However, the whole “falling in love at first sight” thing is unbelievable. The book was too short for the plot to really be fleshed out. I did just discover that it is the first in a series so hopefully future volumes will be more detailed. The one word of warning I do have is that the ARC says it’s for readers 14 and older. However, the writing and structure makes it seem as if it should be aimed at younger tweens. The only reason why I can imagine it is being marketed as for older ages is because there is a very clear sex scene between Zee and David.
Here’s what one of my teens had to say:

Isaac, 15, says, “I liked the circle of jewels on the cover which I believe where meant to represent the Neptune’s Tears mentioned in the book. Unfortunately, the most compelling aspect of the book was the cover. Yes, I was disappointed. The story was slow in the progression of plot and story. I don’t understand why the author couldn’t write longer paragraphs and more coherent sentences. The chapters were also very short. I felt the author was spending so much time on unneeded details, such as the psychic bridge, when she started the book. It lost my attention pretty quickly.”

*Thanks to Emily Waters at Macmillan for providing an ARC of this title for the YA Galley Group project!*

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