Thursday, April 19, 2018

Children of Neptune (Children of Neptune #1) by Makenna Snow | A Book Review

Children of Neptune by Makenna Snow | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I have always been fascinated with mermaids. There's just some haunting yet adorable quality about them. I can't count how many times I have watched Disney's "Little Mermaid". And lately, books about mermaids seem to end up in my arms. This is the second book of three about mermaids that I read this year. I got this one from Netgalley.

So, this is a story of a 16-year old princess. An heir to the throne and is next in line to take over the rule of the kingdom of mermaids. They're in an invisible island protected by Neptunes's power from humans. This princess is Jet. She's homeschooled and is very much protected from the life of ordinary teenagers in their kingdom. Then, out of a suggestion from one of the members of the council, Jet is to join the high school and mingle with the people. This is also a way for the royal family to reach out and appease the people's increasing unease and distrust of the ruling family. To Jet, it's really a challenge because she doesn't know how ordinary teenagers act or what they do for fun. Add to that an assignment his father, the king, had entrusted to her. She had to succeed in it because a lot is at stake.

This is like mythology meets the modern world. It's a fusion of those two things. The story obviously talks about the descendants of Neptune, God of the sea. They're sheltered from humans and yet they also have their own technology which to humans could be compared to the internet and mobile phones. Just because they're from the old world, doesn't mean they have to remain in old era.

It's amusing to watch Jet blunder through high school and learn things all on her own. She has a lot of things to learn and it doesn't help that there's a teacher that's out to make sure that she doesn't succeed. It's more than she bargained for. Like a normal high school, she gets to meet the most popular girl and of course, crushing on the cutest and kindest guy in the campus. Jet has to prove that she's not just a fragile princess and that she too can hold her own even out of her comfort zone or more appropriately a fish out of water.

What I really like about the story is the fact that Jet can talk to animals and she has this really cute pet sable named Peppercorn. The name is even too cute. I can just imagine Peppercorn being cute and cuddly. Jet has the ability to talk to animals and her conversations with Sable are just so hilarious. Listening to their conversations, it would sound like Sable is the older of the two. It seemed like sarcasm is Peppercorn's forte and Jet is not exempted from that. Often, Jet is the target and recipient but it's also evident that these two have a very close and special bond that cannot be questioned. Peppercorn is first and foremost loyal to Jet and she knows how Jet thinks and often, she's like Jet's conscience and her number one motivator. I really like the the relationship of these two.

With regard to the background story and how Jet's people came to be, the author did provide enough background and history for the readers to understand how the kingdom sprang out and how humans didn't even know they exist. And as the story progresses, more information about families, other characters, rivalries and hidden agendas were unveiled. Apparently, envy and the thirst for power is not only a weakness for humans but for Neptune's children as well. 

The Quadrivium. A lot of the things and events in this book happened or is centered in this place. This is their high school. The council has a meeting chamber within the campus also. A lot of whispered conversations and plans are plotted and conspired within its walls. It's halls and rooms are privy to a lot of secrets. 

This story also reminds me of Nancy Drew. Jet being given a special assignment by no less than the king and also because she has a personal stake in the success of the mission. So, like Nancy Drew, Jet has a tendency to stick her nose in places and things bigger than her. Like the young spy, Jet has a very strong instinct and often her gut feel would lead to interesting places and stumble into very unexpected discoveries.

All in all, this is an interesting story with a lot things thrown into the mix. There's mystery and conspiracy. There's myth and then some elements of modern technology also thrown in. It also talks about relationship between parents and children. How some parents wanted to carve a path for their children and these kids have no choice but to strictly follow that path. To stray from it would be tantamount to disloyalty and a disgrace to the name and family. There are also children who try to protect their parents instead of the other way around. So, different parent-child relationships are explored here which is what makes this story relevant to the modern YA readers. I appreciate that even if there are a lot of things happening in this story. The significance of the message about that vital yet fragile relationship between father-daugther or father-son or mother-daughter is not lost in the colorful mythical background and the host of varied and complicated characters. It actually stands out without really giving obvious emphasis to it. 

I give the book 4/5 cute sables. I think there are two things that I love the most about this story. One is Jet's character having to be a princess, a Nancy Drew wanna be and a female version of Dr. Doolittle. So, the clueless princess actually turned out to be something very incredible and not because it's inherent in her. She had to work through most of the things and even had the scratches and bruises to prove them. She's not afraid to earn her place and get her hands dirty, which is actually admirable in a princess. The second thing that shines out of this story is as I have said, the subtle exploration of a parent and a child's relationship. Again, it's not the focus of the story but somehow it finds it's way in the center of things and in the thick of things. It floats out to the surface. It's the common element among the characters. How that relationship plays into the formation of that certain character in this story and how it also contributes to how those characters end up in the last pages of this first book.

Our futures may be mapped out for us, but there's always more than one route to a destination.
- Makenna Snow, Children of Neptune - 

Thank you again, Netgalley and Makenna Snow for the copy.