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Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin
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Neptune's Children

by Bonnie Dobkin

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It's like Lord of the Flies in Disneyworld. It also reminded me of Cory Doctorow's work. Not just Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, but "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" too.

It's a shame they whitewashed the cover, because the racial and ethnic diversity is pretty good. At least in comparison to other things. Two thousand kids and no mention of anyone with a disability. Older kids hooking up, with no hint that any of them are or could be gay.

While there are female characters with important roles, it's still the boys who have _the_ important roles in the story, including being the main character. Sigh.

Still, it actually struck an emotional chord with me at the beginning. You're in this Magic Kingdom analog and suddenly all the adults drop down dead. That's a pretty powerful image. ( )
  Jellyn | Aug 14, 2013 |
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

Nothing is more perfect than a family trip to an amusement park. Josh and his family find themselves at Isles of Wonder. They are celebrating the remission of his younger sister Maddie's cancer. When asked how she wants to celebrate, she answers how most kids would respond: "I want to go to Isles of Wonder!" Off they go.

Unbeknownst to Josh's family and the rest of the world, a plague has been created by an unknown group. The virus was released from thousands of locations simultaneously around the globe. Though the creators had inoculated themselves from the virus, the virus spontaneously mutates and annihilates all the adults in the world. The virus seems to have spared anyone under about the age of fourteen.

As the adults around the world start dropping, the children at Isles of Wonder are alone and unprepared. The single voice of King Neptune bellows through the PA system in the park. "Everyone on the islands. If you can hear me, come to the palace." Slowly, all the children band together at the center of the amusement park. Milo, the voice behind King Neptune, appears, and starts creating a new society based on survival. Many of the children in the park had parents that worked for Isles of Wonder. All the knowledge that each has is shared and a community is formed with jobs and responsibilities.

In time, some members of the community are unsatisfied. Lights have been spotted outside in the distance and it is time to venture beyond their safe haven. But Milo has other plans, and those with doubts are soon considered rebels and forced to hide.

Eventually a confrontation must occur, with one side being victorious. Unexpected alliances develop and strategies are formed. Who will be supreme in the end?

Ms. Dobkin's NEPTUNE'S CHILDREN brings to mind the classic ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell. A new society forms with all the best intentions of things being perfect. But, as we all know, there is no perfect society and humanity will take over. NEPTUNE'S CHILDREN is a fascinating look at how the best intentions soon turn bad, and those fighting for good must prevail. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
Set in a park that sounds extraordinarily like Disney World, this story of a terrorist attack with a deadly virus that wipes out everyone over the age of 14. Now the children are alone and must rebuild the world by themselves. An updated version of Lord of the Flies that leads the reader to take a second look at how adults come to power and run things. ( )
  dbanna | Sep 12, 2009 |
Someone created a deadly virus.Someone let it loose on their enemy.Someone didn’t realize how powerful it was.The creators didn’t know that the virus would spread and kill everyone in its path. Including themselves. The virus killed everyone except for the children.On a day like any other, families made their way to the Isles of Wonder. The Isles of Wonder is a gigantic theme park consisting of five islands, each specializing in a certain type of entertainment. The kids that showed up on this particular day didn’t realize they would have to call it home after their parents and older siblings dropped dead in the middle of the park without warning.Josh, along with his sister Maddie, are just two of the thousands of children left wandering the islands alone after the catastrophe. It takes a couple of days for them to snap out of the shock of losing their parents and older sister, but when a voice booms from the top of the Palace calling everyone to listen, Josh and Maddie go to listen to what the speaker has to say. Milo, whose father used to be in charge of the sound system at the Isle of Wonder decides it’s time to get people organized. Taking on the persona of King Neptune, he attempts to enlist vounteers to serve as a committee to make decisions for the larger group. Soon, children are pulling together to dispose of the dead bodies, take care of the children that are too young to care for themselves, and make sure there is enough food and supplies to last them a long time.Everything seems to be working. People are getting along, no one is going hungry, and kids are working themselves into a comfortable rhythm of day to day tasks. But, the question that many people have is, “What is outside the park?” When Josh and his friend Zoe witness lights in the distance, they decide to tell Milo, hoping he’ll put together a scouting party to see if there is anyone else alive. Can everything stay perfect in their fairy tale world? Will King Neptune allow people to leave the Isle of Wonder? How far will people go to remain in power?NEPTUNE’S CHILDREN is a fascinating page-turner. The author creates a relatively safe world for the setting. The children never face hunger, lack supplies, or have to deal with harsh weather. The story relys on the interactions between the characters. Josh, the main character, isn’t always in the core group of decision makers, so the reader has to suffer right along with him when he doesn’t know what is going on around the park.NEPTUNE’S CHILDREN would be a good suggestion for someone who enjoyed GONE by Michael Grant. There are many similarities. GONE is just categorized as a fantasy and involves supernatural elements whereas NEPTUNE’S CHILDREN does not. This is a great choice for anyone that enjoys the post-apocalyptic/survival genre. ( )
  kperry | Jul 3, 2009 |
I wasn't real sure at first about this book. Definitely for a little bit older crowd. I really enjoyed this book and could not wait to see what happened next.
This book runs along the lines of Lord of the Flies with a modern twist. Deals with biological warfare and what no one expects.
This book is not for the faint-hearted, but definitely a good read. ( )
  lyrysa | Apr 4, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802797342, Hardcover)

A day at the fabled amusement park Isles of Wonder turns deadly when a world-wide biological attack kills every adult, leaving behind only the kids to fend for themselves. Isolated from the world, unsure of what lies ahead, the young survivors assemble under the statue of King Neptune, the mythical ruler of the Isles, to form a new society.  Led by the children of the park workers, they choose to remain closed off from the outside world living relatively comfortably inside the self-contained park. But when violence from the infested outside world appears to infiltrate their safe zone, one small group discovers a secret society and a hidden system of underground tunnels, and the stage is set for a war that will determine the future of everyone on the Isles.

As alliances are formed and broken, readers will find themselves taking sides in this suspenseful adventure story that addresses the duality of human nature.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:51 -0400)

When a biological terrorist attack kills all adults on Earth, children stranded at an amusement park work together to survive, led by Milo whose father was an engineer there, but when new threats arise and suspicions grow, rebellion erupts.

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