The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
London, 2218 A.D. Seventeen-year-old Zee is an intern empath. She’s focused on her job, poised for a great career—until one day an attractive patient undoes her hard-earned calm. As an empath, she cannot afford such distractions, but neither can she stay away from David, even when she discovers he’s one of a mysterious alien race. As London comes under attack by anarchist bombings, and as Zee struggles to get a handle on her unusually strong psychic abilities, David starts pulling away. Although Zee’s sure he’s attracted to her, David has secrets he cannot share. But it’s too late for Zee. She’s losing her heart to the gray-eyed alien boy, and she’s determined to follow him—no matter how far it may take her.
It's always been hard for me to write a review for a book that I feel pretty neutral about. This is definitely the case for Neptune's Tears. It's not a bad book, but it's not mind-blowing either. I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but the summary of the story really caught my eye and the cover is absolutely glorious. I was sure I would love this--and to an extent I did, but I had several issues with the story that took away from my overall enjoyment.
Zee McAdams is an empath. She uses her ability to bring comfort to hospital patients. Her future in her career looks very bright, as she's close to becoming one of the greatest in her unit. As an empath, Zee is forbidden to fall in love. Love and other strong emotions can cause an empath to lose their focus and distract them from their patients. Therein enters David, the alien boy, that she immediately takes interest in. As the city of London begins to fall apart all around her and her empath side struggles to stabilize, Zee must decide where her future lies.
It's the romance that really killed me. I liked the characters, even if I didn't completely understand them and I wanted Zee and David together, but the insta-love was unnecessary. They seemed to be together for like two days and were already declaring love, but that may just be because of how short the novel is… The timeline is a bit sketchy and the pacing obscure, especially when compared to other novels of its genre. While the events that were unfolding were very original and captivating, it all happened too quickly. I don't usually ask for things to drag, but this book definitely needed some fleshing out. Had the author taken her time with the plot and written a couple hundred more pages, I think Neptune's Tears could've easily become one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy novels. The depth is the major issue here. It felt like the author just skimmed the surface.
It's definitely a book that's hard to put down, though. Through all the negatives, I found that I finished the book in one sitting, in a couple of hours. The author composes a truly imaginative story and her writing style really accentuates that. I can't put my finger on what made it hook me in, but Waggoner did it well.
I like sci-fi, but generally the genre lies outside of my comfort zone. I tend to shy away from them, for fear that I won't understand it, or won't love the books as much as the general populace. What really got me about this book is that it is a sci-fi novel that isn't extremely complicated. It's an extremely easy and light read. Because of this, I believe the audience will vary in reader types. I know it won't always be well-received because of the lack of intricacy, but I think it makes for an entertaining read nonetheless.
The ending is extremely abrupt--so much so that I thought my ARC was missing some pages. It's disorienting and annoying because nothing feels settled at that point. I will definitely be continuing the series because based on the first book, I think the author has a lot of talent and I hope that the rest of the series will be as strangely addicting as Neptune's Tears was. This was a good book, that was a just bit short of being great.
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.