Monday, September 29, 2014

A Vintage Reads Review: The Princess of Neptune


The Princess of Neptune by Quentin Dodd, September 14, 2004. 224 pages. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux. Source: library.
Theora Theremin needs a subject for her science project and at the last minute decides to practice the scientific method to determine whether the storied local lake monster, Big Phil, is real or not. While studying the water's surface in the company of her pesky younger brother, Verb, she finds herself witnessing the emergence, not of a prehistoric creature, but of the submarine of the world-famous scientist Dr. ubermind. It is merely the first of many unusual meetings that ensue, as Theora and Verb find themselves whisked away to Burger Buckeroo, where the manager, a giant cockroach from the moon who's also an aspiring journalist, enlists Theora to enter the Cavalcade of Loveliness, an intergalactic beauty pageant being held on Neptune. When they reach this far planet, things grow ever stranger as Theora is enlisted to hunt down the Beast of the Mall and then to help stop her very own science teacher from his diabolical plan to rule the universe's pop music charts.
The laughs keep coming in this science fiction comedy, which sends up everything from fast food franchises to Jonny Quest
First Sentence:
"Miss Theremin?"


This book was pretty weird from start to finish. But, the weirdness of the whole book is probably why I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was just interesting in a different kind of way.

The Princess of Neptune was one of those books that just leaped off the library shelf and begged to be read. While I only checked out the cover before deciding to give it a try-I like to live dangerously when picking library books-I found it to be quite enjoyable as the author's quirky sense of humor permeated the entire book.
   So, the question remains why did I pick up Quentin Dodd's book from the library, well, the cover was interesting and sparked my curiosity as to what the book could be about. In the end though, I stuck around because the story made me want to know how things would end for Theora, and whether or not they would be about to save the day. It was just plain fun.

Besides being a fun read, one of the things that made this a good book was the plot. As crazy impossible as the plot was, that of Theora and her brother Verb being kidnapped so that she could participate in an intergalactic beauty pageant. If that weren't odd enough, add in the a scientist and his research team to the mix and things get even stranger-didn't think it was possible.
   But, as odd as the plot-line was, I enjoyed it because Theora was an interesting character and because I wanted to see how she and her allies would prevent the nefarious plan of an intergalactic popstar wannabe. While some of the plot ends were odd, I thought the author did a great job making it worth reading about. Seriously, the book could have been a big miss with all the space pageant-and it's weirdly amusing pageant challenges-but it just all came together to make for interesting reading.

Quentin Dodd's writing was pretty good and one of the reasons I continued on when things to a left turn towards strange-ville. I enjoyed his writing for two reasons; the first being that he does a great job of creating an unlikely scenario and making it work, the second being that he was able to capture the spirit of Theora so well. His writing is both fun and quick paced which made this one easy to blaze through...also didn't hurt that I was oh so curious to see where the story would go.

What I ended up enjoying most about The Princess of Neptune would have to be Quentin Dodd's writing and the crazy plot. Both of these things made the book very enjoyable and one that I do not regret randomly picking up from the library. It was just the right dash of funny and outlandish and a great book to throw into the summer mix for reading.

The least likeable thing about this book...hmm... for me, it was predictable to the max. As has been the case lately, I was able to quickly figure out the little secrets tucked away within the plot. So, yeah, it is definitely an easy read, but still quite enjoyable.

Final Verdict: The Princess of Neptune- Perhaps the strangest book one will stumble upon...but well worth reading sue to great writing and interesting characters.

The Princess of Neptune earns-

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