Bookish♥Sarah's Reviews > The Athena Effect

The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson
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's review
Sep 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2012, series-read, favorites
Read from October 08 to November 16, 2012

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

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17-year-old Cali has lived her life in hiding. Her parents secreted her away before she was even born. In a secluded cabin in the woods, it's been just the three of them for 17 years. Cali's parents raised her to be self-sufficient and able to defend herself when necessary. The reasoning behind this was kept from Cali, but she's soon going to find out. You see, Cali can see people's auras; the colorful manifestations of emotion and intention that they're feeling. Cali can not only see them, but she can feel them as well.

Cali's parents are taken from her by a tragic accident. Since she isn't of age yet, she's sent to live with her aunt and her sleazeball boyfriend. She's simply biding her time until she turns 18. She then plans to return to the only home she's ever known.

Things begin to change for Cali when she meets Calvin. A bad-boy biker with tattoos on his arm and girls at his feet. When life keeps driving the two together, they slowly become close, and Cali eventually lets Calvin in on her secret. Events unfold that leave Cali and Calvin looking for answers. Together, the two of them start digging to discover the secrets of Cali's past.

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Derrolyn Anderson is officially one of my top 5 favorite writers! I mean, I am already in love with Marina's Tales (her first series, which you should go read like NOW!), but this one blew me away as well! I honestly didn't think anything could live up to how much I love Marina's Tales, but I was wrong. :)

*Possible spoilers ahead!*

The number one thing that always stands out in Anderson's books is her characters. They are colorful and full of life. They are multidimensional and they feel like people you could meet in real life, or know in real life. Cali was simply adorable, yet badass at the same time. She is naïve about certain things, but so very wise about others. She's the perfect balance of hard and soft. Any shortcomings she has can be attributed to the fact that she was raised in seclusion and without the every day things you and I take for granted (hot water, electricity, etc).

Then there's Calvin. Oh my, Calvin! Talk about swoon-worthy! He's definitely got the bad boy thing going on. Tattooed biker, chick magnet, party animal, devil-may-care attitude, etc. And yet, when he meets Cali (or ends up being saved by her, that is) he just melts. He turns into a complete softy. I love stories where a girl turns a bad boy into a pile of mush. :) Those romances are the best romances. And speaking of romance - that part of the story? FAN-TAS-TIC! BRAVO to Ms. Anderson for actually making these two fall in love. No insta-love. AMEN! I felt like dancing a jig! Seriously, though, the romance is done to perfection. Cali and Calvin actually get to know one another before they get serious. They have their quarrels; ups and downs, so to speak, but they get through it. They are a very special couple.

Let's talk about the paranormal aspect of this book. You see, it's not actually paranormal. I mean, it is... but it's thanks to science. This is yet another thing that makes this book stand out. How many Young Adult novels have you read or read about where it goes like this: Girl dies or comes close to death. Girl comes back and can see auras. Girl can't see the aura of one particular guy. Girl and particular guy have INSTA-LOVE. Fight evil, throw in a little angst, yadda yadda. The end. There are A LOT of these books out there. It gets old. The Athena Effect is entirely different. It's on a whole other level. This book is not paranormal; it's science fiction. Cali's abilities come from genetic experimenting. Her parents were involved in this experimenting in their younger years and Cali is the offspring of said experiments. She inherited the ability and her ability is on an enhanced level, and it even develops further as the story progresses. Not only can Cali see and feel auras, she can influence others by projecting her own aura onto them. It's a nifty little trick that ends up being key to getting her and Calvin out of a few predicaments.

There is a bad guy in this book. It's not a demon. It's not a ghost. It's a delusional megalomaniac dubbed Professor Reed. This guy is a freaking fruit loop! He was a very well-written antagonist. I won't give away too much in the way of specifics, but he was involved in the genetic testing that caused Cali's parents (and others) to flee and/or die. He's completely sick in the head. I mean, this guy is SICK SICK. He has this twisted sense of entitlement and decides to kidnap Cali and try to use her for his own plans. This part of the story was where it got really interesting.

Overall, this is a book you really need to read! I loved loved LOVED it. I stayed up all hours of the night to read this one; work or no work. :) The characters are amazing and memorable. The plot is detailed and moves along quickly. There aren't any lulls. The author's writing is beautifully descriptive but isn't overly done so that it takes away from the story. There's romance, action, suspense, humor, emotion, turmoil, and unexpected revelations. The ending was done to perfection! It was left open enough for a sequel (which there is!), but not in the dreaded cliffhanger type way. I definitely recommend this book to sci-fi lovers, YA or not. It's a roller coaster of a story that'll keep you glue to the pages way past your bedtime!

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Book source: from the author for review
Publisher: Self-published
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