Book Review: The Athena Effect

The Athena Effect
Published By: Derrolyn Anderson
Publication Date: August 2012
Page Count: 221
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy Romance

The title of this one had me pumped to dive into a new Greek mythology inspired tale, but I soon discovered that this had nothing to do with Greek mythology at all. That doesn't mean it wasn't a good book - it was - it just wasn't what I was expecting at all. It took me a few chapters to adjust my expectations. Eventually you find out what the Athena Effect is and then the title makes sense, but that isn't until one of the final chapters.

I really loved the characters in this one. It took me awhile to get over the fact that both lead characters go by the name Cal. It made for some confusing moments in the beginning, but eventually you don't notice it anymore. 

Caledonia has been virtually hidden away from the world by her parents. She isn't sure exactly why her parents want to live such a reclusive life, but she does know that it has to do with some tragedy from their past. They live off the grid and life is good until a fatal accident changes Cal's life forever. She is forced to leave the solitude of the little cabin in the woods to move in with an aunt she has never met. Cal is forced into mainstream society with little preparation. Watching her struggle against the tide of high school and all of the issues in her new home, saddened me. There were some scenes that were really hard for me to read. My heart broke for this girl; I wanted to see her get her happy ending. She is certainly a dynamic character. Her evolution from a meek girl who hides from the world to a brave badass was one of the best parts of this novel.

The other Cal, Calvin, is the resident hottie bad boy in town. He jumps from girl to girl and is the perfect portrait of a player. He's wild and careless; nothing seems to matter in his world other than the next party. Cal is adrift and has no idea what he wants to do with his life until a chance encounter with Caledonia will change his life forever.

While I loved the characters and the evolving romance, I did find it a bit predictable. It's the same old story we've seen a million times: two kids from different worlds beating the odds to be together. I also was a bit shocked by the level of intimacy in this one. It wasn't badly done, but it isn't something I could recommend to younger teens.

The plot completely took me by surprise. I won't go into details about exactly what Caledonia's gift is, but it is one that I haven't seen done in this way before. It was an interesting element to add to the drama. It was, however, difficult for me to get on board with a new heroine with genetic modifications after just finishing Origin by Jessica Khoury. I wish that I had read this one first or put more distance between the two books.

I think my biggest complaint about this one is that some aspects didn't make sense to me. For example, you know from the beginning that Caledonia's parents are running away from something yet they don't change their names. Their obituaries are what will eventually tip the big baddie off to where their daughter is located. I'm sorry but if you're that afraid, you don't keep the same name. You create a new identity for yourself - one that cannot be traced. Another example is when Caledonia is running from the antagonist and she chooses to hide at Cal's house. Everyone knows how close the two of them are and her aunt has spent a majority of the book getting on her case about their relationship. The aunt knows where Cal lives - it's not a secret - so why would you hide in such an obvious place? 

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel and I am looking forward to the next one. I did appreciate getting a full story in this one; there is enough to leave lingering questions for the next installment, but not so many loose threads to drive me insane. This is a quick, fun read that will appeal to fantasy and paranormal fans. Anderson's prose is easy to follow; she's a strong Indie writer who has a lot of potential.

One Last Gripe: There was a lot of telling in this book. Some of it is necessary to set up this world, but I hope in the next book we get a bit more showing.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The romance and suspense

First Sentence: It was a moonless night, cold and dark.

Favorite Character: Caledonia

Least Favorite Character: Max

Country girl Cali has been kept a secret her entire life, raised in isolation by two very troubled people. Despite her parent’s disturbing fits, Cal is perfectly content, living at one with the nature that surrounds her, and finding adventure inside the pages of her beloved books. When an awful tragedy tears her away from her remote cabin in the woods, nothing she’s ever read has prepared her for a world that she knows very little about.

Girls and motorcycles are what bad-boy Cal’s life is all about. Brought up in a raucous party house by his biker brother, he’s free to do as he pleases, going through the motions on his final days of high school. Aimless, Cal stopped thinking about his future a long time ago.

Attacked by a gang of thugs while running an errand for his brother, Cal is in serious trouble until a fierce girl appears out of nowhere to intervene. She chases off three grown men, sparing Cal a brutal beating before disappearing into the night like a spirit. He can’t stop thinking about his mysterious rescuer, and when she turns out to be the weird new girl at school who goes out of her way to avoid him, he can’t contain his curiosity. 

He’s never met anyone like her before, and the more he learns about the unusual girl who shares his nickname, the more he wants to know. Cal can’t help falling for Cal, but can he keep her from falling victim to a dangerous enemy from her parent’s tragic past?


  1. A really thorough, honest review! I just won a copy of this book, and I'm interested to read it. Glad I read your review :)


    1. I hope you enjoy it. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you've finished it.


Post a Comment

We love your comments!