Athena EffectWhen Derrolyn Anderson contacted me and asked if I wanted to review her newest book, The Athena Effect, I was beyond elated. I’ve read and reviewed all the books from her first series, Marina’s Tales, and Anderson quickly skyrocketed into the role of one of my top  favorite authors. When Turning Tides ended, I was really sad because I had to say goodbye to many of my favorite characters. Thankfully, The Athena Effect features all new characters to fall in love with! It’s a very strong start to a new series (at least I hope it is going to be a series, I know there is a sequel planned for 2013). I didn’t want to put it down once I started, although life demanded that I do so!

Cal, Meet Cal: The Characters of the Athena Effect

Caledonia, the main character, lived the first 17 years of her life in seclusion, hidden away from the rest of the world by parents who spent every day in fear that someone would come take her away. She grew up without the luxuries that most of us are accustomed to- like hot water, electricity, and pizza- but she learned to be self-sufficient in a way that none of us really need to be. Anyone who can take down a mountain lion definitely deserves a little respect! When Caledonia’s parents die in a tragic accident, she is sent to live with an aunt she’s never met, where she has to constantly thwart her aunt’s boyfriend’s lascivious advances.

Calvin has been living with his brother, Jarod, since his mother died, also in a tragic accidents. While Jarod clearly means well, his lifestyle isn’t exactly conducive to helping raise a productive member of society. Calvin spends his days barely “phoning it in” to finish his senior year, and his nights with countless different girls who mean nothing to him. One night, when he finds himself in danger due to Jarod’s lifestyle, Caledonia ends up rescuing him, and everything changes for both of them.

You would think that having two main characters with the same nickname would make things very confusing, but Anderson actually makes it work to enrich the story. At no point did I find myself wondering just which Cal was talking. Caledonia was typically referred to as “Cali” when the two were together. The similar names made the bond between the two seem even stronger.

The Athena Effect

The title of the novel comes from Caledonia’s special ability: the ability to see auras and manipulate them. While Caledonia uses her ability for good, such as to calm a scared dog or settle Jarod long enough to stitch up an injury, there are those who would prefer to use it for more nefarious reasons. For that reason, her parents kept her hidden and completely off the records for as long as they were alive. Unfortunately, when they die and Caledonia is forced to enter society, she pops up on the radar of those who wish to use her for evil.

In past reviews, I’ve praised Anderson’s ability to completely draw you into a story through her rich, vivid descriptions, and The Athena Effect is no different. As a reader, you get a really good sense of what Caledonia sees and feels when she looks at someone. Even more fascinating, the first part of Caledonia’s ability- the ability to see feelings as colors- is actually a real thing called synesthesia, which is basically a crossing of the areas of brain involved in sensory perception. For example, someone with the ability may smell numbers or see sounds.

The Athena Effect takes it a step further into the realm of paranormal (or perhaps science fiction, it’s really a blend of the two). For those who are a little leery of indie authors (really, get over that all ready!), I assure you that Anderson’s editing is practically flawless in every way. From plot development to character development, from structure to content, even down to the very last punctuation mark, every aspect of her writing and editing is simply awe-inspiring.

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Come back on 9/20/12 and enter to win a copy of The Athena Effect and a gorgeous necklace created by the author to go along with the book.


Book Review: The Athena Effect