Title: The Athena Effect
Author: Derrolyn Anderson
Published: August 30, 2012, independently
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi thriller
17-year-old Cal has grown up in isolation, only having social contact with her deeply troubled parents. After they die in a tragic car accident, she is sent to live with her aunt in the city. She experiences new things she'd only ever read about, and much more that she could never even imagine.
She even thinks there may be something growing between her and a boy from school.
But she has a special ability she's never told anyone about: she can sense and manipulate people's emotions. She soon discovers the origin of her abilities, and that she has never been in as much danger as she is now.
YES. I can FINALLY cross "Finish that book that is currently sitting patiently in my Kindle library and review it ASAP because the author kindly asked me to and DAMMIT WOMAN, WHY ARE YOU SUCH A SLOW READER??!?" off of my To-Do list.
Dear Derrolyn, author of the book I am about to review: I AM SO SORRY for taking so freakin' long to finish The Athena Effect. It's been like, what?, over a month since you first requested I review it? I completely understand if you were thinking "Dammit, when's that blogger gonna give me my dern review?" the whole time. I am entirely to blame for that.
I have excuses!! Lame ones, yes, as most excuses are, but I still feel this burning desire to explain myself. Hmm....Wonder why...
Yeah, so, I downloaded The Athena Effect from Smashwords. Yay! ....But I don't have a Kindle. I only have the Kindle PC app, so you can imagine it wasn't exactly the most portable book I've ever read. *Sigh*
AND: I am a naturally slow reader. If I'm reading a book that totally sucks, I read really slow to try and ease the pain of the torturous task of finishing whatever sad excuse for literature that I happened to pick up. And if I'm reading a fantastic, amazing, breathtaking novel, I read especially slowly to savor the magical words. So, yeeaahhh....
Anywho, I am, once again, REALLY sorry. To make up for it, I promise to write a long, extensive, no-nonsense, to-the-point review, and not one of those crappy, "Was good, you should read it" type reviews that are only a sentence or two in length. Pfff.....I do not do anything half-assed (unless, of course, I feel like it; in which case, I never do my half-assedness half-assed....)
And Martha: I'M SUCH A BAD CO-BLOGGER!!! *sobs uncontrollably* My last review was for Unspeakable Evil, and that was AGES ago (2 weeks, to be exact). THIS SHALL NOT BECOME A HABIT, I SWEAR MY FAVORITE FLUFFY STUFFED BUNNY ON IT!!
Let the review commence:)
So one day I get an email from Martha saying that an author named Derrolyn is requesting that I read and review her novel. I think, "What the heck, I don't have a life anyway. Why not take on another book? (because I read, like, 20 simultaneously)." I say yes, and then I get the book (free!:D) from Smashwords, download it to my Kindle app...And then it just sits there. For about a week. And then I'm like, "Ohhhh, better start that book now." I read the first chapter or so, and then stop for probably another week. And then for the next two weeks I'm reading it bit by bit. Over a MONTH after I got the book, I'm less than 20% done with it.
So then, I give myself a serious talking-to (with raised voices and b*tch slaps; you know, the works) and then I sit my butt in my chair and force myself to finish this book because goshdarnnit, I AM DETERMINED LIKE THAT.
At about 25 or 30% into the book, I get totally hooked. Which is completely weird for me because I hate most romances. They are usually really dumb, badly written, clichèd beyond imagination, or any number of awful things. But this one, I must say: I am impressed. Especially because it's an indie book, and a lot of indie books I've read are just, well....let's just say they were really sad.
Okay, so the very basic plotline (I'll try to avoid spoilers) is as follows: A completely isolated girl named Cal is living in the woods with her whacked-out, but loving, parents. And she is blessed/cursed with a special gift. She can see people's auras, basically; she can sense what they are feeling (it's color-coded!:P) and ultimately manipulate their emotions.
It really is a very useful tool.
But then, one tragic day, her parents die in a car crash and, well, she can't very well live on her own, can she? Nope. Child protective services, being the ignorant b*stards they are, ship her off to live with her idiotic aunt and her predatory and rarely sober boyfriend (who sexually harrasses Cal too, by the way O_O).
Yeah, so, life sucks. She has to attend public school, everyone thinks she's a freak (naturally), a bunch of horomonal teen drama, I-hate-my-life, I-wanna-run-away, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah...
And then a biker womanizer named Cal (yes. His name is Cal too.) gets introduced, and that's as far as I'm going. A romance ensues and more stuff in the story about Cal's (girl Cal, of course) weirdo powers and crap.
Wow, I suck at summarizing. Whatevs.
I was surprised at how well-written this story is. Normally, when I take on the task of reading and reviewing indie books, I try to lower my standards to an indie-book setting, instead of my book standards for regular books. Why? Indie authors have only had their stuff read by friends and family. An agent, editor, publisher, advance-readers, etc, have not read it like they would a paper-print book. These independently published books have not recieved professional critique, and where the heck am I going with this? Everyone already knows this. Why am I explaining it??
Bleeeeeeeasdhasdfrsgsjgbjsb....It's 3:30am right now. My brain is a giant puddle of cells screaming at me with their dying breath: "GO THE HELL TO BED SO WE CAN LIIIIIVE, DAMMMMMIIIIIITTTT!!!!!!"
Yeah, anyway, let's finish this ASAP. The Athena Effect was so well-written, structured in just the right way...Derrolyn, this could definitely make it in the book publishing industry, in an actual paper-printed version. I kid you not: this is the best independently published book I have ever read.
One thing I would have liked was a bit more character development with the aunt and her boyfriend, Angie and Phil. But I can also see how that's unecessary, seeing as they aren't exactly the most important characters in the book.
Overall, The Athena Effect blew through all of my expectations (which, admittedly, were pretty low in the first place, but we're going to ignore that fact, 'kay?) and was pretty satisfying. I am actually finding myself wanting to read the sequel, The Mackenzie Legacy.
More, Derrolyn, more!! Brava, you have impressed me with your literary capabilities. Continue on, madamoiselle.
If you are a fan of YA romance, definitely check The Athena Effect out. If you absolutely and utterly despise YA romance, well, then, read it anyway. DOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOIT... -Hannah
I've rated The Athena Effect: