The Athena Effect (The Athena Effect, #1)
by Derrolyn Anderson
Published August 30, 2012 as e-book
Buy at on Amazon
4.9 STARS (5 STARS ON GOODREADS)
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?
Sorry, I may be awhile since I am picking up the pieces of my blown mind off the floor.
That was fan-FREAKING-tastic! Before I start gushing about how amazing this book is, I'll start with my two critiques which kept me from giving it five stars. The beginning was hard to get into due to a really slow pace. It was slightly confusing and the characters did not jell until several chapters in. The other was a gotcha scene that I felt was really obvious. That's it. OK, now to the good stuff...
Yummy yummy to my tummy... the ENTIRE cast of characters are rich, ripe, dense and multi-layered... like a piece of gourmet chocolate cake or something you'd see on Food Network. This brew was completely satisfying and left a great aftertaste. I ate the whole thing up in one sitting! (Of course I sprained my ankle and have a cold so I'm stuck to the couch but still...) I was completely enthralled by Anderson's ability to create detailed character development. Cal is so delicious! Wow. He goes from standard bad boy cliche to a dynamic and multifaceted young man. Anderson opens a portal so can we see the underling issues and feel the emotions that caused the before and after. Cali is the perfect blend of innocence and sass, brilliance and naivete, bravery and shyness.
Cali learns that she has certain abilities and further develops them throughout the story. You may be thinking... another character with certain sensory abilities? But it is as far from ULTRAVIOLET as you can get. It's like comparing TWILIGHT with VAMPIRE DIARIES... too completely different kettles of fish. So rest assured that this novel is completely unique.
The love story is achingly real and tangible. I honestly felt their emotions as if I was living through the events myself. That is hard to accomplish and my hat goes off to Anderson. It warmed my soul that the pace of their relationship was... gasp.. long! Cal and Cali's relationship was set at a normal pace.. it flowed and wasn't the usual YA supersonic flight pace. It felt right. As I got to know Cal and Cali, the more I fell in love with them and their relationship. For me, it took over as the most important element of the story ahead of her abilities. Reading along to Morgan Page's FIGHT FOR YOU on my iPod really helped set the mood as well. I think I cleaned out every box of tissues in the house.
NOTE: I found this to be more NA than YA due to the life situations and content, so I would recommend this to 17 and older.
Every element mixed together seamlessly and harmoniously to create a beautiful and haunting tale of how life events redirect our paths and help define us. The Athena Effect was intoxicating, delicious and refreshing. Anderson has made me a fan and I can not wait for book two: The Mackenzie Legacy due out in 2013.