Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson (review, interview, giveaway)

The Athena Effect (The Athena Effect, #1)
Blurb (from 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?

The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Athena Effect (The Athena Effect, #1)
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Derrolyn Anderson.)
Cal (Caledonia) is nearly 18 when her parents are killed in a motorcycle accident. Cal is distraught; her parents are the only family she has ever known, and she’s been raised in a small house in the middle of some woods, with no electricity and no modern technologies. Her parents always told her that someone was after them, and that they were afraid that whoever it was would track them down. They told Cal to be wary of anybody other than them, and hid her away her entire life.

Now Cal is sent to live with her father’s adoptive sister, an aunt she has never met, and must learn to cope with living in a modern society, as well as fending off her aunts boyfriends’ sexual advances. She also has to hide her strange ability to read people’s auras, and her desires’ to send them calming energies instead.

Things change for the better when Cal meets Cal (no that’s not a typo!). Calvin is a boy from school who rides a motorcycle, and as they spend time together, their feelings develop into more than friendship.

But who were Cal’s parent’s so afraid of? How can she keep avoiding her aunt’s boyfriend and the disgusting passes he makes at her? And will the people who wanted her parents ever catch up with her?

I enjoyed this book. I loved how Cal could see people’s emotions, and how she knew what they were really feeling even if they were trying to hide it. I also loved how she didn’t abuse her abilities, and didn’t try to use them to just get what she wanted.

I liked Cal even though she was a little innocent and unsure, especially because she still had real guts, and character, and drive, even when out if her depth. She obviously had no idea about the modern world other than what she had read in books, and had never even eaten pizza before! She was never awe-struck by the new things she saw and learned though, and at times actually wanted to go back to her parent’s home in the middle of nowhere, even if it meant not having hot water on tap.

I liked the relationship between Cal and Calvin, the romance was so sweet, and it was nice to watch the relationship grow and blossom rather than having the characters instantly fall for one another. It was also nice how Cal had the back-up of her powers so that she knew that when Cal told her that he loved her that he actually really felt that way.

Overall; I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next in the series ‘The Mackenzie Legacy’ coming in 2013.

7.5 out of 10.

Interview with the Author - 

Derrolyn Anderson

Hi Derrolyn! Welcome to the Blog!

Why thank you ☺ , I’m so pleased to be here.
When did you start writing?
In earnest? That would be the summer of 2010 when my first book, “Between the Land And The Sea” poured right out of me. I’ve been completely obsessed ever since – just ask my poor husband.
What was your inspiration for ‘The Athena Effect’?
I like a fish-out-of-water character, and I had someone like Caledonia in mind for awhile. I was watching a Nova Science Now (love that Neil DeGrasse Tyson!) that was about brain function. It described synesthesia, and got me “brain storming”. I also live in new-agey California, so the whole aura thing seemed like a nice supernatural twist to add.

What three words would you use to best describe ‘The Athena Effect’?
Sweet First Love
What are your favourite things about the characters Cal and Cal?
I love how first impressions are usually way off base, and how people are always much more complicated than meets the eye.
I understand that there will be a sequel to ‘The Athena Effect’ called ‘The Mackenzie Legacy’, any plans for any more books after that?
As it stands, I expect it to end up being a three book series, but I’m a pantser, so I never really know where a story might take me!
Can you tell us about your other books?
My first book series, “Marina’s Tales”, was inspired by a real-life beach town that my husband and I spent the first decade of our marriage in. There really is a pier leading out to an old cement ship, and the mysterious foggy mornings just kind of scream mermaid. I’ve just recently re-edited the first book in the series, adding pictures of the actual sites I wrote about in the story. It’s up for free on Smashwords, so check it out if you’d like!  BETWEEN THE LAND AND THE SEA
Can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment? (If you are)
I’m just getting going on ‘The Mackenzie Legacy’. It’s mostly just a pile of random notes right now, but I hope to have it done early in 2013. I carry little yellow pads and fine point sharpies with me at all times – You never know when inspiration might sneak up on you.
Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
I love all kinds of books, but particularly the writings of Stephen King (The Stand!), James Michener (Hawaii!), and Jane Austin (P&P!). I’m eternally grateful to my daughters for bringing Harry Potter into my life and opening my eyes to all kinds of wonderful YA lit.
Random Questions
-          what’s your favourite treat?
     I try to squeeze in some red wine & chocolate daily, so I don’t know if that would really qualify as a treat. I know - SUSHI... Really high end sushi. At a sushi bar. With a gourmet sake sampler on the side.
What’s your Favourite place to read/write?
     Curled up in bed, or on the sofa under a soft blanket.  
     If you won the lottery what would you most look forward to spending money on?
     Realistically? My three lovely daughters. I have twins in their first year of college, and a fourteen year old at home – which is pretty much where all my money goes anyway! I suppose if there was any left over I’d travel. And have a stable of horses. And a convertible... And lots of said sushi.
      If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I haven’t been to very many places on the planet, but I live in the Northern California wine country, and it seems to have pretty much the ideal climate. I do love a warm tropical ocean though, as well as snow skiing. How about I win that lottery and have a few houses smattered around the globe? When that day comes, you’re all invited to visit ;)

You can find Derrolyn here:

Thanks so much to Derrolyn for stopping by the blog and for making this Giveaway possible!
1 lucky winner will get a copy of 'The Athena Effect'!
(via smashwords)

a Rafflecopter giveaway  


  1. wow, sounds like an amazing book. Great interview

  2. Macy loved "Between Land and Sea", I know I read it but in all honesty I can't pick it out of my brain right now. Jessica liked it. Both the girls and I will definitely have to give this a read. However, I will have to refresh my mind first. LOL!

  3. Macy said, "momma will you tell Mrs. Sarah the raffle thingy don't work so she can fix it. I want to enter."

    LOL!!!! This is me letting you know.

  4. I love your description of Cal. That's the kind of character I like. Great interview, too.:)