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Derrolyn Anderson is a visual artist and writer of young adult fiction.
She is the author of the four book "Marina's Tales" series and the four book "Athena Effect" series.
Lili Lost in a Book
on March 06, 2014 :
Calvin leaned back on his pillows, watching [Caledonia's] magical eyes dart back and forth as she mastered the keyboard, assimilating information faster than he ever imagined possible. He smiled wryly, thinking that the day he was beaten up in the cemetery was probably the luckiest day of his life. ~The Mackenzie Legacy
Oh man, what an adventure! This is what I love about Derrolyn's writing: there is always something exciting and action-y going on! Oh! And let's not forget about the yummy romance ;)
As you may recall from The Athena Effect, the evil Dr. Reed is now the legal guardian of Cali. But there was no way in hell Cali was gonna stay put there until she was 18. So, Cali escaped with the lovely, gorgeous Cal and have been on the run since then. However, things are far from over!
To begin with Caledonia wont really be (relatively) safe until she turns 18. Second, remember the girl Layla who has the same ability as Cali? Well, she and her twin brother are still being held prisoner, even if they don't believe so. And Cali being the good soul that she is wants to rescue them. But there is so much more to this story than you can imagine! And I am dying to tell you because it was just so surprising! That and the new info we found out about the so called "Athena Effect." But I wont spoil it for you ;) But man it's good stuff!
However, there were some moments where the actions and events were kinda predictable, so I was just a bit disappointed when that happened 'cause I LOVE being surprised!
Anyway, while Cali's big day arrives (her 18th b-day), she and Cal are hiding away, never staying in one place for too long...you know, keeping it on a down-low. And it's SO romantic! They situation they are in is beyond horrible, but Calvin...*swoons* He is just a really sweet guy, very fun, and so protective of Cali! I adore him! And man, Cali? Gone is the shy, quiet, naive girl. In her place is a independent, brave, and fierce young woman! She's amazing!
So far I am really enjoying this series! And even though the book didn't exactly end on a cliffhanger, per se, we know there will be more troubles up ahead for Cali and Layla...and I cannot wait to see what those adventures will have in store for us!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 31, 2013 :
Rating 4.5 / 5
*Possible spoilers if you haven't read book one, but I tried to keep any out* :)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you've followed my reviews, you know how much I absolutely adored The Athena Effect. I love this one just as much! Cal and Caledonia are two of my favorite characters ever. Cal's past as a "bad boy" and the changes he's made in his life for Caledonia's love makes him appealing to me without taking away his mystery and allure. There's no denying he is an amazing book boyfriend! ;)
On the run from Professor Reed and his henchmen, Calvin and Caledonia are surviving day to day the best they can. Once they run out of money, they begin using Caledonia's gift in ways that cause Caledonia to become uncomfortable. Cal becomes carried away, and I knew he would. He isn't a bad guy - he just becomes caught up trying to make life comfortable for the two of them. He never had much growing up, and he wants to give Caledonia everything he can, all out of love. I know his heart is in the right place.
Caledonia, on the other hand, believes she has been given her gift to help others instead of gaining anything for herself. She has a good spirit and doesn't want to hurt anyone, which are just two of the reasons I love her. A warning causes her to question everything about her life and its purpose, and she knows if she and Cal continue using her gift in the way he wants, there will be dire consequences.
Some of my questions from the first book were answered while some things remain veiled, and I am anticipating the third book! Huge plot twists take the story further and are so shocking, you'll never have seen them coming. I can't even tell you how much the new information revealed about the Athena Effect amazed and stunned me, giving even more depth to an already stellar story. The new direction in which the plot heads is incredibly clever, and crazy good and crazy addictive!
I'll try my best to be patient until the third book comes out! :D
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 21, 2013 :
And once again,I am immensely satsified. "The Mackenzie Legacy" picks up where "The Athena Effect" left off.This series is just totally amazing and addicting!! Cal and Cali have escaped from man who had kidnapped Cali. Together they face off more of the after effects from Teddy.
They take a chance at gambling for money to help them and to help Cals brother with his business. Together they hit Vegas for much bigger winnings. When Cali sees that it's becoming a problem and worriesthat Cal is doing it for the wrong reasons,she needs to step in. But trouble is around the corner.
Cali learns that the twins are in fact her cousins she vows to help free them. Mean while back home Cal's father is out of jail and Cal doesn't know it yet. Cal has a hard time dealing with the forgivness side and still holds his father at arms length.
This is an action pacted series that will suck you in from the start. There are no boring spots! The author has done an amazing job of making sure you are tied to your seat!Kudo's to Derrolyn Anderson on such an awesome series!!
** Sets on edge of seat dieing for the next one!!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 15, 2013 :
This is a very easy book to like, and more so, read and fall into. I liked being effortlessly drawn back into the complexities of Cal and Cali's life. The novel literally picks up where The Athena Effect left off, and while both Cal's are still on the run, they are still very much in love. With the threat of recapture at the hands of Max looming in the backs of their minds, Cal and Cali need to lie low. Initially they stick to camp grounds, distant roads, and avoid drawing attention to themselves by living modestly off the few funds they have left. This doesn't last long however, and as the money quickly disappears, one thing leads to another and the young lovers find themselves on a journey neither could have ever bargained for. Monumental secrets regarding The Athena Effect as well as Cali's heritage are unravelled, and as the long hidden truths come to light, everything changes.
Firstly, let me say that the stressful conditions mentioned above do nothing to disrupt the romance between Cal and Cali, and I loved seeing them grow and really mature as characters. Truthfully I don't see why anyone would want to keep them apart; they fought like hell to be together and they just work. I like their relationship because Cal and Cali are made for each other and you really can't picture them happy and apart. Things like that just shouldn't happen, so you can imagine how beyond pleased I was that Derrolyn kept them together. As is expected, they do fight to a degree, and rather realistically, but the arguments never grow so out of control that there is talk of permanent separation. It was good to see them keeping things in perspective and managing disagreements like the capable adults I knew them to be.
*snaps for Derrolyn*
As a second book in the series, The Mackenzie Legacy adds a substantial amount of detail and revelation to the series overall; it is mind-blowing how much changes and the impact of these developments. Derrolyn carried the story over seamlessly, and The Mackenzie Legacy proves itself a worthwhile sequel because it does help the series progress. There is just so much excellent and right with this book that I was hard pressed to find the bits just short of brilliance.
There is a strong connection felt with almost all the characters. Cali struggles with honing her abilities while still adjusting to the world outside her cabin, coming to terms with the truth of the experiment that ultimately claimed the lives of her parents and still largely governs hers. Cal helps her a lot through these struggles, but battles with his own share of insecurities. Every time he worried that Cali would leave I wanted to shake him a little and be like, she isn't going anywhere! Yet if I had done that, the pleasure of watching him work through it on his own would have been lost. He supports her and accepts everything, even Cali's more dangerous connections, such as her bond with the twins Layla and Michael. He would do anything for her, truly the author is successful in showing much more than telling the lengths each Cal is willing to go for the other.
As a backdrop to the story, the setting is great, and the added tension of characters being on the run made for a suspenseful read. There is a healthy amount of mystery and romance throughout the plot which pretty much guarantees readers will gasp at least once, if not twice. The writing improves in The Mackenzie Legacy, and although some portions of the book felt a bit rushed, and some resolutions hurried, this book ultimately makes for an exciting and rewarding read. I definitely recommend it - reader discretion for the more mature scenes is advised - and I am an even bigger fan of the series than before.
Get your hands on this series now!
3.5/5 moons: A satisfying continuation to a great series, The Mackenzie Legacy isn't a book to miss and fans of the series will be thrilled with startling revelation, touching romance and a suspenseful, rewarding plot.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 03, 2013 :
Once again, I am immensely satsified. The Mackenzie Legacy picks up where The Athena Effect left off, with Cal squared happily together after Cali escaped the evil scientist.
I would like to draw attention again to all the characters. Cal and Cali both have a level of ferocity that I find totally acceptable, given the reasons. Cal's insecurities regarding Cali are not unfounded, and his actions were easily traced to these worries. Cali's entire focus is on helping others and finding a family for herself. I was so happy when Jarod and Crystal came back into the picture, and I think their situation was handled well. Jim came in a little late to the game, and I'm hoping we get to see his character and relationships develop more in the next installment. He's off to a good start, and I can only hope that he stays the course.
What I was really intent on though was Layla and Michael. Whereas in The Athena Effect I liked Michael despite his mistake, in this he ground on my nerves quite a bit. He was idiotic and stubborn and blind to what was right in front of him, and I was beyond irritated that he chose a man he knew to be a criminal over his own sister. He pissed me off to no end.
Layla was the exact opposite. I enjoyed her desire to be free, and the steps she took to try and make that happen. She was defiant and willing to fight back in some manner, like Caledonia. I even liked her faults—her high maintenance tastes, her total lack of conscience about using her ability on whoever she wanted. She was raised by the scientist, and it showed. It was accurate to what I think someone would actually have grown up to be, especially since she learned from an early age that these behaviors were acceptable. She doesn't know any other way, and I think that will play a larger role later on. Perhaps Cali will have to knock her down a bit so she's not so full of herself, I don't know.
And obviously there's going to be some connection to the land they own. I was reminded of The Stand, Stephen King's (gigantic) dystopian novel. In it, all the “good guys” dream of an old woman sitting on a porch beckoning to them. This is a similar case, and I can't wait to see what it uncovers. I enjoy the romance aspect to this series (which is unusual for me; I have found that I'm kind of tired of YA romance) and love who everyone is with. I want Crystal to stick around. I obviously want the Cals together. And I hope even Layla and Michael find someone special for each of them. It seems as if Layla may have found someone already....
I'm very, very happy with this series. It's only two books in and I'm hooked and I love it. I'm going to be anxiously waiting for the third to come out, preferably sooner rather than later!
Also, I just want to take a moment to draw attention to the author. Derrolyn Anderson is self-publishing. And she is amazing at it. I have never come across an indie author whose writing is so polished and near perfect that it could conceivably have come from any major publishing house. The writing is so fluid and easy to follow. There are no info dumps, no random and drawn out unneeded descriptions. It's amazing, and I highly recommend her work.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on April 25, 2013 :
The MacKenzie Legacy contains of two stories, Cali & Cal and Layla & Michael. It takes place right after The Athena Effect. Cali and Cal are on the run from Professor Reed into Cali's cabin which will belong to her when she's 18. In order to save their money, they took the journey in a very tight budget they mostly spent the night in a tent. I love the way Cal described how good Cali is with all of camping and hiking things. I can see that she's in her element, things that she's familiar with. And I still consider that they are one of my favorite couples. I love their relationship, they are so cute together. But Cal begin questioning himself whether he is worth enough for Cali and afraid that she will leave him eventually. This thought kind of engrossed him along the story. I like this new Cal, I mean in The Athena Effect he's just a popular boy who didn't care about the world, here he realize that he have to keep Cali save and at the same time he wants to make her happy. It makes him do the things that I know will cause them trouble when I first read it, they gambling on horse track and went to Vegas.
Meanwhile Layla and Michael have bigger story here. Max has his own agenda when he took them from Professor Reed. He takes advantages from the twins. Layla wants to run away but didn't have a gut to do alone while Michael gladly become Max right hand since he's kind of jealous with Professor Reed attention to his sister and made him feel less worthy. At first I was a little bit annoyed with Layla, I keep telling her to just run away, leave Michael and ignore Max threat yet I understand her fear. She spent her life do everything she was told, when she was ordered to do it. In some way her life is worst than Cali.
As the sequel, Derrolyn Anderson didn't spend pages to introduce her characters and the story anymore. Sometimes when I read a sequel, the authors tend to describe or retold the prequel, I didn't see it in here. Instead she develops the story and the characters, especially Layla and Michael. She also made the story more serious, I can see that the characters realize that their live is in danger and they have to run away. But I still find funny moments from Cali here and there since she’s still learning new things.
Calvin upgraded their motorcycle gear, buying them expensive leather jackets and pants, heavy boots, and shiny new helmets. He picked out new T-shirts with all kinds of images printed on them– designs that puzzled her. “Why are there so many skulls on them?” she asked, “What does it mean?” He shrugged, “I dunno, I just think it just looks kinda cool.” “It looks kind of anatomical” she observed.
Although I'm not quite sure about the changing of the main theme. I really enjoyed reading this story. It has surprises and twist that I didn't see at all and when I read it I wonder why I didn't think about it. This story is fast-paced but I think I need more drama in it. I'm kind of hope gambling and Las Vegas story and Layla and Michael run away from Max ended more dramatic. I think that their journey too easily. But then again, if I can manipulate people's mind maybe there is nothing impossible and I can do anything easier.
In the end, the characters are like out of the frying-pan into the fire (again). I hope the sequel will not only tell the bigger 'fire' that chase the characters but also explain more about The MacKenzies and the unfinished business that Layla feel she has to do. All of it makes me eager to read their next journey, The Caledonian Inheritance.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on April 09, 2013 :
When Derrolyn contacted me to request a review, I was ecstatic. I mean, I had JUST finished checking out her goodreads page looking for her latest installment into her Athena Effect series. The series follows a girl Caledonia, nicknamed Cali (also sometimes nicknamed Cal but it becomes too confusing so we'll stick to Cali) and her boyfriend Calvin, nicknamed Cal (see what I mean about confusing) as they try to survive in a world where people want to use Cali for her aura reading powers while they try to fast to their deep and sometimes blinding love for one another. (some spoilers for Athena #1 may be included)
In this installment, Cali and Cal have escaped the professor who wanted to use Cali for monetary gain, but they are quickly running out of money. Soon, Cal haphazardly learns of a way for he and Cali to earn quite a bit of money by using her powers. Soon, they have more money than either of them can deal with, and as the saying goes, with more money comes more problems. Their easy lifestyle has dangerous consequences, and soon, Cal and Cali find themselves mixed up in the wrong crowd.
Even worse, Cali is realizing that she needs to find a way to help the only others that she knows who are like her, the twins she met while she was in the professors care. Only, they are no longer in the care of the professor, and the person who's care they are in is more dangerous than the professor ever could be.
I loved this installment. The love between Cal and Cali is as intense as ever and though at times it seems unrealistic in the way that they barely argue, I still love seeing it. The story was fast paced and intense and I cant wait until the next story, The Caledonian Inheritance. Something was certainly brewing at the end of this novel and I can't wait to see what happens.
As usual, I must name the few issues I have with the story. First, some of the conclusions drawn and the details of certain plans made were a bit confusing for me to follow. I'm not sure if it was because I was devouring the book entirely too fast, or if it really was that hard to follow. Second, there was one situation in the story that I worried about. Calvin seems to be one who knows the intricacies of the world including the way people can be tracked and followed. Why then, does he not take proper precautions in terms of making sure they are not followed. It makes the end of the book a bit predictable. Finally, I'm a bit worried about the strength of Cal and Cali's relationship. Sure they love each other deeply, but one must wonder about the insecurities each have in their relationship and the willingness Cal has of using Cali for their advancement. It will be interesting to see how this turns out in the future.
All in all, it was a great book and I am super happy that Derrolyn thought of me when she sent out her review requests. A copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review of the book. I give it 4 Stars.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)