The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amazing! Just absolutely amazing! I could not put this down! The best of Ms. Anderson's works, that I have had the privilege of reading, by far!
Let me start with the characters. Cali is one of the best female MC's I have ever met! Not once did I feel annoyed with or irritated by her personality or actions. There wasn't a moment for me to yell "you're STUPID!" because she wasn't! Cali is intelligent, compassionate, and beautiful inside and out. I love her innocence and the pure love she has for Calvin. Now, I found myself comparing Calvin to Ethan from Marina's Tales only to realize the night and day difference between them. Calvin has become the perfect man for me Cali and loves unconditionally without being overbearing and possesive. He is strong, determined, and also goregeous (inside too!). I couldn't find one flaw with him(after he started to pursue Cali)and I was impressed by his maturity. I also enjoyed getting to know the secondary characters like Jarod, Crystal, and Layla. Cali's aunt and Phil can go jump off a cliff for all I care. GRRRRR!!! Anywho, as far as any respectable adult characters are concerned, Calvin's grandparents are the best! I wanted to see more of them and Rufus(i will always picture a naked mole rat when I read that name cuz of KP but this Rufus is a pit bull so yeah, way off on mental imaging 0.0)!
Other highlights to gush about? The love; its so believable and real that it can quite possibly be the best YA romance to come out this year. Think Pushing the Limits, Going Under, and Forever Changed without all the petty juvenile drama. Once Cali and Calvin get going, their love holds true; no games played or breaks needed to determine if what they have is real. No heartbreak or distrust, only true love...and I love it! Same for Cali's parents; had me wrapped up in it from the very beginning.
The story itself is beautiful. I really can't say anything without giving something crucial away but the cover gives a hint and those eyes play a major part in the plot. What I can say is that there is mystery, suspense, and enough action to barely give you a moment to breathe. My only regret is that I did not read this sooner. This has definitely become a favorite of mine and I cannot wait to tell the world! It appears that there is a sequel to this book coming out next year and I can hardly contain my excitement. Another work of art by Ms. Anderson; I loved every second of it and you will too!
I recieved a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review (THANK YOU Ms. Anderson!)
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Tron meets Scott Westerfeld's world of Uglies and has a blast!
Most virtual gaming stories follow the same script: people's minds are hooked up to machines while their bodies lay still and useless (think Matrix or Total Recall). Carpenter takes things to a whole new level; like upgrading from Wii to Xbox Kinect kind of level. Sitting on your butt (getting strikes in bowling just by flicking your wrist) will get you nowhere in LifeGame...unless you count 'dead' as a place to get to. Guaranteed? Not quite. That's the problem. No one knows where the losers of LifeGame go and through a chaotic and thrilling course of events, our MC Gabby is determined to find out.
Extremely creative and thoroughly entertaining, Gamers is a sure hit for science fiction and dystopian fans alike. With detailed world building and a steady pace, readers are able to immerse themselves in Carpenter's universe and hang on for the ride until the end...which is NOT the end. Thank goodness because I would not have been happy. That said, I very much recommend this book and have added the sequel, Frags, to my TBR pile. I usually do not recap or summarize a book since the authors/publishers have their own but reading some people's reviews, it seems the printed 'blurb' was not enough to pique their interest or that the story is very different than what is implied. For this reason, I have come up with a summary/blurb of my own, including a couple quotes and my two cents. Ahem:
Gabby's world is earth with a virtual layer; everything you see may or may not be real. Confusing huh?
Normally, the games painted over the objects that were already there. This one had painted over the whole world so she couldn't actually see what was there. Gabby had the sudden feeling that she was about to run into a wall and had to steel herself to take the next step.
Thomas Carpenter. Gamers (Kindle Locations 1841-1843). Thomas Carpenter.
Having the knowledge that you are blind doesn't make it any less unsettling. So what are they not seeing and why?
Day and night, Gabby is subjected to endless games to defeat and earn points. Points determine a persons' intelligence and usefulness in society. The education system is specifically geared towards improving one's success in the games.
"The first rule is what can be gamed can be improved. The second rule is that everything can be a game and the last rule is to never look backwards because the past is a game that's already been decided."
Thomas Carpenter. Gamers (Kindle Locations 99-100). Thomas Carpenter.
School is fueled by competition which makes for shallow and fake friendships. Having one true friend, Gabby will do anything to keep Zaela by her side; even if that means risking everything and hacking into the system to help Zaela stay ahead. After a suspicious and violating request is made by the LifeGame Integrity Engineers (LGIE), Gabby's dreams come to a halt. Enduring interrogations from the school Administrator and her parents, seeing a boy no one else can see, and following a group called the Frags into the unknown, Gabby doesn't know who to believe. As more characters are introduced, doubts of who to trust increase and panicked decisions are sure to be made. When Gabby and friends participate in the "Final Raid" to decide their future careers, she comes to realize that this is so much more than a game. If not played just right, Gabby wont get to live her dream life...or live at all. This is life. Welcome to the Gamers.
That was it. Any thoughts? Well I like it ^.^ I won an e-copy of Gamers through the Library Thing giveaway and spoke my true thoughts...or wrote them...typed them...I posted (there we go!) an honest review. Thank you Mr.Carpenter!
Super cute and very light. If you would like to take a break from the melodramatic, Make it Last is perfect! While the blurb promises drama, the main characters get to it pretty quickly so I wasn't as emotionally involved as I might have been but that's a good thing! I didn't want to read a downer (too many of those lately) so I was pleasantly surprised to find just what I needed. Short read but there is more to come so i'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy and getting to know the other characters and their stories. ^.^ Good one to pick up!