on Feb. 14, 2013
This is a story about a world with 4 realms, Helian, Arcan, Sephan and Brizan. Each realm has different element as their power. They live side by side but don’t get along well there is prejudice against each realm. In this series the stories focus on Helian and Arcan realm. Helian with fire as their power considered the strongest among others while Arcan has air as their protector.
I rarely read a story told from 2 heroines. It usually told from female or male POV or even both of them, but rarely from 2 females POV. So I was quite surprise when I found out I read it based on Roxanne and Jasmine POV. Roxanne or Roxy, as she prefer is a Helian who is just completed her training as a Protector. She, of course, can control fire and a second line of throne. While Jasmine aka Jazz is raise as an Arcan. She (thought) didn’t have a power. She’s an orphan who has a close relationship with the royal family especially with Brae, the prince of Arcan. Between those POV it’s quite hard to guess who are the protagonist and the antagonist. Each person has their own virtue and vice. Although I like Roxy more than Jazz I think I can predict what will happen to Jazz next, yet I would like to know more about her.
I like the idea of this story but I’m quite confused with the world building and the setting of it. In the beginning of the story, I picture it happen in some long time ago. The elementals that influence 4 realms and the dagger which Roxy used made me think it’s like in Robin Hood kind of time. But then I read about technology and electronic devices. They have car yet they take their journey to another realm by ship. I assumed if they invented car, they also have a plane and live like in our time now. While I picture the ship is just like a traditional ship from a long time ago.
There is also inconsistency which made me have to reread a couple times to understand what it’s all about. In chapter 11, it mentions that Roxy take a ride by bike with Vincent I was desperate for the bike to move faster so that I could reach them then it mention they got out of the carVincent pulled over in a secluded district by the river and got out of the car. And then again Elated by my double victory, I followed him back to the bike.
Then in chapter 32 Jazz and Imogen hide under the table I gestured wildly to one of the tables which had a long table cloth hanging down in front of it and Imogen and I dived underneath, moments before the door opened and a large group walked in. Through a small gap to my left I watched as five Helians came into the room, accompanied by Lorelie, the youngest of the Brizan Protectors.I recognised one of the Helians as Roxy's friend Avery, but Roxy herself was missing. She was smiling joyfully at an older man - also a Protector - and said "I can't believe it's worked! This is fantastic! What are we going to make her do?"A tall, stern woman, whose brown hair was bland compared to the vibrant blue and reds of the Protectors, rounded on Avery instantly. They dive underneath the table so I assume they aren’t stand straight but some kind of in squat position or even sit down. Hence they couldn’t see who are stand beside the table moreover see their smile and hair color. They more likely could only see their feet.
Again in chapter 35 Before I could react he grabbed my wrists and slotted ornate manacles onto them….. Avery grinned widely as I approached and I was quick to conceal the manacles behind my backhow do you conceal your wrists which have manacles on it behind your back? I couldn’t picture it.
The inconsistences kind of bother me but after read a few reviews it seem no body mentions it. Am I the only one who realizes it? Or did I misunderstand it? Or did I miss something along in the sentences?
Thanks to Ms. Heather James and YA Reader’s Lounge for the opportunity to read it for honest review. This is as honest as I can be.
The Athena Effect
on Feb. 19, 2013
This is a story about a girl who lives in the country cabin for her entire life. She never gets formal education yet she’s smart. She’s unique and beautiful but skilled at blending in to the background. She’s good with knife but afraid when have to attend a public school. She had read Grey’s Anatomy but didn’t know its movie. She read a lot but doesn’t know what google is. This is a story about Caledonia McKenzie.
Caledonia or Cal reminds me of Jodie Foster’s Nell. She live away from modern life, it makes her seem naïve and innocent but strong and capable of things most people don’t. I can’t help myself to not love her, she’s so unique. I think she’s the most unusual character in contemporary romance YA books I’ve read. The fact that she’s an avid reader is a plus to love her more. As Calvin said she’s a contradiction.
Calvin or Cal is a senior at the same school with Cal, or he prefer called her Cali. My first impression of this Cal is an ignorant boy. He doesn’t care about school or anyone think and doesn’t have a plan what he’s going to do with his life after high school. But after he met Cali, he’s hard to resist. He’s so focus and persistent in a good way. He teaches Cali and vice versa. I love the way they teach each other. It’s kind of cute and sweet while in some part hilarious.
She met his curious eyes, “How did you know what Caledonia means?”
He looked sheepish, smiling, “I Googled you.”
She looked confused, “You what-ed me?”
“I searched you on the net.” She looked even more confused, and he realized that she really did grow up without electricity. “You know, on a computer.”
“Oh… computers. I don’t know how to use them.”
“It’s not that hard, and you can find out anything you want to know.”
Her eyes flew open wide, “And you found me?”
“It’s good,” Jarod nodded, surprised. “What did you put on the potatoes?”
“Where did you get that?” asked Calvin.
She looked at him like he was mad, “It’s growing all alongside of your house!”
Through Cali & Cal eyes I can see that even a simple thing in live can be a big one for other eyes. Cali spent many her first experiences with Cal while he sees it in a different way. What I like the most about their relationship is it goes slowly. Lots of relationships in the story I read connected with such a rush, an insta-love. It didn’t happen with both of them but it feels more real for me. I can feel their connection grow each pages.
As much as I like the writing, in some part I wish that it wrote in first person point of view. Maybe it’s because I’m dying to read through Cali and Cal’s mind, to know their opinion about each other. But then again, though this story wrote in third person POV Ms Anderson wrote it well. And I still really enjoyed it.
To be honest it’s kind of hard to decide how many stars I give it. I really enjoyed it but there are some parts that blur to me. The part that Cal seems has money but I don’t know where he got it. I mean I kinda want to know whether he got it from work or his brother gave him or what else, while I picture him as a middle class citizen without a job with his father in jail. The professor isn’t bad enough for me. Yes he caused many problems but he seems too easily to be tricked. And there are scenes that I’m quite hard to imagine it. I gave it 3.5 stars but since I like the prologue and epilogue which make me want to read it more I rounding it up to 4.
The Mackenzie Legacy
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.
In Your Dreams
on May 21, 2013
This is one sweet love story. I love reading about Keiran and Zip relationship. They surely have an attraction from the beginning they met but they take the relationship slowly. That was what I loved. They give time to know each other and when they finally together it really is a sweet relationship. I can see and feel that they are good together.
I also love the idea that there is no one in their school that acts typical bulling students. Zip is in her way to become a valedictorian but she also a talented basketball athlete. And Kieran is a gorgeous-weird new student. Their friends talk about them and there were rumor and gossip about them. But there is no blonde-pretty-shallow-jealous girl with a jock-gorgeous-athlete boy who bullies other students here. I find it kind of refreshing in YA stories.
But, I was quite surprise in a not-so good way about the changing in Kieran's condition. It makes me think that the author have to have a very good logical explanation about it in the sequel, As You Wake, which I really hope so because I want to read it and want to know more about Kieran.
PS: I love the cover and thank you to Amy Martin for giving me this book for honest review.
The Caledonian Inheritance
on Dec. 03, 2013
This story is mainly about one of the twins, Layla. From book 1, The Athena Effect I was quite curious of her. Moreover when she met Ramon in The Mackenzie Legacy and there is a connection between them. So I was happy knowing she is the focus in this book, though I have to admit that I couldn't get enough of Cali and Cal, either.
Since it's about Layla, now I feel I know and understand her better, about her feeling and the way she thinks. She, along with Michael weren't raised in an isolated place, unlike her cousin, Cali yet she is as naive and innocent as Cali. In some part I more pitied her because she once lived in what most people think sophisticated live. She drives sophisticated car and knows well about winery but has never been to a drive-through, she doesn't even understand simple jokes. Just like Cali, she is a walking contradiction but lived in a limited sophisticated live style. On the other part, her naiveté were quite annoyed me. I understand her reason, I really do but didn't she curious and afraid of him?
However, I liked the antagonists in this series getting more evil in each book, from the crazy scientist to a greedy bodyguard and then the creepy evil senator. We knew from end of book 2, The Mackenzie Legacy, Senator Reed wants to have revenge to Layla, his obsession to Layla continues in this book. But I think this book was slower that its prequel, therefore his creepiness didn't feel as creepy as book 2. While I read, I kept waiting what will happen to her and then when it happened I feel it was too easy, though I still felt the tension in it. But as the third book in the series I want it has more tension, action and drama in this book. It seemed most things happened way too easy because of Layla and Cali's ability which didn't explain more either, at least I didn't feel I know more about the synesthesia.
As for the romance, I love Layla and Ramon relationship. I was looking forward to it since they first met in book 2. Ramon is so sweet and kind to Layla and they have funny awkward meetings before they trust each other. I can’t help to not love them as I love Cali and Cal.
All in all I enjoyed and liked reading it. I hope The Redcastle Redemption can describe a lot of things that are still unclear in first three books.
The Redcastle Redemption
on July 20, 2014
I think The Redcastle Redemption is a good final book for The Athena Effect series. Everything that happens with Cali, Layla and Michael wrap up nicely. The story begins with an unexpected scene which leads to a lot of action scenes. It felts so fast but not in a rush. I mean, in that one single moment the characters indeed need to think and act immediately since their life are in danger.
I loved that Layla grow so much since I first met her and so does with Michael. He's different now. He knows his mistakes and wants to make it right. I think among the three, he’s more real to me. I don't know, maybe it's because he doesn't have power, unlike Cali and Layla. He's jealous with their power and makes mistakes because of it but he knows it, admit it and want to be a better man because of it. It doesn't mean that I didn’t love Cali and Layla, though. I do love them, it's just I also see Michael differently now.
As for the romance, it's still as sweet as when I read The Athena Effect, for Cali and Cal's relationship and The Caledonian Inheritance for Layla and Ramon's romance. But I have to admit that I missed reading Cali's unpredictable-innocence questions about ordinary things. I think it's what makes her unique as a character I've ever read.
Although I loved the action in this book, it didn't feel as creepy and thrill as in The Mackenzie Legacy. It made my heart beat fast but at the same time it still felt too easy. I guess I want the characters struggle more as this is their final journey. Geez...it made me sound like a bad reader wanting the characters to have a very bad experience before their happily ever after :D
I was also not quite satisfied with the reason of Cali and Layla's power. To be honest, I want more explanation about it, not just it's a hereditary and some paranormal thing and that's just it.
It's always a bittersweet reading a final book of series I loved. I like that it ends well but I'm also sad that I won't be able to meet the characters again in the future. The Athena Effect series is surely one of those series. Now the only thing I can do is reread the books when I feel like I miss Cali and Cal, Layla and Ramon and Michael and Mina.