Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Review: The Athena Project

Originally published by Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in November 2010.
Format: hardbound
How I got it: from the library

The Athena Project

Audience: Adults
Genre: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi lite
Rating: 2-1/2 out of 5 stars

An elite military group of four women are assigned on multiple tasks to help find a weapon that could have catastrophic consequences for the rest of the world.

First Line: The sound of suppressed gunfire in the narrow fuselage was drowned out by the roar of the slipstream coupled with the plane's engines.

This is definitely a plot driven book, not a character driven one. Character development was left more to stereotypes. I never really got a feel for who each of the members of the Athena team were. Yes, the author stated their strengths when he introduced them, but each character was almost interchangeable. I just referred to them as the team in my head. I did enjoy their friendly, joking banter with each other, even if the time wasn't always appropriate.

It was easy read. Because you don't have to invest a lot into the characters, you can just go where the story takes you. At the beginning, though, I was confused by all the characters and stories put into play. It took a while to sort them out, and eventually I saw how they all intertwined at the end, but some of them just weren't needed.  I'm still a bit lost about the need for the Denver International Airport in the story line.  There was one twist (pg. 309) I did not see coming. A lot more could have been done with this; it ended too suddenly.

Overall, the book was well paced, although a few more resting spots would have been nice. I know the Athena girls were exhausted after all that non-stop action. The main plot device of the book takes it into a sci-fi lite category, which made it seem out of place with the rest of book.

The writing was good, but it was descriptive in places it didn't need to be. For example, I don't need to know the make/model of the the wire cutters and to know they were up to the task of cutting the fence. On the flip side, my favorite descriptive line in the whole book is on page 305: The women moved like demons in some medieval nightmare scaling down a castle wall -- that provided a very visual image with only a few words.

Overall, the book was just okay. Would I recommend it to others? I'm more apt to say I wouldn't not recommend it...which makes it a 2-1/2 out of 5 star book for me.

Do you want another opinion? You can read this review and many others at

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