Review: The Athena Effect #4, The Redcastle Redemption by Derrolyn Anderson

18006303Blurb from Goodreads

Things finally seem peaceful for Cali and Calvin, but the twins are still struggling with their new-found freedom. Layla senses that more trouble still lurks in her future, while Michael’s happiness is being crushed under the weight of a terrible secret.
When someone new discovers the girl’s special talents, he will stop at nothing to put them to use. The cousins must face their most brutal adversary yet, and everyone is forced to fight for both their lives and their loves.

Published (first published June 2nd 2014)
edition language: English
series: The Athena Effect
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
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 😀

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.

ARC was provided by the author in exchange for honest review.
Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: The Athena Effect #2, The MacKenzie Legacy by Derrolyn Anderson

The Mackenzie Legacy (The Athena Effect #2)

Blurb from Goodreads

As their story continues, Calvin and Caledonia find themselves madly in love, on the run, and nearly out of money. When Cal stumbles upon a way to cash in on Cali’s powers, their life on the road becomes a life of leisure. Despite the easy money and newfound luxury, Caledonia’s conscience begins to trouble her.

A disturbing warning only serves to confirm her misgivings, making her question her purpose in life. Finally, a shocking discovery about the true nature of her powers points the way forward, sending the two Cals on a dangerous rescue mission.

Caledonia tries her best to right the wrongs of the past, but will she only end up provoking new and even more dangerous enemies?

ebook, 200 pages
Published 2012 by DerrolynAnderson
edition language: English
genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
series: The Athena Effect #2
My Thoughts

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 worse 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 theme changing of the story. I really enjoyed reading it. 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-fan 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 makes me eager to read their next journey, Caledonia inheritance.

Result: 3.5/5 Stars

Review: The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson

The Athena Effect (The Athena Effect, #1)

Blurb from Goodreads

Caledonia 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 Calvin’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?

ebook, 221 pages
Published August 30th 2012 (first published August 29th 2012)
edition language:English
genre: Sci-fi, Young Adult
series: The Athena Effect #1
My Thought
He smiled at her again, wondering how she could be such a contradiction. She knew so much, and yet almost nothing at the same time.

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 *spoiler is it possible for Cal to throw pebbles to 4th floor when Cali was kidnapped and stayed in Layla’s room? How can Cali put her head on Cal’s back while she wear a helmet?
And just like another books I loved, I have favorite scenes and a song that fit it. Here they are:
“Don’t be afraid,” he told her, “I’ll be right next to you. I won’t let anything happen to you”

 And then
He understood the feeling, slipping his arm around her waist to draw her closer. She smiled up at him, “Thank you so much for bringing me here.”

“What are you doing?”

“I said I’d make breakfast,” she replied.

He looked over her shoulder at the stovetop, “Yeah, but I figured we needed to go grocery shopping first. We don’t do a whole lot of cooking around here.”

She shrugged, “I’m used to improvising. It should be ready in about fifteen minutes.” She bent over to peek at something in the oven and Calvin had the urge to pick her up, set her on the counter and kiss her passionately. She looked up at him quizzically, as if she’d just read his mind, and it occurred to him that she pretty much could.

“I’d better go take a shower,” he said, kissing her on the cheek instead.

Day Too Soon by Sia is my soundtrack for Cal and Cal

Pick me up in your arms
Carry me away from harm
You’re never gonna put me down
I know you’re just one good man
You’ll tire before we see land
You’re never gonna put me down

Oh I’ve been running all my life
I ran away, I ran away from good
Yeah I’ve been waiting all my life
You’re not a day you’re not day too soon

Honey I will stitch you
Darling I will fit you in my heart
Honey I will meet you
Darling I will keep you in my heart

You’ll risk all this for just a kiss
I promise I will not resist
Promise you won’t hold me down
And when we reach a good place
Let’s be sure to leave no trace
Promise they won’t track us down

Now I’ve been running all my life
I ran away, I ran away from good
Yeah, I’ve been waiting all my life
You’re not a day, you’re not a day too soon

Honey I will stitch you
Darling I will feel you in my heart
Honey I will meet you
Darling I will keep you in my heart

I’ve been running all my life
I ran away, I ran away from good
Yeah I’ve been waiting all my life
You’re not a day, you’re not a day too soon

Oh honey I will stitch you
Darling I will feel you in my heart
Honey I will meet you
Darling I will keep you in my heart

Result: 3.5/5 Stars