Athena's Choice

Fiction - Science Fiction
276 Pages
Reviewed on 09/05/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Athena's Choice by Adam Boostrom is a science fiction story with a setting in a distant future where men are extinct. A dangerous experimental virus has killed all men on earth. Fifty years later, in 2099, a project is initiated to bring men back to life, but it faces a threat —someone doesn’t want this project to succeed. A mysterious message sent to the police points to Athena Vosh, a young girl who’d rather live an ordinary life than be entangled in controversy. When Athena joins the investigation, her dreams will offer clues, including a ruined library and an old book that can help unveil the identity of the saboteur. Her journey is filled with self-discovery and truths about happiness and gender. The biggest question is: Can they bring men back?

Athena's Choice is told in a unique style, featuring flashbacks, backstories, streams of consciousness, and logs. The writing is impeccably good and filled with strong imagery. The novel begins with a unique premise —a world robbed of men, and such a premise immediately introduces the reader to a strange phenomenon. Elements of the conflict are introduced from the opening pages and the tension between the survivors of a strange natural phenomenon and those who have held the higher ground is clearly described: “The big problem was that there were already people living on the higher ground and back then everyone used to be very bad at sharing. Some of the higher ground people even decided to kill the climb-it refugees in the name of selfish defense. Those people were called ‘terrorists’ and they were very bad.” Adam Boostrom’s novel is highly imaginative, fast-paced, and tightly plotted. The characters are sophisticated and elaborately developed. A mesmerizing read, indeed.

Amanda Rofe

Athena's Choice by Adam Boostrom is a science fiction novel about a girl called Athena Vosh, an artist, who lives in a digital world of the future in a country called the North American Union. For over fifty years the planet has been without any men since they were wiped out by a virus called Y-Fever. It is now 2099 and some in society are keen to develop a cure for this deadly disease. A company called Helix has created Project Lazarus, an attempt to re-introduce men into society. However, something has gone wrong and someone has stolen the Lazarus genome, putting the project in jeopardy. Athena has been called in for questioning by the Department of Public Health over the stolen genome. She has absolutely no idea why she has been singled out for an interview and Athena's life soon becomes very complicated and dangerous.

Adam Boostrom provides a tantalizing glimpse of the future where the males have perished and society has blossomed under the rule of women. The moral and ethical dilemma of bringing men back into a divided society was fascinating. I found myself pondering the issues long after I'd finished the last page. The digital world had been well thought through, providing an authentic futuristic world view. Satisfying flashbacks to Athena's past filled in the historical timeline. Athena's Choice is an intriguing science fiction mystery with a very engaging storyline. The twists and turns of the plot were compelling reading, and the book ended with an unforeseen conclusion, which is always the sign of a good book.

Jamie Michele

Athena's Choice by Adam Boostrom is a futuristic dystopian science fiction novel that opens in the year 2099, a time on earth when men no longer exist, having become completely extinct worldwide. Athena Vosh is a young woman who lives in this world. Her earlier school projects reveal how a virus was constructed after global warming became so catastrophic that rising oceans wiped out swaths of lowland. The subsequent influx of refugees to higher ground resulted in mass terrorism against those forced to relocate. The result was the annihilation of the male gender, a reforming of countries and government in a 100% matriarchal planet, artificial insemination with genetically altered DNA, and a teenager who is accused of trying to destroy any chance of restoring the male population.

Athena's Choice is a unique novel within the crowded dystopian genre, pushing forward the unintentional rise of women and an environment where science and nature converge with both disastrous and impressive consequences. The world built by author Adam Boostrom is phenomenal and despite being uncomfortable with regard to how earth became this way, it is also eerily comfortable in how women have adjusted and thrived within this new setting. From the outset, very little appears to have changed and the adaptation of women seems to mostly work. Of course, this is a thriller where Athena stands accused of high crime and her vibrant dreams piece together what was and what should be. I loved the context and enjoyed the writing, and believe this book will appeal to both lovers of female-centric fiction, dystopian landscapes, and those who adore classic science fiction.

Scott Cahan

Athena’s Choice by Adam Boostrom is a dystopian science fiction tale about a social issue of the future. The story follows an ordinary young woman named Athena who is summoned by the government to help solve a crime that has ramifications for all of womankind. The world that Athena lives in is one without men. Every member of the male sex has been gone several decades and the world has, more the most part, done fine without them. She is baffled, at first, as to why they have asked for her help, but as the story goes on the reason becomes more clear. There is new technology that would allow men to be born into the world again and live healthy lives. Athena soon finds herself in the middle between the two sides; those who are anxious to have men back and those who will stop at nothing to prevent the return of men.

Athena’s Choice is a well-written exploration of an issue that doesn’t exist in our time, but could be in our future, or at least some form of it. Author Adam Boostrom’s main concern seems to be to make his readers think about the long-range consequences of some of the things that science is experimenting with right now. The storyline is simple but effective and comes off as more of a mystery whodunnit than an action-adventure story, but I think there are plenty of readers who will be thrilled with the solving-the-mystery element of this book. As a narrative, Athena’s Choice is very creative in the way it gives readers information. Between the scenes of Athena’s journey, we’re given newspaper articles, Wikipedia articles, and creative writing assignments that add lots of interesting information about the characters and the history that led the world to that point. All of those elements along with Athena's thought-provoking story make for a fun, compelling read.

K.J. Simmill

Athena had wanted to be an artist for almost all her life. What really cemented the thought in her mind, along with making her mother happy, was when she saw the truth of what an artist really was; a person who looked upon something and saw not what was there, but the potential for all it could be. The problem was, no one wanted her pictures. She excelled at painting a moment forever captured on canvas. When she is called into questioning regarding the theft of the Lazarus genome, she has no idea she is about to embark on the single most important mission of Womankind. After men were driven to extinction by Y-Fever, there have been many groups seeking to bring them back, and this genome should have done just that. As she is pulled into the investigation, she starts to experience bizarre dreams, dreams she is certain hold the answer. As her future reveals itself, she realizes her actions will have more wide-spanning consequences than she could ever imagine.

Athena's Choice is a gripping mystery set in a future where men no longer exist. Anyone who has seen Saber Marionette J will be familiar with the idea of a single-gender world, and what author Adam Boostrom has done is expand on that, with women as the survivors. This is well written in a smooth third-person narrative that keeps you intrigued from beginning to end. I really enjoyed the intermission chapters, small snippets of information from future sources such as Wikipedia, adverts, or school work that really expand your understanding of the world. We are shown a future with amazing enhancements, peace, and a world were people can chase their dreams. I loved Athena's character and the relationships she builds feel genuine and real. There is enough futuristic technology to satisfy a sci-fi lover, and better yet, they are all things which could be just years away. This book explores many interesting ideas from beginning to end, and it will certainly leave a reader thinking and debating what future they would prefer to unfold before them. Great ideas, fast-paced, gripping, and immersive, Athena's Choice is bound to satisfy a broad range of readers.