Rating: 3 / 5
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
ATHENA’S CHOICE by Adam Boostrom is a story set in the year 2099. It is a world that has faced climate change and battles for territory. While the world was at odds a virus labeled the Y-virus killed off all of the men on the planet and many women as well. The world is now populated solely by women, forming new nations, governments and ideals. Not everyone is happy with the world as it is, however, and some are researching ways to combat the Y-virus so that men can be reintroduced to society.
The main character of the novel is Athena Vosh, a teen who occasionally wonders what life would be like if men still existed or if they were brought back. When the male genome project is sabotaged, the artificial intelligence which aids the society identifies Athena as a key component in uncovering what has happened. Athena doesn’t know why she is chosen, but she has been having strange symbolic dreams that may provide some insight.
This was overall an enjoyable and entertaining read. I really enjoyed the near future setting and some of the details that the author throws in about the future technology. The world Athena inhabits is full of conveniences like contacts that display necessary information for her eyes only, to rooms and outfits which are programmable and recyclable. While potentially labeled as a dystopian setting, it seems to be more a glimpse of a world recovering from dystopia.
This book centers on a mystery around the sabotage of the genome project. Athena joins into the investigation and the author plays out the mystery well. In a world dependent on technology, investigators must find ways to combat a saboteur who has the ability to manipulate data and records. There are twists in the story that I did not anticipate as the investigation goes on.
It is hard to say a lot about the Y-virus’s impact on the world as much of that gets explored later in the book and would be a spoiler. While it mentions early on in the book that the virus wiped out all men and trans-men along with some women, I think that perhaps there was room to explore that a bit more and why the virus impacted certain populations and not others. I did also find myself wanting a bit more clarification on the relationships in this world. Athena lives with Nomi who she labels a friend, but the lines between friendship and romance are blurred. I think that is likely because there is confusion in Athena as well.
The author plays with format a lot in this book, which is something I appreciate seeing in books. In ATHENA’S CHOICE, you get things like interspersed advertisements for new forms of entertainment, wikipedia pages giving definitions for new technology that is being used in the book, resolutions for new policies about the limits of artificial intelligence, etc. For the most part I thought these were fun inclusions, especially since the future technologies is always a favorite for me in this type of novel.
Overall, this was an entertaining read with a very interesting premise and I’m glad that I had a chance to read it! ATHENA’S CHOICE is available for purchase now!