The Athena Project
An Athena Project Thriller by Brad Thor
Review: Brad Thor mixes ideas and themes from several genres — history, mystery, science fiction, chick lit, and more — in the generally enjoyable international thriller The Athena Project, the presumed first in a series of novels to feature four women highly trained as counter-terrorism agents.
When a black market arms merchant — one with no political or national loyalties or principles, but one with the resources to get what he wants, when he wants — supplies the explosives used in a bus bombing in Rome that kills twenty Americans, the United States decides to take action. The government not only wants to know where the merchant procured the weapons, but who ordered and paid for them. Agents of Delta Force are typically employed for these assignments, but in this case a small subset of the organization, four women code-named "Athena Project" are pressed into service: Alex Cooper, a ultra-marathon runner capable of performing at peak levels over long periods of time; Julie Erickson, a Hawaiian tri-athlete of uncommon intelligence; Megan Rhodes, whose beauty is matched only by her strength; and Gretchen Casey, the leader of the team, a skilled markswoman and an Olympic bi-athlete.
Though replete with the action sequences, close calls, and narrow escapes that are typical of most modern thrillers, The Athena Project seems to be written primarily as an introduction to this team of covert agents. The characters are well conceived and drawn, women with extraordinary (but not "superpower") talents and abilities, who are faced with an exceptionally difficult assignment under trying circumstances. The narrative is fast-paced, at times riveting, but frequently seems to lack focus, veering off in several directions that are tangential (at best) to the primary plot; they do, however, serve to provide, at least to some degree, context and background for the team members. But what will have readers returning for a sequel is the camaraderie exhibited by this group of gifted women.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Athena Project.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided a copy of The Athena Project for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Atria Books (Hardcover), July 2011
ISBN-13: 9781416586616; ISBN-10: 141658661X
Location(s) referenced in The Athena Project: Rome, Italy, Colorado
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The Athena Project by Brad Thor — An Athena Project Thriller
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: November 2010
List Price: $26.99