Review: Athena’s Choice (audio) by Adam Boostrom

Adam Boostrom: Athena’s Choice; Audible Audio; 7h29m; Narrator: Alex Ford

It’s been decades since I read feminist literature like, e.g., ‘Egalia’s Daughters’ by Gerd Brantenberg. I haven’t thought of the premise of a matriarchal society for a very long time, so this book came as quite a surprise.
Where in the books I read back then women and men only had switched roles, so to say, Adam Boostrom is taking it one step further: men don’t exist any more on earth. The whole population is female, and they are doing well.
However, some females want to bring back males, because they have fond memories, because they’re curious, or because they don’t feel complete without a male counterpart.
A renowned scientist is tasked with creating a genome that is resistant to the virus which killed all males five decades ago.
The catch is: somebody stole the genome before its completion.

Enter our heroine: young Athena Vosh.
She is somehow connected to the theft, and gets summoned before the AI who knows everything, and who is responsible for the well-being of the population — alas, the AI isn’t allowed to make decisions regarding life or death, which is why she needs somebody who is allowed to do this.

Athena agrees to help finding the thief, hoping she’ll at last find a purpose in life, and maybe even excel.

But things don’t quite turn out the way Athena had hoped. She makes acquaintances, and her dreams lead her in a direction I wasn’t sure was beneficial for ‘womanity’ — would she open Pandora’s box?

The characters are well formed out, and the world is fascinating and vividly described. I loved the occasional advertisements throughout the book, as well as the description of all the technical achievements this future holds.
I’m not sure I’d want any of that — well, maybe the massage thing — and I certainly don’t know what choice I’d make were I in Athena’s shoes.
From where I stand now, the choice would be simple, because I have two sons and a grandson (and I had a brother), but if I had grown up without ever knowing any males…

This books combines various subjects: a coming of age story, a utopia, a bit of dystopia, and a future which still seems like science fiction now, but is looming around the corner, what with all the scientific and technological advances humanity has made.
There are enough twists to keep you listening (or reading), and the outcome is totally unexpected.

It gives food for thought, and will certainly stay with me for some time to come.

The narrator does an excellent job, and I especially enjoyed the way she narrated the advertisements. Her enunciation was very good, so that even I, as a non-native speaker, had absolutely no trouble understanding every word.

I received a complimentary copy and I chose to willingly post an honest review.

Review: Treasure, built of Sand (audio) by S.W. Hubbard

S.W. Hubbard: Treasure, built of Sand (Palmyrton Estate Mystery Series #6); Narrator: Janelle Tedesco; audible audio: 7h35min; 23 Aug. 2019

Summary:

Another Man’s Treasure are hired to sell the contents of a beach house of a very rich family. Audrey is surprised, because the owners haven’t died, and don’t intend to move, and there are no antiques to sell.

Still, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if it comes with a weekend spent in splendid surroundings.

However, where Audrey is, trouble isn’t far–she is like a magnet for mysteries.

So she ends up solving the death of a youth, and taking care of quite a lot of other problems along the way.

My Thoughts:

There are few mystery series I thoroughly enjoy and haven’t found fault with so far, and the Palmyrton Estate Sale Mystery series is one of them.

Although it has been a while since last I was in Palmyrton (virtually, of course), I immediately reconnected with Audrey and her crew, and with the latest addition of her husband and his large family.

Like in the previous books, all the characters are very believable, as are their trials and tribulations.

The book is rich in small details (like the aftermath of a huge storm), which adds to its authenticity.

The problems not related to the actual sale are of a kind most people have some knowledge about, but only those concerned really think about–at least I had never given it any thought.

The twists and turns the story takes are great, and in the end, it all somehow interlocks, showing Audrey where she definitely doesn’t want to go.

I was very happy that Janelle Tedesco found the time in her tight schedule to narrate this audio book. As usual, she did a fantastic job! Her character voices are very easy to differentiate, you always know exactly who is talking. As the cast of characters is large, this is no mean feat, especially since she manages to give all known characters the voices the listener is used to from the previous books.

The combination of S.W. Hubbard’s brilliant writing and Janelle Tedesco’s fantastic narration is something nobody should miss out on!

Info about the author

Info about the narrator.