“The Athena Project” is the code name for an entirely new Delta Force team, of a sort never before heard of in American counterintelligence. The four members of the Athena Project are smart, savvy, and capable - the best at what they do, striking fear into the hearts of anyone working against them. What sets the members of the Athena Project apart is that all four are women. Beautiful and able to inflict deadly force, Julie, Megan, Alex, and Gretchen make up one of the top Delta Force teams out there today.
Just in time, too. Word has leaked out of a former Nazi research project that could be catastrophic in the wrong hands. After World War II, it was up to the Americans to secure or destroy all the Nazi scientific research they could before it fell into the hands of the Soviet Union. Due to increasingly difficult time constraints, they weren’t as thorough as they wanted to be. As a result, the women of The Athena Project must discover who is using this piece of technology and figure out how to stop them before it is too late.
In his latest thriller, Brad Thor appears to be trying to appeal to both sexes – an exciting story containing beautiful women with guns for men, and smart women who are better at their jobs than most men for the ladies. While he succeeds on the male front, women will be left wanting by this book. Julie, Megan, Alex, and Gretchen are all beautiful, which men will love, but they will be hard pressed to even remember their names. These women receive virtually no character development over the course of the story. Most of their definition comes through their romantic interests and the relationships they are in. Thor gives none of the women any characteristic to define and distinguish her from the others. They are painted as an individual - a team of beautiful, capable women, nothing more, and with few realistic feminine qualities to back them up.
As a result, the main draw of The Athena Project has to come from its story, and it does mostly succeed. The Nazi project is an interesting one, and readers will want to discover why exactly it is being used and what it means for our heroines. However, the story is choppy. It jumps so quickly from mission to mission that there isn’t a lot of time for the reader to digest what’s going on. On the plus side, it moves quickly and doesn’t give the reader the opportunity to become bored with the story.
The Athena Project is a wonderful change of pace for men looking for something new in an action thriller (and perhaps something to fire up their imaginations), but women will be left wanting by this book. The characters have little depth and don’t resemble real, three-dimensional women. The premise is interesting, but the story has some execution issues. Overall, this book isn’t one wholeheartedly recommended to discerning readers. If you’re looking for quick, escapist fare, however, you might enjoy this book.