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Athena's Choice

Narrated by: Alex Ford
Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

What if a stray virus accidentally killed all the men on earth?  

Winner of the 2019 National Indie Excellence Award for Visionary Fiction
Winner of the 2019 Maxy Award for Science Fiction
Finalist for the 2019 NIEA for Science Fiction

"A daring book that will stay in readers' minds long after the final page." (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

Athena Vosh lives just like any other teenager from the year 2099. She watches reality shows with her friends, eats well, and occasionally wonders to herself: What would life be like if men were still alive? 

It has been almost 50 years since an experimental virus accidentally killed all the men on earth. However, a controversial project is currently underway to bring men back. There's just one catch. The project has been sabotaged.

So begins the award-winning novel, Athena's Choice. When the police of 2099 are tasked with finding the saboteur, they receive a mysterious command to investigate the otherwise innocuous Athena Vosh. After it becomes clear that the young girl might know more than she lets on, Athena is brought in to participate in the official investigation. Simultaneously, the girl begins to experience a series of cryptic dreams featuring a ruined library and an old book containing the saboteur’s true identity. 

As the police close in on their prize, Athena finds herself on a journey of her own. Her clue-filled dreams and incorruptible spirit bring her face-to-face with a pair of forgotten truths about happiness and gender. The world waits to see if men will return as Athena fights a separate battle, culminating in the choice that will define her and others' lives forever. 

"I have spent days thinking of nothing except this book and I can honestly say, without hesitation, that I loved it." (Mackey S, Macsbooks)                          

©2019 Adam Boostrom (P)2019 Adam Boostrom

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Profile Image for Marnye Young Hull
  • Marnye Young Hull
  • 20-10-2019

Fresh! Invigorating! Bold!

I was given a copy of this in hardback but as a business owner and mom of twins my reading time is limited to audiobooks so I bought the audio and was immediately whisked into this future world absent of men. Several things blew me away about this book and one of them is Boostrom, a first time author mind you, can write women including teenagers with the best of them. I had to keep checking Boostrom was not a woman. The depth and complexities of his characterizations and the world building is astounding. Another thing about this book was the subject matter. It is not enough to say his work is thought provoking as Boostrom forces you to confront and question what perhaps, before reading his book, you never would have in essence your own sense of morality. It is no wonder Boostrom's debut won numerous awards.

And now onto the narration. Alex Ford has the kind of voice she just want to curl up in to. There is a purity to her sound that is aurally pleasing and her range is exceptional. Beyond this Ford displays her artistry as she embodies character after character with nuance subtlety and even humor. Her voice has a razors edge at times and one beat later it is like the the softness of a fuzzy blanket bringing warmth and radiance.

In my opinion this is the perfect pairing. I look forward to reading more of Boostrom and hearing more of Ford. Both are superstars in my book!

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  • M. McAvoy
  • 05-09-2019

Unique twist on an apocalypse/pandemic

I really enjoyed the thought that was put into this work. It
leaves you to ponder what if this really happened? Can society ever truly be at peace with ourselves and nations across the globe? I feel like I'm not articulating very well the dilemmas that could come from an event such as this. Which way is best? I don't think anyone is qualified to make that big of decision alone. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Demi
  • 08-08-2019

Perfect Book-Club Read

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. What I got was a suspenseful, engrossing mystery, set eighty years in the future, and staring a series of hard-driving female leads. The twists and turns kept me at the edge of my seat, and the book’s ending had me asking all of my friends to read it so that I could discuss it with them!!

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  • Bobbie Amdahl
  • 12-07-2019

Surprisingly amazing

I was surprised by this book! I love science fiction. The advanced tech in this book was described I such a way that made it easy to envision and desire. The pursuit of self and knowledge was truly inspiring. I even cried at a few parts. It was easy to relate to as a women. The whole female cast was also refreshing. And the fact that a man wrote this makes it even more relevant as it really expresses human nature In females as mistakes that we could make to protect.
His moral In this story is truly insightful and I think even men should read it! I do feel like a sequel is necessary! Leaving it with a question is intriguing but also frustrating!
The narrator was pretty good. I tend to lean towards male narrations but I would listen to her again!
Recommend 10/10

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  • Dee
  • 06-07-2019

Great story. Excellent narration!

I like dystopian sci-fi stories so when the premise of this story is a future world without men well, that just screams MUST READ.

This was a great listen. The author told the story by interspersing advertisements and past memories and even news articles. There was an undercurrent of man-hating in the storyline and that was a tad uncomfortable. It did go a long way in explaining the conundrum of whether or not bringing men back was a good idea.

I loved the narration!!! This story went into a lot of areas. The narrator had to handle not only different personalities but audio commercials and even AI characters. It was a pleasure to hear all of those entities come to life.

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  • SD
  • 16-11-2019

For Matrix fans

I've listen to this book on Audible. For me it is at the same level as the Matrix film trilogy (if it was a single book).
This story is about a world were men are all dead because of a targeted disease. Its odd new world, were women don't have to work, they pleasure themselves with body massage implants and furniture can be self rearranged in an instant (just to name a few), is amazing. We get a glimpse of that and the events of the past by a serie of diverse shorts at the beginning of each chapter. I have to say: the narrador does a fantastic job at separating those pasts from the story narration. She is very expressive, and I can't imagine this story in any other way. That's why it's so difficult to imagine this book being written by a man. I really felt like being inside a female mind: Athena's mind.
In the end, this book is about what is happiness, what does it means. Is it having a purpose? Or is it pleasure? How about when that pleasure is obtained at the expenses of others... This is the kind of philosophical dilemas that makes this story as good as the Matrix one. Both sides have very good arguments. All this drama is enveloped by more story drama and a great thriller (even a couple of action scenes) so it's perfect for everyone. I do hope this book get's more visibly. It really deserves it!
PS: if you get put off by Athena's odd dreams or the slower pace at the start, hang on. The finale, when everything is explained will be worth it, believe me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike C
  • 03-07-2019

Intriguing science fiction mystery

In this story, all men have been dead for dozens of years due to a manufactured virus mutating and getting out of control. No more men are "produced" because all women are still carriers of the virus.

I found the plot engaging. The author excels at world building, and filling that world full of details.

The way the story is laid out, is we have the main character stumbling around a bit through the mystery. Then it will switch to a news report, advertisement, or the like from the past. Those interjections are also well done.

The problem I had is that when I was getting into one aspect of the story, it would come to a complete halt and change direction into a different aspect. Some of the chapter parts are so short that this can happen very frequently in a short period of time.

Also, the "man-hating" commentary is a little heavy at times. Other than those two things, I enjoyed the book.


The narration is top-notch, and the individual character voices are excellent.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane Lee
  • 31-05-2019

Amazing audiobook

I listened to this during my commute and I would have a hard time turning it off when I got to work/home.
The story is fantastic, the author does a great job building the sci-fi utopia where men have all died off and 'womankind' is left with advanced technology and attempting to re-create men. The genome for men is stolen and the investigation unravels into a great story with plot twists and character development that left me gasping, tearing up, and pausing the audio book to contemplate my existence; all during my commute.
The narration is also great with distinct character voices and good timing. I particularly enjoyed the Russian accent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaclyn679
  • 18-12-2019

Interesting world and great story!

Wow! What a fun and different read. I love that the author took topics from todays society and blew them up to see what would happen. I thought the whole women driven society was really interesting and exciting to read about. The book was set up really nicely with good depth and detail. I thought the author kept a very nice pace and did a great job at allowing the reader to really get to know the characters and what drove them. I also loved the feminist vibe of the book and how much it makes you think about current complications in the world. A great story, and a great writer. *I was given this book in exchange for an honest review, but the thoughts are entirely my own.

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  • Deedra
  • 03-12-2019

Athena's Choice

Excellent book!Very intriguing plot and characters. Alex Ford was a fine narrator.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.' 

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  • Bel
  • 13-09-2019

What a Choice!

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.

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  • Selina ryles
  • 23-07-2019

a book that gives you food for thought

when I started listening to this book I was expecting it to be more science fiction , but I must say that it is more fitting in the young adult genre. It is feminism at its best and definitely gives the reader food for thought about the future and the dilemma which is faced . As the saying goes you cant live with men and cant live without them and this is the ultimate choice which must be made when men are eradicated from the world. The world is described so well and puts the images in the readers mind. I was given this book by the author/narrator in return for an honest and unbiased review

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  • Norma Miles
  • 13-07-2019

All intelligent life is born to die.

Whether or not the reader enjoys the premise behind Athena's Choice, this book makes a big impact, with the feel of one to become a future classic, like Brave New World, 1984, Solent Green or Logan's Run. Set at the end of the 21st Century, the world has become one without men, a virus having destroyed them all (and some women) almost fifty years before. Society, however, has flourished under the reduced population, all-female governance, with peace, prosperity and and apparent freedom of lifestyle choice available to all. But the destructive Y virus is still carried by all women, so children born (yup, they seem to have that aspect sorted, too) are all female.
Whilst many, like the main protagonist Athena, have never seen a man other than in pictures, inevitably, some people want a return of that other half of the Human race and Project Lazarus is devised, despite the objections of the Women First activists. When a crucial part of the revival scheme goes missing, Athena, an ordinary young woman trying, and failing, to make a name for herself as an artist, is called upon by the overseeing AI to help find it.

The book is very visually written, the futuristic scene set by passing mention of the everyday technologies - food printing and auto-dishwashing, overnight made to measure clothing, with magnetic fitting and after-wearing recycling, for example - and the use of inserted advertisements, school essays and their assessments, Wikipedia definitions and social media comments etc. also adds to the sense of time and place. Chapters are also short and bite sized, making this a quick to read book (although, initially, the brief time jumps can be a tad confusing). The story line itself, with the search for the missing genome and Athena's own voyage of self discovery, is interesting, the author's input of ideas, like them or hate them, is thought provoking and the whole adventure will remain in the reader's mind's eye for some time after the book is comp!eted, especially since the reader is left to make the final decision for themself.

Narrator Alex Ford deserves special recognition. She reads well, with good intonation and character voicing - all of the usual stuff. But she also managed to 'disappear', leaving the story to tell itself directly into the reader's mind. It made the book more effective in consequence. A fine performance.

I am very grateful to the rights holder of Athena's Choice for freely gifting me with a complimentary copy at my request, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you. It was more than I had expected, at times simplistic or annoying, but always visual and thought provoking. A classic for the future and a book which could easily become an excellent film. Recommended to any S.F.aficionado, as well as young adults of every age.