Six athletes and a would-be terrorist prepare for the London 2012 Olympics.
The novel follows several characters in the months leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games. As Sam works his way through grad school, his brother Brent works toward rowing in the games. After some personal tragedies, Sam finds solace in the arms of Ellis, a charismatic social activist and terrorist who brainwashes him into becoming part of a plot to sabotage the Olympics’ opening ceremonies. Meanwhile, Lexi, a rower, dates Brent but can’t handle how he consistently puts her second in their relationship. Basketball player Jayna descends into alcoholism after she’s sexually abused by her coach. Andrea, a kayaker, deals with the sudden death of her teammate and questions what is truly important in her life; her boyfriend, a rower named JJ, suffers a terrible injury and must choose between rehabilitation and retirement. Swimmer Vincent lusts after Yasmine, a marathon runner with a problem marriage. All six athletes also experience the nonstop training, dietary restrictions and discipline that come with being elite Olympic competitors. Author Carver-Dias, an Olympic bronze medalist in synchronized swimming, captures her characters’ unique struggles, particularly when she describes the sacrifice that goes into an Olympic hopeful’s daily regimen. The author does pack a bit too much drama into the story at times; her characters face so many obstacles and upsetting experiences that readers may find themselves overwhelmed. Although not every character makes it to the Olympics or has a happy ending, the author generates ample suspense with the threat of Sam’s terrorism, which will keep readers hanging on until the last page.
A novel about the Olympics that is nearly as engaging to read as the events are to watch.