THE ATHENA FACTOR by W. Michael Gear


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The lives of a plucky but overworked film goddess and a plucky but disgraced FBI agentess converge in the machinations of an evil Saudi prince whose biotech ambitions will bring the world baby Elvises and Princess Dis on demand.

Abandoning historical fiction (Coyote Summer, 1997, etc.) for a stab at created-for-the-multiplex thrillers, Gear, perhaps with an eye on tuition payments or simply to see how easily the green-lighters can be sucked in, creates a summer release starring, probably, Sandra Bullock as Oscar-winning megastar Sheela Marks, latest target of a gang of mysterious privacy invaders who have already made off with whiskers, epithelial cells and other cast-off body bits from the likes of Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts. Fortunately for Sheela, her creepy manager Rex has engaged the very best in private security through the services of former military hero Lymon Bridges. Quick-thinking Lymon foils an attack on Sheela in a New York hotel corridor, but, needing help, he hires Princeton-trained Christal Anaya (Jennifer Lopez re-creating the Out of Sight role she was so great in before everything went off the tracks with Ben), whose FBI career ended with the publication of films of her having highly satisfactory sex in a stakeout van with a fellow agent. Hollywood being Hollywood, when Christal reports for duty, nobody has yet figured out that the thieves are after DNA rather than credit cards or jewelry. Nor has anybody yet connected the disappearance of a number of the most brilliant minds in the cytotechnological universe with the emergence in the biotech world of Genesis Athena, a firm that has carved out a niche serving the needs of rich and obsessed Fans of the Famous. Everything comes to a furious cinematic boil on Genesis Athena’s luxurious floating DNA-transfer clinic.

Comic-book stuff, but bound for glory.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-765-31166-6
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2005


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