The Goddess Test -review #2

The lovely Leigh has already read and reviewed this book, and while I enjoyed it, my take on it is a little different 😉

Author: Aimee Carter
Released: 19th April, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Teen

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

I want to start this review by saying that I’m not a teen. Nor am I your typical girl. Which I think means I am not exactly the target market for this book. That said, the premise was interesting, and I was really curious to see how the story would spin out in the novel.

The intro to the book is a scene with Hades/Henry, and it seemed an odd place to start. I didn’t really ‘get’ it, though at the end of the book, that scene makes sense. Once you get into everything with Kate, and her mother, the story really starts to flow and I have to say that this is a very well written book. Kate is a likable character – she is been nursing her sick mother, and agreed to move to virtually the middle of nowhere to grant her Mum’s dying wish, even though it’s the last place she really wants to be.

Really, we just want Kate to catch a break, and this seems to happen when she finds a friend in James. I really liked James, he was quirky, and unique – the kind of guy I would have been friends with in high school as well. Her other friend ends up playing a mean prank on her, dying, and then getting brought back to life by Henry/Hades, and that’s when the real story starts.

Not a whole lot actually happens in the story, and like Kate, the reader is left to wonder when these tests are going to start happening. She endures very little actual hardship, in actual fact, life with Henry seems pretty rosy to me – great clothes, great food, and she gets to spend all her dreaming nights with her mother, who is healthy and whole in Kate’s dream time. All in all, I consider her a fairly passive character. She doesn’t make any huge choices beyond her initial agreement to Henry to spend 6 months with him if he brings her friend back to life, and by the end of the novel I am angry for her, and wish she would feel something more lukewarm than what she does.

I have a few issues with this novel, and perhaps if I were the target audience, I might have been able to ignore them. I actually like my Greek mythology though, and for anyone who is familiar with it, this book is probably going to grate on your nerves. Carter takes liberties a lot of the time – these are not Greek god/goddesses as you might know them, they are perhaps the politically correct, heavily moderated versions of them. Henry often refers to himself as ‘lord of hell’ which just makes me cringe. That’s not the only time that boundaries between religions are blurred, though I won’t go into details as I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.

For the most part, this is an evenly written book, and if you can forgot about the fact it’s meant to be based on Greek Mythology, then you can enjoy it. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I was rooting for Henry to win Kate over. James was definitely my love interest of choice – as this is book one in a series, it will be interesting to see how that potential love triangle plays out.

That said. I’m still undecided whether I will pick up the next book. Again, without going into details as I don’t want to spoil the read, the climax of the book was unforgivable for me. It frustrated me no end and I can’t say that it left me with a lot of trust in the author. Sadly.

I really think that this book will appeal to the teen girl market though, or anyone who can put aside their past knowledge of Greek mythology and read the story for what it is, rather than what you might expect/hope it to be.

I gave it 3 stars, as it was a well written book, though obviously, I don’t agree with a lot of the choices the author made. She can certainly write, so there is a good chance I’d pick up something else by her, though maybe not from this series.

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