Title: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Goddess Test #1)
First Published: April 19th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, teen romance
Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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 was excited to read this book – I love stories with their basis in mythology and young adult fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine. However this is not the story of Hades and his bride as I’ve ever read it before. Aimee Carter has taken the classic story and cleaned it up a bit – sanitized it for today’s audiences. The gods and goddesses that appear in this novel are far from the raping, incestuous and scandalous beings I’m familiar with. But that’s not altogether a bad thing. Yes, there are so many differences that these characters barely even resymbol their other selves, but I found that I was drawn so far into this story that it didn’t matter to me that it wasn’t what I was expecting.
In many ways this book reminded me of a cross between Lauren Kate’s Fallen series and the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. Girl moves to a new town where she seems to have a legacy she doesn’t quite know the truth behind. And then she sacrifices her freedom for someone she cares about to live in a mansion with a dark and mysterious captor. I had to stop myself from comparing the staff at Henry’s house with the magical enchanted household items that kept the Beast’s castle running in Beauty and the Beast. Despite the similarities, The Goddess Test managed to entertain me and surprise me. There were times when I couldn’t understand Kate’s actions and decisions but I liked her perseverance.
I liked time span of the novel. The romance was not rushed and whirlwind – it progressed at a pace that felt natural and right but at the same time I didn’t feel like anything was dragged out. The only problem I had was with Ava and James being Kate’s best friends after only two weeks… A little rushed but considering Kate’s been a full time carer for the past four years, I’ll forgive her the rushing their friendship.
I’m most interested in the sequel. This novel does stand alone rather well. There are hints at where the series might decide to go but I have to admit I liked how this instalment finished.
3.5 out of 5
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