The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)

The Goddess TestBy Aimee Carter

Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Source: Netgalley

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.

Goodreads Summary

Kate’s mom has been dying of cancer for a long time.  Originally given only months, she’s managed to hang on for years and Kate’s put her life on hold to take care of her.  Now her health finally fading for good, she’s made one final wish – she wants to go back to her hometown of Eden, Michigan, to die. Although it appeared out of nowhere, it seems like every other small town – a small main street with a little grocery store and not much else unless you count the intriguing, forbidding, black iron gate protecting an estate just outside of town.

With so little time with her mother left, Kate wants to stay home, but with a day nurse to stay at the house and with her mother’s prodding, she heads off to Eden High.  On her first day she manages to make an unusual new best friend (sort of against her will) named James, a new admirer (mostly against her will) named Dylan and a new frenemy named Ava (definitely against her will), who happens to be Dylan’s girlfriend.  Ava seemingly extends an olive branch to Kate, but really sets her up for a nasty prank – one that backfires on Ava, forcing Kate to face one of her biggest fears to try to save her, something that was futile.  Then Henry appears in front of her, asking her what she would do to keep her friend alive.  He explains who is, what he wants and she agrees, not believing, until Ava comes back to life.  Henry reminds her that on the solstice she’ll need to come to him, but she still doesn’t really believe that he can hold her to their bargain.

When Henry sends for her, she refuses to go – telling James about the deal she made and wondering about Ava’s safety.  It’s only when Henry exacts the price for her deal that Kate realizes that Henry is what he says – and she wonders what he can do for her mother.  When she finally enters the estate, she’s shocked by its inhabitants and by Henry when he tells her she has seven tests she must pass during her six month stay.  At the end, she will either be a goddess by his side or the other gods and goddesses will be free to dispose of her.  As the months stretch on, the possibility of being a goddess starts meaning less to her than the possibility of meaning something more to Henry.

Before you even begin the story, you have to take about eighty percent of what you know about Greek mythology and tuck it firmly in the back of your head.  You can keep a little of the story of Persephone and Hades around, but don’t get too attached to the specifics.  Carter has tweaked and tamed those gods to tell a rather quiet romantic story with a moral, not to shake the rafters with their lightning bolts and less than savory sexual practices.

I really, really loved Kate’s interactions with her mother.  She was given some “dream time” with her and they had some conversations that made my eyes well up sometimes.  Not really because they were sad, just because they were the kinds of things that I’d do with my mom, the sorts of things that any daughter and mom who were best friends would sit and talk about.  I wasn’t completely in love with Kate herself all of the time, although there were moments when she had me – her stolen conversations with Henry were nice, all the sweeter because of his reluctance to give them to her.  Other times she was so predictably wonderful that I just wanted her to yell at someone, throw a tantrum, or break something (whining about a corset doesn’t count).

I was quite frustrated with Henry and I hope in the next book he starts to man up if he appears (it looks like it’s for the six months when she’s not with him).  He mooned over Persephone too much, was so tentative with Kate for so long and was another one that was so nice that I was ready to growl at him.  I wish more of his job had been shown, but this really wasn’t his book, it was Kate’s, so I shouldn’t have expected it.  I really do look forward to seeing more of what goes on in his world though, and I hope Carter takes us there.

My Summary: This book takes Greek mythology and the story of Hades and Persephone and flips it on its ear, to a good, approachable effect.  This had some issues but they were definitely outweighed for me by the bright cast of supporting characters, the beautiful relationship between Kate and her mom and the terrific possibilities for the series.  I can’t give it a perfect rating because of the way some things wrapped up, but I’m following this series.

My Rating: B+

Barbara

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Comments

  1. Hello,I signed up for the giveaway. I hope you have a good night.romancebookjunkiedanielle @ yahoo dot com

  2. I can't wait to read this book, I LOVE Greek Mythology!Elizabeth

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