Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test

1921goddess_coverAuthor: Aimee Carter {site}
Genre: YA, Romance, Mythology
Format: Kindle
Published: 19 April 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Disclosure: Acquired via NetGalley
Series: Yes (trilogy)

Synopsis: {via amazon}
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 should preface this review with the admission that I'm a huge Greek Mythology fan. I've been reading and enjoying it for quite a few years, and studying Classical Greek literature while in college only strengthened my adoration for all things Greek! Truth be told, it's not the only mythology I enjoy, I also really like Norse, but the Greeks are my favorite by far. So, when I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to have it. Not wanted it, but had to have it.

The Characters:

Now that I'm done with it, I'm happy to say that it doesn't disappoint. The characters are all quite believable and the main character, Kate, is quite sympathetic. Given that the book is about Kate undertaking the seven tests to become an immortal, the first person narration was not only appropriate but very well done. Other than Kate, my favorite character was Henry, by far. I tend to fall for the dark, brooding, tortured soul male leads and Henry's got that. He's a good character, he comes across dark and filled with pain and loneliness--he also comes across as someone not quite connected to life, which is appropriate considering that he, well, Hades. How could I not fall for that?!

Ava and James were also really good characters, though they weren't as present as either Kate or Henry. Considering it was Kate and Henry's story, though, I didn't expect them to be. Ava could be quite annoying and impish at times, but by the end of the book it becomes clear why she behaves the way she does (let's just say it's not out of character for her to behave like this). James starts out a cheerful guy and, over the course of the story, evolves into something much more serious.

The Plot:

The plot was well paced and quite sad at parts. Any story that involves a teenager whose mother is dying of cancer is bound to have it's heartbreaking moments. I felt like Carter dealt with the emotion in this story in such a way that it's accessible to readers.  There was never a moment I thought I might cry, or was so touched I had to put the book done, but the emotion is still there. I think, for me, the problem is that I tend to be very skeptical of emotional elements, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. This book really spans the spectrum of emotion with everything from pain to passion, loss to love. I really enjoyed that aspect.

The tests were well placed and when you learn what they are, you start to see not only how she's done on some of them that have passed, but also the traps laid ahead of her. The "bad guy" who really isn't a bad guy, so much as someone driven by selfish motivations, wasn't too apparent and it took me a while to figure out who it was. As a matter of fact, I figured it out only shortly before the book spills it. I tend to catch these things, so I was pleasantly surprised. By the end of the book, when you get to the legend that says who each god is, I had it pretty much figured out. They're quite well portrayed, I must say, each with the characteristics appropriate to his or her god or goddess.

The Verdict:

Rating: 4/5
In all, I'd say this book holds up to its promise. As the first book by a debut author, The Goddess Test is a winner. If you're considering it and you enjoy YA, romance, and mythology I'd say this book is for you. While it got some mixed reviews, I think Carter made a good start with this trilogy. I'm definitely waiting for the next two books, which are slated for February 2012 and November 2012.


  1. Good to know you enjoyed this one! I have it from netgalley as well but haven't gotten to it. Sounds really good though, great review! :)

    ~ Sarah ♥ I'm Loving Books

  2. Oooh, I really want to read this! It sounds so amazing. And Greek mythology is by far my favourite as well.
    Brilliant review!

  3. Fantastic review! I really loved this. The whole Greek mythology trend starting to hit YA books has me so excited. I was surprised by the 'bad guy' character aswell. All the way through I had my theories and tried piecing together clues, but I only guessed it just before all was revealed. The only downfall of the book? I hate waiting so long for the sequel!