Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter


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.

My Rating: 3 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: As a big fan of Greek mythology, I was really excited to hear that Aimee Carter’s debut novel, The Goddess Test, is a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone. Reading the book though was very disappointing because it didn’t justify my expectations. Although Carter made the myth unique, there were some flaws to the story.

In the original myth of Persephone and Hades, the god of the Underworld kidnaps his niece to make her his bride. In The Goddess Test, Kate makes a bargain with Henry (Hades) to keep her dying mother alive until she’s ready to say goodbye. In exchange, Kate will live in Eden (Henry’s domain) for six months and experience seven tests that if she passes, will make her an immortal, the co-ruler of the Underworld, and if she wants, Henry’s wife. As if living in captivity and having to face seven tests isn’t enough, Kate must also ensure that she survives because someone keeps killing the girls that the gods are picking to become Henry’s future bride. I thought this was a great twist to the story and actually figured out who the villain was only a few pages before Kate did because Carter did an excellent job of keeping the identity of the villain a secret.    

In The Goddess Test, Carter has created a likable protagonist with Kate. She’s kind, loyal, mature and willing to fight for what she wants. Henry, on the other hand, does not resemble Hades at all! I expected my Hades to be a major bad boy, but instead we’re stuck with a romantic lead who is so depressed about his first love (Persephone) leaving him for a mortal that he just wants to fade away. I couldn’t care for Henry, which is why I don’t understand what Kate saw in him.

Carter also made the other characters in the novel Greek gods disguised as ordinary humans. Unfortunately, I still can’t figure out which of the Greek gods are represented by some of the characters.

Aside from that, the tests Kate experienced are based on the seven sins. I have no idea why the Greek gods would choose to test Kate on this since based on all the myths I’ve read about them, they would have failed big time. As a reader, I also had no idea when Kate was being tested, which was annoying. Once I found out what the actual tests were though, I was extremely surprised. I never knew that immortality could be based on whether you chose to share clothes with your friends! 

The Goddess Test will be released by Harlequin Teen on April 26, 2011.

Comments About the Cover: I love the cover. It’s very pretty and the outfit of the girl kind of reminds me of Greek clothing while remaining modern. The font is also appropriate and since Persephone was a vegetation goddess, it makes a lot of sense to have flourishing plants in the background.    

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.

11 comments:

  1. Really fantastic review Zahida, we are on the same page with this one! It took me a while to warm to Kate, she was a bit mopey in the beginning for me. And Henry I just couldn't connect with, though I'm hoping now that they're sort of together, some of the depression will lift and we'll get a more dynamic Hades in book 2:)

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  2. 3 hearts only? I've read a lot of rave reviews about this so I'm surprised that you gave this 3 hearts only.

    I fell in love with the premise the first time I read about it. But an unbad boy Hades? That's sounds wrong. I've downloaded this from NG and I have this at the top of my TBR list, but I think I'll skip this one for now.

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  3. I haven't read this one yet, but I can see how those issues might be difficult to get beyond. I'm really intrigued by the premise, though. And kind of curious about this non-bad boy Hades. It's interesting that she took that approach. I'll check it out if I have a chance. I'm curious.

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  4. Great review. I agree Henry was a difficult character to love. I am hoping that in the second installment he becomes happier and more charming.

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  5. I gave this book 5 stars, but I didn't care that the myth was changed and I liked not knowing when the tests were. I agree with you from your perspective of the characters of the actual Greek gods, but for me that wasn't a factor in my enjoyment of the book. I loved Henry by the end and I think it's fine that he's hard to get to know for a start.

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  7. Yeah, I've seen several lukewarm reviews for this one now, and that point about Henry not matching the Hades of Greek legend has come up more than once. Good to know, I'll have to keep that in mind if/when I read it. Thanks for the honest review!

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  8. I've just finished another book based on the same myth and will probably read this one too. Sounds like Henry is a bit too mopey and I'm also curious to see that the differents tests are.

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  9. Oh really? Would you like to borrow my jeans? LOL

    Yeah, I'm not sure this one is for me. I thought, because of the title, that the tests would stand out a bit more. The fact that you can't really distinguish the gods also doesn't sit well with me.

    Thanks for the review.

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  10. Three stars? So sad! I really thought this would be a awesome book. I still want to give it a try, but it's not high on my list anymore. ;) Great review.

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