Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

April 19, 2011; Harlequin
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Summary

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. (courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

The Goddess Test was a surprisingly enjoyable book. I thought it was rather overdone and unrealistic at the beginning, but I kept going. As the pages turned, the story and the characters began to get under my skin and my annoyance turned to affection. By the end of the book, I was very happy to have read it and eagerly anticipating the next installment.

My main problem with the book and the beginning plot was Kate. She is miserable because her dying mother wants to spend her last days in her rural hometown. Kate is devastated that her mother is dying, although mostly in denial, and doesn't like having to establish herself in a new school. But she doesn't outwardly complain. Certainly not. She is incredibly selfless. It's Kate's self-sacrificial nature that I had a problem with. The plot gets going when Kate takes on a huge burden and abandons her mother, almost without thought, to save the life of a person she doesn't even like. This is certainly admirable, but it just didn't ring true to me. Who would really give up that much? Perhaps lots of people would...I'm just not a nice person.

Regardless, the plot moves on and Kate is now stuck in Hades' mansion for the next six months. Not only does she have to stick it out, but she has to pass unnamed tests. With the house comes Henry, aka Hades, who if she passes said tests will become her husband! Kate understandably is skeptical about this young man's claim to be a Greek god, but slowly his explanation is the one that makes the most sense.

This is where the story starts to improve. I loved how mysterious everything was. And coming from someone who hates being in the dark, this is high praise. Neither Kate nor the reader knows what the tests are. Also, Kate supposedly has enemies who don't want her to succeed in her trial period - all the previous candidates died before the tests were complete. We have no idea who these enemies are. People who seem friendly may not be while openly hostile characters may be completely harmless. I liked how our eyes were slowly opened to the truth.

Henry and Kate's relationship gradually builds. Kate starts out feeling hostile towards Henry, for obvious reasons, while he is very cautious about his potential bride. The walls crumble down between them one piece at a time. I never felt like I really cracked the mystery behind Henry, but I was happy with what I saw. They are both kind people who are seeking to do good and be happy. They mesh well.

The book picks up speed toward the end as the veil is opened and we discover Kate's enemies and the results of her test. I was truly surprised by how the story ended and quite pleased.

The Goddess Test is Greek mythology light. You don't have to know or really care anything about mythology to like this book. It was a pleasant read. While I didn't fall in love with the characters, I did grow to respect and like them. Same with the story. Definitely a series that I want to continue reading.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

20 comments:

  1. She abandons her dying mother to save someone she doesn't like? Hmm, I'm not sure I would do that either. I guess it depends how serious the situation was. But it's good to hear that the book got considerably better towards the end.

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  2. Glad to hear that it got better. I have been anticipating this one, it sounds really good. I must admit that I am a little disappointed that it doesn't have too much mythology in it though. Great review :)

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  3. This one sounds okay. I do love my Greek mythology though, so I wish there was more of that. Thanks for the awesome review!

    Tina @ Book Couture

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  4. I loved this book, I got to read it before it came out and I thought it was fantastic. What attracts me most is that it is mixed with myth and romance. OOH and Henry is sooo hot. I posted review about this book too check it out on my page if you have time. :)

    LALAINE'S FICBOOKREVIEWS

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  5. Great review! Not sure whether I want to read the book though. I'm all filled up on gods and goddesses, what with Jennifer Estep's Mythos books and everything.

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  6. Nice review! I totally loved this book and have been seeing lots of different opinions on it. I LOVE Greek mythology so it fast became a fave and I so can't wait to read the next one!

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  7. Great review! I have this book on my TBR list and have been meaning to get to it. I think it might be time to push it to the top, thank you for sharing! :)

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  8. Great review. I have it in my stack of TBR books somewhere mixed in one of the boxes (ugh i hate the way i have to hold them...no ibrary in my parents house so they stay in boxes with no chance for fresh air *sad face*) I think i need to read it soon!

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  9. I agree with your review completely Alison! I had a lot of trouble with Kate in the beginning for being so self-sacrificing as well, but once she settled in with Hades she started to grow on me:) I'm definitely looking forward to the next book since Persephone comes back in the picture. Drama is sure to ensue:)

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  10. I didn't really enjoy this one, which was a shame as I was really looking forward to it. The characters were such a letdown for me, and I found the plot quite dull.

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  11. haha, oh Alison, I'm not nice enough to do that either! I don't think that makes us mean though. Kate was just crazy on that. I didn't like this one very much, but I'm glad you did!

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  12. I ended up enjoying this book too. I loved how no one knew what the tests were or when they were happening.

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  13. This has been on my TBR list for awhile, I keep seeing mixed reviews! I probably would be annoyed with the beginning as well, especially if it's a bit unrealistic (no I won't leave a sick mom to help someone I don't like!) but it's good to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. =D

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  14. I guess I'm not a nice person either because I wouldn't just abandon my mom for someone I don't even like either. Good to know that this is mythology light, which I found to be a big bummer. I have it in my tbr pile but I will definitely have your issues in mind when I get to the book.

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  15. Well, what we're forgetting is that she saved that person's life but she was also getting an extension on her mother's life out of the deal.

    I'm really glad this book started convincing you after Kate was in the mansion! I really loved this book and I can't wait for GODDESS INTERRUPTED!

    Amber
    The Musings of ALMYBNENR

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  16. I have this one on my tbr - it's a shame about Kate, but I do quite like the sound of the story, especially the mysterious aspect you mentioned. Thanks for the great review!

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  17. Okay... that kind of goodness is way too good to be true. I read some reviews earlier on about this book that had me turned off, but perhaps I'll have to give it a go. I love a good mystery.

    Very helpful review. Thanks Alison.

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  18. I loved this book! Especially Henry! he stole my heart! Loved the review!

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  19. I love Greek mythology and I've been hearing a lot about this book. I think that Kate left her mother would have bothered me as well.

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  20. I enjoyed this one too. I had the same problems you did but ended up enjoying it in the end. Wonder when the next one is out?

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