The Goddess Test: a review

Posted 13 April, 2011 by Danny in / 26 Comments

The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter (website, Twitter)
Publish date: April 26th, 2011 by Harlequin Teen
ARC copy received from NetGalley
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.

The following review is co-written by Danny and cutie.

Danny breaks down the story: 

Kate moves with her mom to Eden a tiny town in the middle of nowhere to find peace for her mom’s remaining days. She’s very sick and will die soon. Kate and her mom have a wonderful intense and close relationship and the situation brought tears to my eyes already in the beginning of the book. Although Kate is not ready to let her go, she grants her mom her last wish and enrolls at Eden High to finish school.

Things start to get really really weird when Ava the super popular girl invites her to a party at the mysterious Eden Manor. There she meets Henry a mysterious gorgeous, quite man and their encounter leads to a bargain that really sounds terrifying. If she passes 7 test she has to take Persenophe’s place and rule the Underworld with Hades aka. Henry.

But she’s not stepping back from her responsibility and accepts to take the test ..and hopefully survives.

Two Bookworm’s thoughts:

Danny: I found the idea of the story and the plot-line absolutely unique, fresh and fascinating. Greek Mythology was always something I loved and enjoyed and I love how Mrs.Carter explored these myths in her novel!

cutie: I love me some Greek Mythology too! But I found that it played a minor part in this book, strangely enough. Unlike series like Percy Jackson where the myths and gods play a major role and “history” is somewhat reinvented or old stories twisted together with modern ones, this is definitely more of a “love story” sorta and the struggles of a girl losing her mother with a touch of mythology throw in, even though Hades and his crew play a major role. I know I’m not making sense, you’d just have to read the novel to understand!

Danny: Kate was a wonderful character, absolutely strong in her personality, brave and loyal. I loved seeing her progress during her time in Eden Manor. The way she handled whatever was put into her way, every situation she handled with care, braveness, and selflessness!

cutie: I wasn’t a huge fan of Kate. I felt at times she was a bit wishy washy. And also I didn’t get her sudden attachment to people who were flat out nasty to her, nor her habit of blaming herself for everything bad that happened. But, having said that, I found she was sweet, brave, and overall a character I could get behind.

Danny: Henry, on the other hand, was a character I couldn’t care about so easily. He was mysterious in his behavior, not easy to figure out and seemed more like the tortured guy. Honestly, he was nothing like I would expect Hades to be, I mean he rules the dead and the Underworld I expected him to have more bad-guy
attitude. Also, he was very contained. Taken together I didn’t swoon for him and he didn’t make my heart race when reading about him. The same I have to say about the blooming romance between Kate and him.

cutie: And this is where I would like to go back to my earlier statement about the use of mythology in this book. Hades in this novel is portrayed not as the classical Hades (fire and brimstone anyone?) but a sensitive, love-lorn man who longs to fade away after the loss of the love of his life, Persephone.  At some point, while reading this novel, I had to throw out my preconceived notions of how the ruler of the dead should act. I didn’t dislike Henry, in fact at some point I found myself sympathizing with him, but I also didn’t find him completely swoon worth. And what’s up with the moonlight colored eyes? Definitely more creepy than hot, in my mind.

Danny: Normally, I also get small butterflies when reading about a wonderful kiss or a beautiful described love story. I didn’t feel the love here. The romance factor and Henry was what made the book not perfect for me.

cutie: Agreed. The fact that Kate could still remember James name and feel torn between the two even in the smallest way made her connection with Henry lack-luster for me. (Side note: Dear YA author, Can we please stop with the constant love-triangles? Thanks much. cuters)

Danny: The end, however, was very very surprising and great! I absolutely loved the way Mrs Carter managed to surprise me and it gave the whole novel a wonderful and intriguing touch. Although the book didn’t end with a major cliffhanger, I’m excited to see how this story goes on and what will happen next.

cutie: I wasn’t too surprised by the ending and figured out the twist fairly early on in the novel. Please don’t ask me to explain the “villain’s” evil plan or why they did what they did, because I’m still not clear on that… But I guess, once again, I just need to forget what I know of Greek mythology.

And while I thought the premise intriguing and the themes explored interesting, I have to admit I found the dialogue jumbled and the secondary character one dimensional and confusing. This is where the story fail the most for me.

Danny: I loved the story and I’m excited to read the next one too. Yet, I had some minor things I didn’t like too much.

cutie: I completely agree. There was something a little off about the novel, but overall I did enjoy it. It was a quick, fun, easy read that I enjoyed, and I look forward to reading the sequel.

Bookworm Rating:
It’s a solid three from both of us, 
with a half tacked on for potential!
In conclusion:
We’d like to thank Harlequin Teen for a copy of this e-book.
What’s your favorite book that incorporates Greek Mythology?
And what do you think of the influx of YA books using Greek gods?
Until Next Time!!
Yours truly,

Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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26 Responses to “The Goddess Test: a review”

  1. Nice review, it's fun to get both of your thoughts! I love Greek Mythology and enjoyed this one for the most part though I was hoping mythology would play a bigger role. I didn't really feel the romance between Kate and Henry either, but I'm hoping we get to see that grow in the second book which I'm really looking forward to:)
    My recent post Review- Bumped

  2. hrose2931

    Great job! Now, do I get it or not that's the question. Jenny and Candace liked it and you two want to continue the series so that says a lot right there. I do love how you laid out exactly what didn't work for you. Sometimes the first book is a little lackluster and the second is great so I think I'll just go ahead and get started with the series! Thanks for the great review!

    Heather

  3. cutie

    Henry was not an issue for me. I actually liked him. I didn't fall in love with him, but I did care about if. But I wasn't as sold on Kate. I don't know why. And it's not that I didn't like the book, I just wasn't blown away by it.

    I read your review! It's great, by the by. =)

  4. cutie

    I *heart* writing reviews with Danny! She is so much fun. =)

    I'm with you on both point. Kate and Henry's relationship was sorta rushed in my mind. I hope some of these issues will be flushed out in the sequel. It really will make or break the series for me.

  5. cutie

    I honestly think what saved this book for me was the pacing. It's super quick, with minimal filler. Plus, the story is interesting with creative plot twists and the characters (for the most part) do behave in organic ways, which is always a plus in my book. I'm still fuzzy on some things that happened and I did feel that the Greek Mythology was not used to it's full potential.

    I will say this much, I will not be buying the sequel. But I will be looking for it either on NetGalley or at my local library. hehe =)

  6. Oh I will definitely read the next one too. And in the end I really liked the book – that is for sure. So yes go ahead and see how you like it and… then don't forget to tell us about it!!

    And .. now I'm dying to know what cuties means " I'm still fuzzy on some things that happened.." I guess I need to talk to her again hehe!

    *hugs*
    My recent post Review- Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

  7. hrose2931

    That puts a different spin on it for me. The library, not worth buying. I don't do e-books. Maybe I won't start the series after all. Thanks for letting me know.

    Heather

  8. hrose2931

    So one of you says yes, one of you says library or Net Galley, I've seen all kinds of mixed reviews. Like here. I know it's all subjective. Maybe Cutie didn't like it because she wanted more mythology and that's what she was expecting. I guess going in with my eyes open….I think I'll wait for the library. Too many other books I want to get although my TBR pile is up to 90 books now. At Christmas it was about ten. I have to catch up! Maybe it's okay if I let one slide! 😀

    Heather

  9. cutie

    If I had to pick one reason I didn't like it, I'd say it had to do with the overall writing. I felt something was off about the tone of the novel and even the dialogue. I didn't mention it here (I also reviewed this novel on Goodreads), but I thought at times Henry would switch from talking like he was from an "older time" and then he'd suddenly be more modern. Plus, the secondary characters where frankly one-dimensional and I just never cared for any of them. If they had been stronger I think I would have liked the story so much more. I could deal with Kate, I was fine with Henry (but agree with Danny he was not swoon-worthy and the romance was lacking) and I was even okay with the lack of mythology, but I definitely found myself being pulled out of the story by wonky dialogue, empty back history, and at time awkward writing. And that is my very very humble opinion.

  10. Two things…

    1. Love the new blog design (yeah, I'm late). I'm highly jealous.

    2. I liked this book. I think I wrote my review leaning more towards the 4 range, but I completely understand what you mean about Henry. He was too stand-offish for my taste. BTW, just read something about Calliope when I was putting together a myth lesson for my class. I didn't realize she was a Muse and somehow got punished? Anyhow, it made more sense with the myth aspect of the book once I realized that. (I also wasn't surprised with the ending. I figured that one out about 2/3 into the book.)
    My recent post Review- Prom and Prejudice

  11. Hehe !!!!! I see your point! I guess it is easy to get turned towards " I like it and read it again" and "Nope…" why I liked it in the end was the story and the surprising end and the wish to know what will happen in the next book.

    Plus, I somehow have a feeling Henry will be different in the next one… Let's see!!

  12. 1.) OOOOooooo Thanks so much!! Although you couldn't see it in it's whole glory since Photobucket was down soo long …

    2.) I'm glad you liked it so much! And honestly, I was thinking that some people must have figured all this out – but fortunately I didn't. Although I felt so stupid for NOT figuring it out *giggles* Anyway, I liked the surprise!!

  13. I just got this on netgalley and the reviews so far have been hit and miss. This is a great review. I might read it, but as far as an influx of greek gods, I don't know. It's been done before, but it would be more interesting to see what authors do with this trope. I think it might be the next vampire/angel/mermaid. Lol.
    My recent post Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

  14. Hira Hasnain

    I am set to receive my copy come April 26th, so I'm looking forward to that. Thanks for the insightful review. I, for one, am glad that more authors are incorporating Greek Mythology in their novels – it makes more people aware of history/greek mythology! Plus, that just makes the stories that much more interesting…but that's just my opinion! 😀

    ~Hira~
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

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