Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review; The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter


Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now 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.
If she fails... Good Reads

The goddess Test is one of those books that makes me glad I have a 100 page rule : If I'm not fully engaged by the 100th page I stop, I rarely make exceptions except for review books.This policy helped me continue with the book despite a lot of eye rolling in the beginning.

 I really connected with Kate in the beginning. She is returning to Eden her Mother's home town, the place where her Mother wants to die after fighting a long illness. Kate's whole life revolves around her Mother, so much so that she has missed her senior year of High School. Now her mother wants Kate to enroll  in High School and have some semblance of a normal life.

Kate quickly feels awkward being back in school. She only makes one friend a strange boy named James. She also has an immediate enemy Ava, who is jealous about her boyfriend Dylan's interest in her. It is a pretend overture of friendship Ava gives that really gets the story started. She claims that there is a party that she wants Kate to attend and once there it becomes a trick. Ava abandons Kate by a river, water being one of Kate's biggest fears. As Ava jumps into the water to leave Kate however she hits her head and despite Kate's rescue efforts lies dead on the ground.

Kate is then approached by a mysterious young man named Henry who asks her what would she do to have Ava back? Kate's answer "Anything".

UG! This is were the plot line became a little annoying for me! I understand it is the plot device to move the story line forward and events in the ending show the necessity for this but I felt it was a little to shaky a premise for Kate to bargain away her life and freedom away for someone that had treated her so badly. I'm not saying she should have let Ava die but I think she should have negotiated a better deal.

Directed by Henry to read the story about Persephone to see what she has agreed to Kate realises that Henry is Hades god of the Underworld, and she has agreed to spend six months of the year with him. To make matters worse she agrees to be a part of a test to see if she is goddess material in return for Henry keeping her mother alive until Kat is ready to say goodbye. Once settled into Eden though the story greatly improved for me.

It's not fully apparent what type of tests she will be put through but there is ample studying and adjusting to life in Henry's home. Henry is not your typical God. He possesses a great deal of moodiness and is not very hopeful. Yet something in Kate does stir him, not to hope but to a lightening in his heaviness.

Kate's days revolve around lessons and her nights around dreams where she can communicate with her Mother's spirit, whose body lays comatose in the hospital. Time passes and we get to see more of Henry and Kate's relationship as their emotions open to each other . Kate is actually the stronger of the too. Henry is still caught up in the emotions of his past love Persephone. Kate is so brave to still try to negotiate a form of partnership with him even knowing that he may never be able to love her the same. As it comes closer to spring Late is in even greater danger. No girl has survived as long as her and she also seems to be doing well with the tests but she is not safe as the malevolent force behind the other girl's death is revealed and it is coming for her.

There are a few slow parts in the middle of this book but the ending really makes up for it! There are a lot of revelations and the stage is set for future volumes.


I wanted to comment about the mythology in this book. I saw a few Good Reads reviewers leave scathing reviews about how Carter portrays the mythological pantheon in her novel. The characters in this book are NOT a rehashing of the TRADITIONAL stories of the Pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. Nor does Carter write her story like she's trying to rewrite the myths. Instead she is giving her interpretations of them in a YA novel. So if your looking for an exact match between the deities in myth and the ones in her book you won't find it here, but I really enjoyed her interpretations.




1 comment:

Dazzling Mage said...

I'm still reading this, and I liked Kate at the beginning. But I dunno, the plot has a "convenient" feel to it. Good news is, it's fairly easy to get through.

Great review!