Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #1
Genre: Mythology (YA)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.
It actually took me a while to get into this book. The first third of the book moves pretty slowly and I am ashamed to admit that I almost DNF'd it after the first 40 or so pages. There was just too many chiched young adult themes. Sick/dying parent needs to be taken care of which ruins the teen's life, popular girl at new school decides to hate on said teen because she attracted the interest of the popular and hot boyfriend of the popular girl. You know the drill. Then things just got weird. The thoughts and ideas that Kate had about life, her responsibilities to her mom, and about building friendships were so off the wall that they completely threw me. An example of this oddness...After the "popular" girl at school leaves her in the middle of a river knowing full well that Kate can't swim, they become best friends. The popular girl leaves her popular boyfriend and joins up with Kate and the quirky skaterboy/musician who are automatically both best friends with Kate after a day and a half of knowing her. I mean there are some extenuating circumstances, but still...really? It felt so stupid and forced to me that this was the part I was most in danger of branding the book DNF. But something, maybe the mysterious Henry character, maybe the fact that people could be brought back from the dead...something kept me going and eventually, the story changed and grew to be a fantastic take on mythology.
Like I said, at first Kate confused and irritated me. She made odd choices and her though process was so outside of where mine is that I really couldn't bond with her.She had this weird unshakable concept of guilt and detachment that made me want to smack her.I really didn't start to like her until she moved into Henry's mansion. It was like she became an entirely different person. She became strong in her decisions and commitments, with some understandable moments of doubt, and she was really loyal to those she cared about. Henry was the dark and twisted hero. An interesting thing about him though, was his lack of power. It is up to Kate to finish the tests and "save" him, and it is up to the 13 other gods to determine whether or not Kate fails. He isn't some dominating figure who knows everything and controls Kate's fate. He is really quite vulnerable and I thought he was very sweet. You just wanna give him a hug and a cookie and tell him everything will be alright.
The other characters formed a kind of backdrop to Kate's life. Other than Henry and Ava, it felt like no one really mattered except for the few moments that they found themselves in the spotlight. I kept looking for signs of which god each of the characters were. I was expecting obvious things like one of the gods always chilling in a pool (Poseidon) or one of them rocking out during a lightning storm (Zeus) but they never really acted like the traditional Greek gods that you would expect. Surprisingly, there really isn't that much active mythology in the book. Sure Kate learns about the myths and they call the gods by their names at the end...but I expected more...mysticism or something. I kind of cheated and peeked at the guide to the characters and I knew who everyone was so I didn't get a big shock like Kate did when she found out the secret identities of all the gods, but I did find myself falling in love with the mystery of the plot. It was simple and not rushed, though there was only a small amount of pages. You honestly find yourself really curious about what happened to the other girls before Kate and who is responsible for all of the other girl's murders.
So! What do you guys think of the floods of Greek and other Mythology in YA fiction lately? Hate it? Love it? Personally I think it depends on how well/unique the story is. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and have a great week!