Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #1
Pages: 304
Genre: Mythology (YA)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Library

Goodreads Description:
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 Review:
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.
I give this book 3 Keys out of 5. The new odd twist of Greek Mythology was cool and seemed utterly original for a story that is so ancient. I really enjoyed the development of Kate and Henry's relationship, but there was the initial 1/3 of the book that I couldn't get into. And there was some random things that struck me the wrong way(can you say unnecessary love triangle?) I would definitely pick up other books by Aimee Carter, and I am hoping that the story gets better now that there can be no moping about a sick mother. All the ends were tied up as the story closed, which I really appreciated, knowing that there is to be a sequel coming out next year. I like books that are an end to themselves and I really liked the direction that the ending implied for the second novel

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!


  1. I read this one a while back and I thought it was just adorable! I wish that the Greek Mythology had been more true to the original stories (because I'm a huge fan!), but it was still enjoyable to read! :)

    Kate was the same with me at first, but I really ended up adoring her character development later on.

    Awesome review, Andra!

  2. I haven't read this one, but I've seen it everywhere. I loved your honesty. I'm not sure if I would like this one.

  3. I do like it since I love mythology, but I also wish they would branch out more and not just go for Greek

  4. I wanted to read this so badly, I like the whole gods thing got a little tired of the vampire were wolf thing... but I agree with you if you cover a topic it has to be done well.

    thanks for the review :)

  5. To be honest...I'm still not sure I want to dive into the Greek mythology. It's something I've been hesitant to try. Sounds like a sweet read, though. Maybe the perfect book to give it a chance?!

  6. I loved this book, can't wait for the next to come out! The Greek mythology tied it all together for me.

  7. Interesting review! I just got this book this week. I can't wait to read it, to see if I agree with you! I just know I love the cover!