Monday, April 11, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Genre: Paranormal YA
Pub Date: 4/19/11
I received a copy for review from Netgalley

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 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...

I have always loved Hades and any new takes on the Hades and Persephone story. Unfortunately this book did not add anything good to it.

The Good:
I rooted for Kate. I wanted Kate to pass the tests and I wanted her to find happiness and peace. I rooted for Kate and Henry as individuals and also as a couple. I wanted them to trust each other and what they felt for each other. I wanted it to work and that's what made me stick with this story even when I had a raging headache and wanted to give up. I liked Henry and I liked Kate. I did like other characters in the story, but by the end it feels like it's all been lies so I'm not sure anymore how I feel about any of the side characters. I'm on the fence, as it were.

The Bad:
This was a horribly contrived story. Almost every aspect of it was forced and pushed and I ended up feeling like I would have had some serious words for people if I was Kate. There was so much deception and omission and vagueness that it did not add an air of mystery but was just annoying. Furthermore, if I was supposed to be surprised by who the bad guy was or even the big reveal about Kate's mother, then I'm sad to say, I wasn't. For all the vagueness and mystery surrounding the tests and Henry's feelings and what's going on, it was way too easy to pick out the villain and know what was going on with Kate's mom.

When the big reveal comes and we find out who the council is and what the tests are, none of it made any sense. I mean, they were winging half the tests and even testing her at the meeting where they're supposed to tell her if she passed or not. It was just so forced and the whole premise made no sense. Why did Henry truly need Kate if his heir could have stepped in and helped him out? How much help is she really going to be if she's only there six months out of the year? Are we supposed to believe that she can be his Queen for six months out of the year and then go live a "normal" life the other six months? Cause I don't buy that for a second.
If the gods and goddesses all have such important jobs, why do they have nothing better to do than to spy on and deceive a girl for six months?
Honestly, the more I think about this book, the more things don't make sense.

Finally, the ending was completely unsatisfying. I understand that it's a set up for the next book, but still, it just felt so sudden and incomplete.

Overall, this was a very frustrating read for me. I honestly don't know if I'll try the next book. I want to hope that now that the tests are done that the heavy handedness and use of contrivance will not be so prevalent in the next book, but I don't know if I want to find out. Possibly. I really do enjoy Greek mythology and I want to see what happens between Kate and Henry and I want to see if the reader gets to see more of the Underworld and what Kate will be doing there. So, maybe I'll try the next one.

Final grade: C-

The Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen)

The Goddess Test at the book depository

Author's Website

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