Guest Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Posted May 2, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Mary’s review of 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..

The blurb on this sounded so awesome and I was so excited to read this book, considering I LOVE Greek Mythology. With a serious passion. I couldn’t wait to see what happened with the whole Hades myth and how it could be translated into modern times. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Hades was not the dark, brooding, mysterious hero promised in the blurb. He was just sad and angsty. Emo, even. He sucked all the joy out of the room. Oh, and supposedly he’s a virgin. (Really? I don’t think so. Hades raped and pillaged, just like all the other gods. Not a single virginal think about him.)

Kate had the potential to be an awesome heroine, triumphing over the difficult tests set forth by the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus. But…conquering the Seven Deadly Sins? (which are from a completely different belief system, btw) Come on, Kate, go out and kick some ass! Don’t just sit there, moaning about your oh-so-terrible circumstances to your best friend (who’s dead), dressed in a super-awesome outfit. Go out there and complete some truly heroic tasks! I was truly expecting more, considering the blurb hints at it, what with every girl who’s taken the test dying and all. It doesn’t even mention that they die because they’re murdered, not because of the “test”. At the beginning of the story, Kate and her very sick mother move to the small town of Eden. Kate’s been nursing her mother for the past several years, ignoring her own needs (friends, boyfriend, high school, fun – all that stuff). She loves her mother, and she’s willing to give all that stuff up so she can spend more time with her mom. But Mom makes Kate go to school where Kate meets James, an insta-BFF, and Ava, an insta-enemy/possible friend. Life wouldn’t be too terrible there if her mom weren’t dying of cancer. Kate might even be happy in Eden.

Then, through a series of events (including Ava’s death and revival at Henry’s hand then her death again), Kate meets Henry, who offers her the choice of keeping her mother alive and not in pain for as long as she needs to say goodbye. In return, she needs to stay with him in his mansion for six months of the year. During those six months, she’ll be tested and, if she survives, she’ll not only become a goddess, she’ll be his wife, save him from fading (death), and help rule the Underworld. At first, he has a hard time convincing her that he’s actually Hades and a god, even after he saves Ava and her mother (though not from death – more like a staying of the inevitable). But she eventually believes and agrees.

The connection between Hades and Kate is lackluster at best. I hoped for some sparks, some intrigue or something. Instead, there is friendship (which isn’t a bad thing. Kate could do worse than have someone like Hades on her side) with no fireworks. But Kate convinces herself she’s in love with him, despite the fact that there’s more of a connection between her and James. Kate is a sweet character, coming very close to being a goody-two-shoes. Incredibly selfless and tough. She needs to be — deserves to be — challenged. But she isn’t. Even after she makes the deal with Hades, her life doesn’t change all that much – she hangs out with Ava and even gets to see her dying mother every night, since Hades is keeping her alive. Where’s the challenge? Is it when Kate can’t leave the grounds of the mansion? Or is it when Hades asks her to stop eating? (Which, what is that all about? Asking someone to stop eating? How is eating gluttony?) Such potential in this story. Wasted. *sigh* (SPOILER HERE) And, can I just ask, WTF was up with the ending? She loves Hades, marries him then leaves. Okay, I guess I can deal with that. It’s part of the myth that Persephone leaves the Underworld for six months of the year to spend time on Earth. But, why is it that, as soon as she says goodbye to the love of her life and steps off the grounds, she immediately runs into James (the instant BFF she had when she started HS in Eden) and they decide to jet off to Greece for the summer? Huh?!? Why didn’t Hades leave for a bit, so they could spend time together? He’s able to leave the Underworld in the myth, he just chooses not to leave very often. Again, sigh. Maybe part of the reason I’m being so hard on this book is because I adore mythology, and this novel strayed so far from it that it bore little resemblance to the stories that captured my heart. It could also be that I’m in a bit of a reading slump and seem to be cranky with books lately. But read it and judge for yourself. There are a ton of reviewers out there who’ve loved this story. It just didn’t do it for me.

Rating: 2.5/3.0

This book is available from Harlequin Teen. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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2 responses to “Guest Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

  1. *nods along*

    Oh yeah, totally agree. Hades was supposed to be the dark, bad boy of the gods – I couldn’t believe he was a virgin either!!! – and the ‘good’ goods were famously slutty, come on!!!

    And Kate? the tests? I was hopping for something along the lines of the 12 tasks of Hercules not “oh, yeah, that was a test the question I just asked you.”


    And I thought Kate’s mom involvement in it all was rather cruel.

    Don’t think it made justice to the myth or Hades

  2. I too like the mythology related/spin off stories. The premise of the book sounds good, but I’m sorry to see ti didn’t live up to its promise. I’ll be passing on it. 🙁

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