Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 19th, 2011
My Copy: 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 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…
At first glance, this book’s blurb seems pretty straightforward but don’t be fooled; it’s so much more than just a pretty cover! The first part of the story sent me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Granted, I was able to connect with Kate on a very personal level through a shared experience but I think that no matter what your background is, this story will move you. Ever since high school I’ve been fascinated by Greek mythology and being presented with the opportunity to revisit it was quite the treat. I also really enjoyed discovering all of the revelations at the end. The Goddess Test is a fantastic book.
The part that hit home the most for me was Kate’s mom’s battle against cancer. It’s been an uphill battle for years now and as is often the case, there will be no happy ending. Many of the chapters in this book had me on the verge of tears. I lost my mom a few years ago to cancer and in many instances I felt like I was reliving the experience all over again. I doubt that these parts will move readers who have not had first hand experiences with loss the way they moved me but Kate’s pain is still palpable and intense. I loved how the heroine was given a second chance to say goodbye to her mother. There’s nothing that I wouldn’t have given for the same opportunity and it was nice to be able to live vicariously through Kate. As a result, I understood full-heartily why she was willing to sacrifice anything for the chance to have one more day with her mom. In her shoes, I would have made the same choices.
On a lighter note, Henry’s also a great character and his story moved me as well but in an entirely different way. In his love life he got burned so badly that he no longer has the will to live. Over the course of the book he gradually opens up to Kate and comes out of his shell. Henry’s tale of transformation and redemption is incredibly moving. Add to that the fact that he’s also Hades, lord of the underworld, and you’re left with one powerful yet vulnerable character. Henry’s character is very complex but also lovable. I was rooting for his happily ever after as much as I was Kate’s.
On top of having unbelievable characters, The Goddess Test is also packed full of Greek mythology but with a few modern day twists. Learning about their myths through Aimee Carter’s eyes was delightful. Also, watching ancient Gods cope with modern day problems was interesting and at times fun. Throughout the book I found myself piecing together clues trying to figure out who’s who. Some of the Gods’ identities are blatantly obvious while as others you’ll have to wait until the end for the big reveal.
The Goddess Test is an extraordinary book that’s brilliantly written and contains so many great aspects that you’ll be hard-pressed to find something negative to say about it. Aside from Kate’s brief stint in high school at the beginning, this novel did not feel like Young Adult at all. You may not have the same experiences that I did reading this book but I’m sure that you’ll find something in it that will appeal to you. I highly recommend this novel and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next installment due out early next year.
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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada