The Goddess Test – Aimee Carter
Publisher: Mira INK
Release Date: 22nd September 2011
Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it’s Kate’s turn.
When her mother’s dying wish is to return to her home town, Kate’s willing to do anything to make it come true. Even if it means startinh at a new school with no friends – and no hope.
Then she meets Henry. Dark, tortured and mesmerising, Henry offers Kate a reprieve. She thinks he’s crazy. Yet when he brings a dead girl back to life right in front of Kate’s eyes she’s not so sure any more...
Claiming to be Hades, God of the Underworld, Henry’s prepared to make Kate a deal.
He’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
If she suceeds, she’ll become a goddess – and Henry’s bride. If she fails she’ll never see her mother again...
I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed Aimee Carter’s debut. It was cute, fun and unexpectedly educational!
Greek mythology is one of those things that I just love learning about so The Goddess Test was the perfect book for me. I think I could now name nearly all fourteen (even though I thought there were only twelve) Olympians and tell you what they reside over and that makes me very happy indeed. All of the knowledge of the gods, godesses and myths that is essential to Kate’s story are included in the novel. But it’s the way that the gods and goddesses themselves appear in the story that I love most: it’s brilliant, I love it. I didn't expect was The Goddess Test to be modern take on the myth of Perspehone though, but it was done really, really well.
For the most part, I loved Kate. The way that she gave up everything to look after her dying mum was incredibly touching and I was in awe of her strength. But the years of caring for her had left Kate a little hard and very tough to get to know, though she softened up eventually. She also reacted very believably to Henry’s declaration that he’s Hades and his promises of impossible things. Kate’s intial refusual to accept that the gods and goddesses of myth and legend actually exist was only accepted after receiving irrefutable proof, though she still tried to use reason and rationale to explain them. The only aspect of her I didn't like was how dramatically her dislike for Ava and annoyance at James turned into them being her best friends in a matter of a couple of pages. It seemed extremely unlikely.
But at the centre of The Goddess Test are, of course, the seven tests that Kate must undergo to save Henry and become the Queen of the Underworld. I expected the tests to be obvious, big tasks that would be intricately detailed so I was pleasantly surprised for them to be subtle and completely unexpected. I really liked the way they were represented in the novel. Henry/Hades was obviously a massive part of the story, too. And I fell for him. He wasn’t hard and cold like I expected from Hades, but lonely, tortured and on the verge of giving up.
Kate changed that. Their relationship was full of uncertainties and what-if’s and I was rooting for them all the way. About fifty pages before the end of the novel there is a passage where Kate describes their relationship and how she feels about it (which I won’t summarise as I don't want to ruin it!) and I knew exactly what she meant. I understood completely how she felt and I suddenly understood her. And once all of this was resolved, there was a perfect ending waiting for them.
I think that The Goddess Test would be superb as an standalone novel and I really don't think it needs anymore, but after falling for this world I’m definitely going to be reading Goddess, Interrupted when it’s released next year.
For my 2011 Debut Author Challenge
A huge thank you to Midas PR and Mira Ink for the review copy.