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Review: The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

T h e  G o d d e s s  T e s t  by Aimée Carter

"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.
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Source: NetGalley & Harelquin Teen
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kindle
Next: Goddess Interrupted (February, 2012)
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge 

Sounds pretty cool, no? Well, THE GODDESS TEST and I suffered a bit of a rocky road starting out. I locked onto the story instantly because I was fascinated and intrigued by the prologue - I wanted to know what was going on. But, then, right in the beginning, Kate nearly gets runned off the road due to a mysterious... cow sighting...? Huh?. Why a cow, first of all? (Maybe this is why - skip down to Io) Then, crazy weird things start happening: like when jealous-ridden super-popular-cheerleader Ava proceeds to get herself killed while trying to pull off a stupid prank that would have harmed our main girl, who believes this accident to be her fault. Um, what? Afterward, when, mysteriously, Ava is brought back to life by some dark and hunky stranger named Henry, she and Kate's other friend James actually believe her when she tells them of Henry's ominous - and notso believable - deal. Meh. I wasn't so fond of, well, that entire section.

Besides, I wanted to get to the good stuff.

Still, unfortunately, my interest continued to dwindle, so much so that I nearly stopped reading it altogether and chalked it up to a highly promoted and increasingly hyped up novel that turned out to be less than I anticipated. Fine. And then came the part when Henry illuminated some very fine print on the deal Kate had already agreed to. You know, the whole you become my queen and rule by my side, dictating the Underworld, and stay with me forever and ever and ever spiel, and I was like Whoa. Don't ask me why, because I don't quite understand it entirely myself, but my interest was renewed by this.

Then looming over Miss Kate is the impending tests everyone is so scared she'll fail. While I was slightly disappointed that Kate didn't have to throw fire-lit spears through huge rings of cows (;P) fire and wrestle the menacing Cerberus and joust with Medusa, and any other ridiculous Greek mythology-influenced ideas I had envisioned for these tests, I kind of liked how it was all tied in toward the end. The tests, I mean, as well as their themes. But, because these tests seemed so inconsequential in the methods they were administered, I found it simultaneously tedious. There was no action - and when I thought of these tests everyone was so worked up about, that's what I expected, what I was hungering for.

The romance, however, was satisfactory, though not exactly suh-woon worthy. It progressed slowly - perhaps a little too slowly - and though it wasn't too eventful (which was extremely disappointing), it still managed to be sweet. Honestly, this Persephone chick Henry was so hung up on came off as a selfish bitch, pardon my swiss, and I hope some more light is shed on what actually happened so that I can view both sides of the story. Nonetheless, I wanted Henry to find happiness. While I was like Wow, you're already over this girl you've supposedly been pining for for Gods and Goddesses know how long, Henry? when Henry admitted feelings for Kate - because, it was a little unrealistic in my opinion - I still found their romance to be particularly heartwarming. Indeed, I re-read certain scenes over because of this.

And I'm a little mad that Henry chose to be so distant for most of this book. It's like, I barely got to know him at all. Sure, gorgeous and brooding are great traits in a character, but it doesn't make the character. As for the other characters, I didn't very much like Ava - at all really. James had the potential to grow on me, but he never got the chance. And as for the other other characters, they didn't pique any real curiosity, sadly... I am hoping to get to know the Council a bit more, though.

But, I will say that I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. I think it was resolved too quickly, and came off a little too happy endingish for my tastes. (Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings, but I do want a little incentive to keep reading the series. I mean, if everything is wrapped up tidily with a neat little bow, why would I want to continue onto a second book which could potentially ruin that picture of perfect happiness, I ask you?) And the only reason I'll most likely be sniffing at the sequel will be because of the romance (as it often tends to be my reasoning for pursuing a series not to my great liking or loving). I really liked Henry and Kate together, so I'm curious to see how things progress from here on. Overall, though, I was only mildly satisfied with THE GODDESS TEST.

He didn't smile, but his expression softened. "If you pass, you will be my wife. Is that something you are willing to accept now?"
I nodded, trying not to look too nervous...
"Because you care for me?"
"Yes," I mumbled, embarrassed. "And if you hold that against me--"
I didn't have time to finish. One second he stood across the room, and the next he crouched down beside me, kissing me so deeply that by the time he finally pulled away, I was almost gasping for air. "What--" I started, but he pressed his finger against my lips. (2337 | 3129)


Small Review said...

Agreed. Especially about the ending...and your disappointment over the tests...and what you said about Henry getting over Persephone so quickly, and, well, everything you said :P