The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1) by Aimee Carter
April 19, 2011
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “It was too late for happy endings. I was already dead.”
In The Goddess Test, Aimee Carter takes Greek Mythology and the story of Persephone and revamps them into a modern day tale appropriate for teens. In here, Hades (Henry) is an immortal teenager who did not steal or trick Persephone into staying with him. It was an arranged marriage. Unfortunately she was not happy so she feel in love with a mortal and asked to die with him. Thus leaving Hades (Henry) without a co-ruler. The underworld was not meant to be ruled single handedly so Henry and the council of Olympus Gods and Goddesses devise a series of tests for potential girls who want to become Henry’s wife and Queen. So far eleven girls have been murdered before they can pass the tests.
Girl number twelve is our protagonist, Katherine (Kate) Winters. She comes to Eden at the request of her dying mother. Kate has took care of her cancer ridden mother for 4 years and know her time is coming to an end. When she arrives in Eden she is immediately befriended by James-a geeky boy and Ava-a popular cheerleader. When Ava plays a prank on Kate that goes horribly wrong, Kate meets Henry. Henry offers her a choice. Her friends life in exchange for hers. He tells her to read the story of Persephone and he will come to her soon for her answer. After a few unfortunate events occur, Kate accepts Henry’s offer and goes with him to his home. There she finds out that she will have to pass 7 tests to become the new Queen. For if she fails, she will lose her mother, her memories, and Henry.
I found The Goddess Test to be an entertaining lightweight story that doesn’t focus so much on the correct mythology we all grew up with but more on the characters themselves. Kate is an intelligent, fair, and witty young lady who takes what is happening at first with a grain of salt. She questions everything that is happening and for that I’m grateful. I would have been put out if she instantly believed Henry. I found her inner monologue to be entertaining as she says one thing aloud but in the back of her mind is going, “what the heck?” As Kate gets to know the inhabitants of Henry’s home and Henry himself, she becomes more vested in her eventual outcome.
Henry was a bit of an enigma. Sexy, elusive, and a wee bit “angsty” Henry both enchanted and annoyed me. He really doesn’t tell Kate anything- giving her cryptic comments and telling her she’ll know everything soon. It’s somewhat forgivable when you realize what he has gone through to get to Kate but at times you want to slap some man into him. He takes every murder personally and should Kate fail…well, you’ll have to read it to find out.
Enjoyable secondary characters though I would have loved to see them flesh out a bit more. Everything centers around Kate; rather at the expense of the the other characters. We only see and interact with whom she does so not a lot of in depth revelations. The council is interesting in that they are not the jealous back stabbing god and goddesses of our storybooks. Rather here they are a conservative group. We don’t see much of them and I feel the story missed out on that.
The mail conflict struggled a bit in the beginning as Ms. Carter sets up the premise and initiates the plot lines. Since we hear/see everything through Kate’s eyes, we are as in the dark as she is. I found the villain and their reasoning convenient and I could not get over the fact that this really could have been solved sooner if Henry wasn’t so “angsty” and, dare I say it, full of self pity. The ending is satisfying with a couple twists that made it more so.
All in all The Goddess Test is a very light weight modern Greek Mythology with a touch of romance, suspense, and humor. The second in this series, Goddess Interrupted, is set to release February 2012 by Harlequin Teen.