The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

10:00 AM

Title: The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)
Author: Aimée Carter  
Release Date: April 19, 2011 (paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304
Source: Bought

Overall: 3 Stars

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.

My Thoughts:
I've been so excited to read The Goddess Test for awhile now, eager to discover how Aimée Carter's debut would put a modern spin on Greek mythology! There has been quite the buzz for this novel and I've seen it popping up in so many places with reviews that sing its praises to boot... but while I was reading, I was saddened when I realized I wasn't feeling the same way. 

It's only recently that I've read a few reviews that told another story and I'm so glad I heard those thoughts because with their forewarning, the disappointment was slightly lessened. I altered my expectations of the novel but still, it kind of hurts that a novel I really wanted to fall in love with didn't quite make the mark... even if overall, I did still enjoy reading the novel. 

The first half of the novel was slow for me but that might have been partly due to my impatience. Aimée Carter sets up the necessary basics, explaining the myth of Persephone, giving you clues as to the identity of Henry, and building the relationship between Kate and her mother. That last part was integral to the story because it was important to see just how much Kate loved her ailing mother and how she would be willing to do anything to save her. As someone who's quite familiar with the myth of Persephone though, my eyes sort of glazed over Kate and her friends' investigative queries regarding it. I'm sure if you don't know too much about Greek mythology, then you probably really appreciated the background information, but for me, I was just ready to move onto the tests! 

Other than Kate's close relationship with her mother, I couldn't really relate with her at first. At times, her actions seemed to good to be true. Closer to the beginning of the novel, someone performs a horrible prank on her yet she easily forgave them with no hard feelings afterwords. The justification offered just didn't seem to be enough for me. Anyways, I'm sure you've realized Kate's a self-sacrificing character, always believing in the best of people and putting the feelings of others before her own. I'll point out though that Kate did gradually warm up to me and she made some tough, thoughtful decisions later on that made me respect her so much more!

I liked Henry... but I wouldn't really go too much further at this point just yet. He's supposed to be Hades, God of the Underworld, but for some reason, he just lacked this spark and charismatic persona that could make me really fall for him. I mean, he's really kindhearted when he shows his personality and would do anything to make Kate happy, so I should have fallen for him right away, but I just didn't feel the chemistry this time around. He acts sort of distant and it really wasn't until near the end of the novel that he finally broke out of his shell.

I won't say much about the actual tests except that they'll probably take you by surprise. I was thinking there would be more complexity to them but instead, I couldn't help but think how ironic they were. If you know anything about the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology, then I'm sure you'll also understand why it was kind of funny to see simple tests based on character when they're supposed to be less than stellar themselves.

Anyways, I'm still feeling conflicted about The Goddess Test because on the whole, I really did enjoy the story and liked it enough that I didn't want to put the book down, but in the end... I guess I was hoping for more. The characters and plot fell just a little flat this time around but the second half really picked up for me! Kate's safety came into more jeopardy which added a bit of excitement and Henry finally opened up enough to allow for some wonderful moments between himself and Kate. Aimée Carter's interpretation of Greek mythology and the way she's incorporated them in a very much modern story does still offer a lot of fun... and I'm sure some of you will be kept on your toes trying to uncover the mystery of figuring out who is the villain!

I will be absolutely checking out the second novel, Goddess Interrupted, next year because I have a hopeful feeling that it will be better than the first one. Like I said previously, The Goddess Test really began to hit a stride after awhile... so if it can maintain that pace in the second novel, then I'm sure it will be an awesome read!

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  1. Sounds like you felt about the same as I did. I'm sort of glad I'm seeing more reviews like yours because I was beginning to think I was crazy when everyone else seemed to ADORE it, haha.

  2. I was a little disappointed too, when I read this one. I had seen only glowing reviews so far and I was so pumped because I love the Persephone and Hades myth, I really do.

    But I found Henry a little lack luster, and Kate was nice and all, but I was a little underwhelmed by the tests. And I didn't like Kate's mom at all. :P

  3. I'm glad I read this review. A lot of times when I get around to reading a book, the hype makes me feel really let down when the novel doesn't live up to my expectations.

  4. Ashley- I think I've only read a few other reviews that felt the exact same way we did but for the most part, everyone seems to be really liking it...

    Alex- I know what you mean! So excited as well... but I do think the second book will probably be better...

    J.L.- Thanks! I feel the same way while reading hyped up books as makes me nervous to read them sometime because I'm always wondering if in the end, it will live up to those high expectations set. In any case, I do still hope if you get the chance to read The Goddess Test that you'll enjoy it more than I did! :)

  5. I've seen a couple of mixed reviews also. I'll probably still read it myself but will borrow from the library first and then decide if I want to buy a copy.

  6. I felt the same way! I was super excited about it but it was a bit of a letdown. I want to read Goddess Interrupted to see if things get more exciting though!

  7. I didn't feel the connection with Henry either and thought the same thing as you about the tests. Hopefully, I'll like Henry more in the sequel.

  8. I feel exactly the same way as you! While I was reading it, I was caught up in the story and it moved along well enough but at the end I thought, "Is that it?...." The tests bothered me a lot. They weren't the action packed adventures that I was expecting. Other than her relationship with her mom, Kate didn't really spark any interest in me. And Henry, well, like you said, he just didn't seem like Hades. I'll still be reading Goddess Interrupted for the fun of it, if not anything else.

  9. Thanks for the honest review!! I really appreciate it.

  10. I absolutely love this book. Modernizing the GREEK MYTH of Hades PERSEPHONE was fantastic.I could not put it down and i can't wait for the next one to come out this March!