From Hicklebee’s: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
It is no secret that I go Geek for Greek. Armentrout has a swift and to-the-point writing style that I adore. We learn half blood and pure blood lore and everything is updated with a 21st century feel. Just as you would expect, the pure bloods hold the real power. They are rich, pretty, and make up the government. Half blood citizens are either drugged and sent into a life of slavery to the pure or train to kill daimons. The highest level a half can obtain is to be a sentinel, a daimon killer.
Alex’s mother wanted her out of the life, Alex never knew why but as a half blood she really never questioned pures, not even her mother. She lived in the mortal world for three years always moving – life in constant flux, until the day her mother is killed by a daimon. Alex runs straight back into the arms of The Covenant, more specifically into the arms of Pure Hottie McHotterson Aiden St. Delphi.
Most pure bloods wouldn’t dream of becoming a daimon killer. They were all too fragile for that, even though they can control the elements. It was too dangerous, only half bloods can see through a daimon’s magic, and only pure bloods can be turned into a daimon.
Alex is taken back to The Covenant by Aiden. The dean of the school threatens to drug her and put her into servitude. It seems that Alex traded one crap life for another until Aiden speaks up for her. He offers to train her in kickassery and get her caught up so that she can begin school and possibly realize her dream to become a sentinel.
Everything is going great, Alex is learning to be less of a hot head and her fighting style is getting better every day. Then her pure step-dad comes into the picture and the plot takes off on electrifying turn after turn to a stunning conclusion.
I adored Half-Blood for the mystery, the greek lore, the choices and problems that plagued the main character. I loved the side characters and the pretty demi-god boys. Half-Blood is out now, and if you also go geek for Greek I suggest buying and reading it. You won’t be sorry that you did.
From Goodreads: 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…
There is something you should know about me. I am a bit of a mythology geek. I spent my whole year in fourth grade nose in a book reading anything I could get my hands on and then profiling the gods in notebooks. Hades was always my favorite. I thought he got a raw deal, pulling the short straw and having to deal with the dead.
The Goddess Test was a mesh of all of my favorite myths. The tests for immortality that the demigods had to surpass in order to become a god, and the story of Persephone that I thought was oh so romantic. At ten years old who doesn’t want to become a Queen by any means?
I went into The Goddess Test very excited, and hoping that I wasn’t setting myself up for a disappointment. I am oh so pleased to announce that Aimee Carter did a brilliant job with the myth and adding in her own contemporary vibe and fresh new outlook on the story. I loved The Goddess Test.
Kate was a smart girl, she wasn’t the kind of character that grated on your nerves with whining or making tons of bad decisions to move the plot along. Carter was able to write Kate as a strong independent teenager who has spent the past four years caring for her mother who was given six months to live. Kate did not whine about missing dating or High School or anything else that teenagers care about, Kate just wanted her mother to live and wouldn’t have had it any other way. She wanted to spend as much time as possible with her mother for as much time as her mother had left to live.
Kate’s mother wanted to go back home to pass on so Kate drove them from her beloved New York City to a small town named Eden. Kate meets Henry and he offers her a deal that she can’t refuse. Stay with him six months out of the year and he will keep her mother alive until Kate can bear to say goodbye.
The plot moves forward at a lightening quick pace and there are so many twisty bits in The Goddess Test that make you want to read even faster to come to the conclusion of the story. I love that this book is one of the very few that make you sympathetic to Hades, because he never has been as evil as modern literature paints him. He just happened to draw the short straw when it came to who would rule where. Poseidon took domain of the sea while Zeus grabbed dominion over the air and Hades was left to deal with twisted underworld and guard The River Styx.
I think no matter what level of love you have for mythology you will appreciate Carter’s retelling of Persephone’s troubles. This book is great for those who stick towards the contemporary side of YA as well because there isn’t much of the paranormal going on here just some awesome contemporary writing meshed with fabulous mythology.
The end of the book is a fantastic conclusion that isn’t the crazy I want to throw the book against the wall cliffhanger but it still leaves you waiting with bated breath for the next edition. I truly cannot say enough good things about this book.
I have a feeling these books will become just as popular as Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey for us Harlequin Teen readers.
FTC Disclosure: I downloaded this book from Netgalley as an ARC.