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.