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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

carter the-goddess-test2The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

Books Stats:
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Greek Mythology
Trade paperback: 293 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: April 19, 2011

Series: Goddess Test #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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.
I’ve been seeing the sequel to this book posted a bit everywhere in the book blogverse so I decided to join in and see what the hype was all about. When I read the synopsis, I thought to myself, “Oh no! Not another Greek mythology retelling…” But I decided to give it a try. I love Greek Mythology and I actually have a few university credits to prove how much it interests me. So many great novels and stories are based on themes and images from myths so I hoped The Goddess Test would live up to the great storytellers of ancient Greece. And I truly hoped that the Persephone myth wouldn’t be ruined for me. Aimee Carter did a good job, especially since the story is only based on the themes of the myth and not an actual retelling.
At first, I found the main character Kate, a bit flat and without personality. At the beginning of the novel, that was probably the author’s goal since Kate didn’t have much to live for. She was caring for her dying mother, the only person in the world that matters to Kate, and that alone can takes the life out of someone. With time, she became a bit more interesting and engaging but still, she didn’t seem thrilled about becoming an immortal, nor was she glad to be with someone as gorgeous as Henry. She lacked a bit of spark. A bit of life. Now, Henry, also known as Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, has a right to be moody and broody. For a centuries, he’s been mourning the loss of his wife Persephone, and for about 100 years, he’s been trying to replace her without any success. Kate is his last option and if she fails the Gods’ tests, he will simply cease to exist. If my immortality was about to be taken away from me, I think I would be as moody as Henry.
As it’s later explained in the book, the Gods decided to take on new names and leave their old ones in Greek mythology. I really liked this idea since it enabled the author to take control of her characters and make them her own. I also liked the list of all the characters at the end of the book, associated to their Greek name. It made it easy to reference and follow the characters. The characters portraying the Gods where very stereotypical, but that’s to be expected. They each represent great personas and I applaud Aimée Carter for taking the chance in portraying such strong mythological characters. She was able to deliver a great cast of characters without compromising the real Greek counterparts. However, she took it a bit to the extreme with Ava, who really started to bother me at the end, but I think the Aphrodite character came out perfectly through teenage lust and love. In spite of this, I do think a person as sensible as Kate deserves a better best friend than Ava.
The only “error” I noticed in the names is Demeter’s choice to be known as Diana in this novel. Diana is actually the real Roman name for Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt and should never be associated to Demeter. The Demeter character in the book later explains that she’s aware of the Roman name, but still chose it because she liked it so much. I think Aimée could have avoided confusion by simply giving Demeter another name.
As a fan of Greek mythology, I enjoyed reading this story. Aimée Carter might have borrowed the Greek myth but she made this story her own. I’m looking forward to learning the rest of Kate and Henry’s story. It’s not the type of series that I want to know the ending right now and that makes me bite my nails in anticipation, but it definitely deserves to be followed.



2 People left their mark' :

  1. I love Greek mythology too, especially the myth of Hades and Persephone.