Published by Harlequin Teen on 4/19/2011
Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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.
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter is a different Young Adult from most of the others you see hanging around bookshelves right now in that there are no vampires, no shape shifters, no werewolves, no witches. Really, there are no paranormal elements to this story, unless you count the “magic” in it, which I don’t, since the magic is all done by the Greek gods of our human mythology. And it’s done very sparingly. Kate Winters is an 18-year-old girl who moves to the town of Eden in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because her mother’s last dying wish it to pass in her hometown. So they pack up their New York City apartment and drive to Eden. Immediately, there are suspect events: her mother makes her stop on the way to their new home at the gates of an estate known as Eden Manor, staring wistfully at them, before instructing Kate to continue driving; a cow appears in the middle of the road in front of Kate and her mother, then disappears, only to be replaced by a handsome young man, who also disappears as soon as she turns her gaze. While her mother continues to die, Kate gets wrapped up in odd events that lead her to Henry (aka Hades, God of the Underworld), and thus the rest of the story, where Kate agrees to live with Henry for 6 months to save a life. The Goddess Test has a lot of great things that make it worthy of your time: it’s original, the events in it are mysterious enough to make you want to keep reading and it has likeable characters. Aimee Carter also writes a very vivid setting, without getting all info-dumpy on you, something that I think some authors find a challenge. Now, while I liked the characters and some were appropriately dramatic, I did occasionally find Henry dry, flat and two-dimensional, although I warmed up to him occasionally. I’m also confused as to why Kate would ever agree to the arrangement in the first place, other than maybe panic and grief at the thought that she would lose her mother very soon. And it is stated throughout the novel that as unbelievable as the situation is, Kate has nothing left to lose. So even though I found it odd, it’s nothing that detracts from the novel in anyway, and let’s face it, this IS fiction. Over all, this was a great read for me. Supporting characters were also fun and entertaining and can I get an “OMGWTF” for the twist at the end? (Even if it does remind me of Shadowfever, hell, I don’t care, it was still pretty damn cool!). I know this has received some mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed the premise of this novel. Forget being a princess; I want to be a Goddess!
Instead of looking disappointed or crestfallen, James stared at me with wide blue eyes and a blank expression. As the seconds ticked by, I felt my checks grow warm. Apparently dating me had been the last thing on his mind. “I think you’re pretty.” I blinked. Or maybe not. “But you’re at least an eight, and I’m a four. We’re not allowed to date. Society says so.”
Want to buy The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter?This book was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.