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Book Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

“I didn’t agree to any tests.” I paused. “What happens if I pass?”
He stared at his hands. “You will become one of us.”
“Us? Dead, you mean?
“No, that is not what I mean. Think – you know the myth, do you not? Who was Persephone? What was she?”
Fear stabbed at me, cutting me from the inside. If what he claimed was true, then he’d kidnapped Persephone and forced her to marry him, and no matter what he said, I couldn’t help but wonder if he would try to do the same to me. But the rational part of me couldn’t look past the obvious. “You really think you’re a god? You know that sounds crazy, right?”
“I am aware of how it must sound to you,” said Henry. “I have done this before, after all. But yes, I am a god – an immortal, if you will. A physical representation of an aspect of this world, and as long as it exists, so will I. If you pass, that is what you will become as well.”
Feeling dizzy, I stood as quickly as I could while still in those damned heels. “Listen, Henry, this all sounds great and everything, but what you’re telling me is from a myth that people made up thousands of years ago. Persephone never existed, and even if she did, she wasn’t a god, because there’s no such thing-“
“How do you wish for me to prove it?” He stood with me.
“I don’t know,” I said, faltering. “Do something godlike?”
“I thought I already had.” The fire in his eyes didn’t fade. “There may be things I will not – cannot – tell you, but I am not a liar, and I will never mislead you.”
I shrank back from the intensity of his voice. He really did believe what he was saying. “It’s impossible,” I said softly. “Isn’t it?”
“But it is happening, so maybe it is time for you to reevaluate what is possible and what is not.”
I thought about kicking off my heels, heading down the path to the front gate, and leaving, but the thought of my dream with my mother stopped me. As the part of me that wanted to stay for her overruled my skepticism, the temperature dipped twenty degrees, and I shivered.
I froze, my feet glued to the ground. I knew that voice, and after yesterday, I’d never expected to hear it again.
“Anything is possible if you give it a chance,” said Henry, focusing on something over my shoulder. I whirled around.
Not ten feet away from us stood Ava.

The Review: Kate and her mom have always been together, and when her mom’s dying wish is to return to the town of Eden, Kate makes it happen, leaving behind her friends and the life that she knew.  And she’s not eager to make new ones- especially when it’s a choice between being social and spending the last moments with her mom.  When Henry offers Kate a chance to extend her mother’s life, Kate grasps at the chance- and finds out that the Greek pantheon isn’t found just in the history books after all.  Henry is the Ruler of the Underworld, and Kate enters into a twisted bargain: move to his estate, attempt the tests of the council, and if she passes, become his bride and co-ruler of the Underworld. However, someone is working against Kate; can the traitor be found before it’s too late?

Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test is an interesting updating of the Greek myths.  Kate, created to be perhaps the last possible mate for Henry (who is the modern day Hades), learns that the bargain she strikes for delaying her mother’s death is a tricky one: she must live at the estate, and pass the seven tests of the council in order to become Henry’s bride and co-ruler of the Underworld, and then be in the underworld like Persephone was, six months out of the year.  If she succeeds, she will have time to say goodbye to her mom, who has been dying of cancer; if she fails, she will be returned to the normal realm with no memory of her time at the estate.  Yet, no one mentioned til after she agreed that there have been 11 other candidates, and all have died in one way or another, and that if Kate fails, Henry will fade to nothing and one of his brothers will take his place.  Twists upon twists ensue, with enough romance to make readers’ hearts skip beats.  Trying to figure out which character is what god in the pantheon without skipping to the key in the back is a fun twist as well.  3.5 out of 5 stars.  Goodreads currently has The Goddess Test as 3.9 stars as of February 11, 2013.

The Goddess Test was a really fast read for me, and a very entertaining one as well.  I liked the way Kate was standing up for herself from the very beginning, and how she wouldn’t back down to anyone.  Her rescue of Ava despite her fears was something that showed her uniqueness, and that plays out throughout the book.  I also liked that she wasn’t into the fancy dresses and make-up, that she was always herself, no matter what.  It made Kate seem more believable that way.  And the fact that she wanted time to say goodbye to her mother made everything more poignant.

I caught on early that every named character was part of the pantheon, but I didn’t cheat and look at the chart in the back until the end.  I figured out Ava pretty quickly, as well as Kate’s mother, but didn’t figure out Ella and Theo until it was mentioned they were twins- that clicked but whether it was from astrology or Battlestar Galactica references I’m not sure.  I didn’t figure out any of the other pantheon, and really am not sure I would have if not for the key- I’ll have to go back through and see if there were subtle clues I missed.  I admit I’m not strong on my mythology, so it could be semi-obvious and I wouldn’t pick up on it.  They were fun twists, and an interesting premise, although those who are serious about their mythology may not be be impressed.  

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  1. I have this in my TBR, but I’ll probably be more forgiving. It looks like a great light read for me, and I’m okay with that. 🙂 Greek myth isn’t something I really care for on a major scale. I also like the Persephone one but think it’s a little bit overdone. I prefer Arachne’s myth for some reason. Not as romantic, but it has some nice book potential.

    Glad to see your thoughts on this. Should make for an interesting read.

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