Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Book Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

I didn’t remember falling asleep, but when I woke up, Ava was gone and Pogo snored in the indent she’d left in the pillow. Sighing, I took inventory, pleased that at least some of the pain had dulled. Even if it did still hurt to move around, I was determined to grin and bear it.  But the moment I sat up, pain exploded behind my eyes, giving me a splitting headache. I moaned and lay back down, and Pogo licked my cheek as I massaged my temples. Apparently all the pain had gathered in my head while I’d been sleeping.

Someone to my right giggled, and my eyes flew open, taking in the rock walls around me. I wasn’t in my bedroom anymore. Instead I stood in the cavern where I’d watched Henry battle the fog I now knew to be Cronus, and the massive gate loomed before me, carved from the stone itself. I twisted around to find whoever it was that had laughed, and suddenly I was nose-to-nose with Calliope.

I froze. This was it. She’d somehow managed to kidnap me, and there was nothing I could do to protect myself. If she was half as powerful as Ava said she could probably rip me in half with a single thought, and I knew better than to hope there was any way I could talk myself out of this.
To my amazement, she looked past me and stepped forward. Instead of running into me, she moved through me, as if I were nothing more than a ghost.

I wasn’t really here. Just like what had happened when I’d first arrived in the Underworld, this was another vision, and Calliope had no idea I was watching.
I hurried to follow her. She walked proudly through the cavern toward a smaller cave to the side, and I noticed an oddly shaped pile beyond the light that glowed from the ceiling. I could only make out shadows, but whatever it was made Calliope giggle again.

“I can’t believe it.” She stopped a foot from the cave entrance. “Eons of putting up with you, and this is all it takes?”
My insides turned to ice. I didn’t want to look, but my feet moved forward anyway until I could make out the three bodies piled together, bound by chains made of fog and stone.
Walter on the left, his head slumped forward as blood trickled down his cheek. Phillip on the right, an ugly wound running through an eye, down his face and disappearing underneath his shirt.

And Henry in the middle, as pale and still as death.

The Review:
Kate has passed the tests, and returned from her summer to become Queen of the Underworld. But before she can cross the threshold, terrible visions begin to take hold- Calliope is back, fighting against Henry and the others, trying to release the Titans in a bid to destroy the world and Kate.  Doubting herself, their relationship, and her new godhood, can Kate save her new-found family from their rogue member, or will the struggles be too much to bear?

This second installment of The Goddess Test trilogy, Goddess Interrupted picks up six months later, when Kate finishes her summer sojourn and returns to the Underworld to be crowned Queen to Henry’s King. However, Calliope (Hera) has other plans, and has started to release Cronus, one of the Titans who created the original six Olympians, in order to destroy the world and make her Queen of Everything.  Kate must battle not only outer demons but inner ones as well, including the specter of Henry’s first wife and her insecurities about their relationship.  Goddess Interrupted ends on a huge cliffhanger that sets up the end book, The Goddess Inheritance, extremely well, and will make readers anxious for the conclusion.  More Greek history is interwoven into this volume, which also adds dimension to the relationships.  Definitely one for your romance readers (note- mild sex action towards the end, so if you are thinking of recommending this to teens who may have some problems with that, read those chapters beforehand). 3.5 stars out of 5.  Goodreads has Goddess Interrupted at 4.11 stars as of February 11, 2013.

I enjoyed Goddess Interrupted, and have high hopes for The Goddess Inheritance based on the first two books.  Kate was annoying me for a good portion of this book, but I can understand where she was coming from- learning that your whole existence was just to save one guy, and that he’s been in love with your sister (or half sister- we never have found out who Kate’s dad is) for eons would make anyone insecure.  The fact that he’s not telling you anything doesn’t bode well, either.  I’d really like Carter to write a second set of books from Henry’s side of things, because at times I really want to know what he’s thinking.

I loved the development of Ava and James, and the detailed descriptions we get of the Underworld.  I liked learning about the powers, and the loose Greek myth woven in (NOTE- if you are very into the Greek canon, this series will drive you batty; the players will NOT act the way they are supposed to, and they’re not supposed to).  I do wish we would see some more of the supporting characters (Dylan, et al.) just because I would love to see all the gods in action.  I also hope that we see more of the Titans than just Cronos, but that’s the geeky side of me.

Definitely fun for readers, but because of the sexual scenes at the end (not graphic but still there) it may be wise to pre-read before recommending to some of your teen romance readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway