Monday, May 11, 2015
Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test, Book One
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published Date: 19 April 2011
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia
Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.
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 that 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...(summary from Goodreads)
While an interesting notion, The Goddess Test doesn't stand out.
I really enjoy retellings of fairy tales and myths, and I've always had an interest in Greek Mythology. The story of Persephone and Hades especially appeals to me. So I had some pretty high hopes for The Goddess Test, as it had the potential to be a unique retelling. In some ways it is a success, but for the most part I found this book to be lacklustre. I absolutely like the concept of The Goddess Test and believe Carter started out with a solid twist to a well known tale. It's not often that Hades is portrayed as good and misunderstood, with Persephone being somewhat of a brat. In the same vein, Demeter supporting Hades is also new. In my experience, at least. So The Goddess Test starts strong, as I was intrigued by the idea of Henry's curse and the need to find the right girl. Kate, Henry, James, Ava and Diana charm for a bit, and it's fun trying to figure out who is which God or Goddess. It took me a while to realise there was a handy reference list in the back of the book! As an added plus the book is a really easy and quick read, able to be finished in one sitting.
The thing is though, I was never fully engrossed in the novel. It felt like it simply plodded along, with no major action or epic twists. I think Carter tried, but nothing ultimately wowed me. The tests pass with barely a mention, and I understand why, as they test Kate as a person rather than her abilities, as it were, but it's still disappointing. For me, there seemed to be no obstacles, everything felt a little forced. Kate never inspired me, I found her too accepting, and I don't believe in either Henry or James as reasonable love interests as their relationships lacked development. Ava definitely stirs things up but even her attitude gets tedious. So while I read The Goddess Test in one sitting, it's mostly because it's relatively short rather than it being a truly captivating read. It's missing that extra something that grabs you and refuses to let go.
Overall, The Goddess Test has a fascinating concept but it doesn't develop into an amazing novel.