Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
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.
A long time ago, when I was in high school, I had a bit of an obsession with Greek mythology and ancient Greece in general. I’m not really sure where it came from originally, but it was helped along in large part due to – don’t laugh – the television series Hercules and, later, Xena: Warrior Princess. Yes, really. For quite a while, I read or watched anything I could get my hands on that dealt with Greece, and then in my first year of university, I moved on without a second’s thought and never looked back.
So when I found out about this series, I decided to give it a try. The Goddess Test was just about what I expected: a story set in the modern world, with elements of mythology tied in. In this case, it was the gods themselves that were the “tie in”, each of them taking on modern names and personae, and somehow continuing to exist in a world that no longer believes in them.
For the most part, I found the book interesting enough. I liked Kate and some of the other characters – James (Hermes) and Ava (Aphrodite) mostly – and the story kept me pretty entertained. I both liked and disliked the concepts of the “tests” that Kate had to go through. It was nice that it wasn’t the typical “run the gauntlet” kind of play-by-play for all of them, but then … at other times, it felt like the less-obvious tests were a bit of a cop-out. Plus, there’s the whole mystery as to who’s been killing off all the possible options Henry’s had over the years. That part, to me, was probably the most interesting part of the story.
I wanted to like Henry’s character, but I often found him aloof and frustrating. I know that Carter was just trying to show how he might react to having lost the love of his life, Persephone, and how he would be overly cautious about getting attached to anyone else after so many girls had died trying to pass the tests … but it didn’t make his character any less annoying when he did it.
Overall, I enjoyed The Goddess Test, even with its flaws. It was a good start to the series and made me want to continue reading to see how everything would end up with all of the characters.