Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vacation in the Underworld

The Goddess Test

Written by: Aimee Carter

Released: April 19, 2011 by Harlequin Teen

Summary: Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now 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.

If she fails...

I’m not too sure what to write about this novel. I liked reading it; it really captivated me with the story and the characters. But, I don’t know what to say and how to eloquently say it.

Looking on Goodreads, there are several reviews regarding this novel and how it has complete disregard for the Greek deities and their legends. I can see where that would anger people, but I thought that it covered its bases nicely. Maybe if you’re hard-core into the need for accuracy there would be a reason not to enjoy reading this, but it’s a story based upon another (when it comes right down to it) story. And even with that, it’s more of a continuing history as if the deities were surviving in modern times. In that way it’s much like the Percy Jackson series. But that’s where the comparison stops.

Kate is a real martyr. It’s not that I didn’t like her, but at times I just wanted to shake her and tell her to be a little selfish. However, I can’t help but admire her character. I don’t know too many people who would save someone after they were absolutely horrible to me, or someone who would marry someone else just to save a life. But I love how selfless Kate was when it came to her mother. If anything, reading this book made me appreciate mine a little more.

Kate’s relationship with Henry is an odd one and I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen in the next novel once the Stockholm Syndrome (which I feel Kate is slightly suffering from) wears off.

On a completely different train of thought, I’ve never drawn the comparisons between Beauty and the Beast to the Hades and Persephone myth – thus between this novel as well. And the more that I think about it, the more I can see how they share some of their foundation... weird.

But I digress. Kate and Henry. Henry was a bit of a jerk at times but I could also see the softer side of him. The opening scene of the book really helps establish his compassion with the audience before everything else happens. His protectiveness is endearing – though slightly over the top, even while it’s warranted – and you can feel his torn feelings regarding Kate.

Even though there’s a sequel planned, I felt as though it could have either been added to this novel or not included at all. I thought that things were wrapped up nice enough to leave you wanting a little more, but I can’t see where an entire novel’s worth of plot line could pertain to this first one. At least not without dragging everything out like a lot of YA series seem to be doing lately. Still, I can’t wait to read the second novel.

In short, this is a great debut and it’s left me wanting more from the author. While it may not be for everyone, I greatly enjoyed it. I’m giving it a 7/10.

My thanks to Harlequin and netGalley for making it possible that I read this before publication.

1 comment:

Katie said...

This looks really good, I have it from NetGalley so I'll be reading it soon! Great review!