Book Talk: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Date: April 26, 2011
Series or Standalone: First in series
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
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First line: "How did it happen this time?"
Persephone is only a myth. Greek gods, Hades, the Underworld and the River Styx are all stories passed down for generations. Except, as Kate Winters discovers, maybe not. There’s no way she can deny it when she comes to face with face with Hades himself.
That’s what The Goddess Test is about—somewhat anyway. The book opens with two characters talking about a murder. Well, actually, the eleventh murder in eighty years. And I won’t say anything, but the prologue really grabs you and leaves you completely baffled—all the while wanting more. Seriously. It hooks you!
Then you get to meet the lovely Kate. The world Kate Winters lives in is simple: make her mother’s last days alive easy and manageable. Maybe, if she’s lucky, help her live longer. So, when her mother asks her to move to her hometown in Eden, Kate doesn’t argue. Kate doesn’t necessarily want to go to school or live in this middle-of-nowhere town—but she’ll do anything for her mother.
I really liked Kate’s character. She was very selfless, friendly and modest—and very believable—and that’s not something you see a lot. She doesn’t believe herself to be anything special or beautiful, doesn’t get too involved and doesn’t ask a lot of questions. Aside from her mother’s illness, she’s a very normal character.
Only she’s so much more.
When her frienemy, Ava, gets into some life-threatening trouble, Kate meets a dark, handsome man named Henry. His words are vague, a line about Persphone that Kate only half understands, but she makes a deal if he will save Ava. So he does, and promises to call on her when the time is right. Kate doesn’t really worry about it, doesn’t really know exactly the deal is—until she’s thrust into it. Until Henry reveals that he is Hades, the ruler of the Underworld, and she has committed to be Persphone—if she passes a series of seven tests.
This story was crowded with twists. Each word, decision and action Kate (and the other characters) builds on something bigger and bigger. Things we’re really what they seemed to be, which I really loved. There’s an incredible cast of characters in this book. I loved many of them and they were all very well-developed and portrayed. My favorite, of course, was Henry.
There’s romance in this book—a romance that buds slowly and leaves you rooting for Henry and Kate. Henry, who’s sweet and gentle and so broken that you can’t help but swoon. (Of course, as the ruler he’s also got a harsh side.) And Kate, who feels so unworthy and yet so devoted to helping him. You wonder how it will all work out, and many, many times I believed it wouldn’t.
As for the seven tests that Kate must pass: each one was a surprise. I loved that aspect. They weren’t at all what I expected them to be.
To say that The Goddess Test is new and exciting is an understatement. It was a very surprising story, built and defined in a way that other books aren’t. Aimee Carter really made you fall in love with the characters, the world and the when it’s over you only want more! Her take on the Greek gods is very refreshing and enjoyable. I loved the story. I think you will as well!