Monday, 16 May 2011

Book Review: The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter.


Product details:
Publisher: Harlequin Teen.
Release date: April 19th 2011.
Paperback, 304 pages.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: YA.
Source: Netgalley.

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.



The Goddess Test by Amy Carter has been a much buzzed about book around the blogosphere, and as soon as I saw its beautiful cover and read that this was a modern retelling of the Hades/Persephone myth, I was really excited to read it. What I expected was a dark and dangerous tale, with a deadly but sexy hero and a lot of hot romance. Maybe I set my expectations too high, but for a number of reasons, The Goddess Test was not a hugely enjoyable read for me.

The Goddess Test takes place in Eden, a small middle of nowhere town, where Kate Winters has relocated to with her terminally ill mother so that she can live out her final days in the place where she grew up. The relationship between Kate and her mother is beautifully written, and is truly heartfelt and touching. From the start, the reader feels a connection with Kate. We can sympathise with the pain she feels over the impending loss of her mother, and appreciate how tough her life must be. She has no friends to speak of and not much of a social life either. That’s until Ava, the resident mean girl at her new school decides to take Kate under her wing, leading to tragedy, a meeting with the mysterious Henry and a chain of events that will change Kate’s life forever…

What follows on from Kate’s first meeting with Henry should be full on exciting and action packed, but instead I found that things moved really slowly from here on in. Sometimes I don’t mind slow moving books, but only if I can become completely invested in the characters, and I’m sorry to report that did not happen here. Unfortunately, if I had to pick one word to sum up Henry, it’s dull. Henry, you see, is meant to be Hades, lord of the dead and ruler of the underworld. I’m thinking he should be all dark and dangerous, but instead Henry is drab. He’s a sensitive sort who is prone to sulking, and since Persephone isn’t around anymore, he needs to find a new wife. Enter Kate. Kate doesn’t love Henry and it doesn’t seem that Henry much loves Kate, and because of this the relationship between the two seems very forced and contrived. While I liked Kate at the start of the book this soon changed because of her actions as the story progressed. It seemed to me that Kate developed feelings for Henry just because he's available. I didn’t sense any spark or attraction between the two. Similarly, her friendship with Ava occurs just because there is nobody else around for her to be friends with. I mean, Ava is downright nasty to Kate. Why be friends with her?!

The title of The Goddess Test itself is mysterious and appealing, but as I read further and further into the book I was wondering if these tests were ever going to happen. Most of the book involves Kate trying on pretty dresses, eating delicious food and drinking hot chocolate, and I was really left wondering if and when these mysterious tests were going to occur. We hear of Kate taking one written test, and then nothing…

While the tests themselves, along with Kate’s fate are revealed towards the end of the book, it was all too little too late for me. Honestly when I found out what the tests were, I was really disappointed. You’re offering this girl immortality and goddess status, and that should come at a price. I never really felt that Kate was truly tested, although since I’ve read lots of glowing reviews, it’s safe to say I’m in the minority with my thoughts on this one. With its unexpected ending and emergence of a possible rival for Kate’s affections in the final pages of the book, fans of The Goddess Test will surely be left wanting more. However, my journey ends here.

22 comments :

  1. I felt the EXACT same way while I was reading The Goddess Test. There had been tons of buzz but in the end, the novel just feel flat for me. I could relate very well to Kate, there was nothing really to fall in love about with Henry, and the actual tests were a let down. I'll still be reading the second novel though because I'm hoping it will be much better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the novel! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh phew! @Midnight Bloom. I honestly thought I was the only one who didn't like this. I've seen so many glowing reviews. Henry was such a letdown for me. I was expecting sexy and dangerous, not dull and lifeless... :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yep, I found this one to be disappointing as well. I didn't really feel the chemistry between Kate and Henry and thought he was kind of depressing. I also had no idea when the tests were occurring and wasn't thrilled at finding out what they were.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is the first negative review of this book I've read, thanks so much for sharing it! It's always interesting to see how people's opinions differ. I totally appreciate every point you made, and agree with a few of em. Whilst I liked this book it definitely isn't the best I've read this year, or the best debut novel I've read either.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was so excited to read this one especially after reading great review after great review... then I wasn't sure if I was reading the same book.

    I am about half way through this one and I am really struggling to finish it, I was just expecting something more thrilling and gripping rather than a very light and fluffy read.

    I think I would have enjoyed this book much more if I hadn't read all the buzz.

    Great review

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have heard such varied things about this book - makes me want to read it more to see what I think. Thanks for the review and sorry you didnt enjoy it as much as expected

    ReplyDelete
  7. I gave this one 3.5 stars as I had to seriously put aside all my previously loved takes on Greek mythology, Henry was definitely a "cupcake" version of Hades. I will give the author another chance with the next book but I can certainly understand why you wouldn't. Enjoyed your review :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a honest and well-written review. I have read some good reviews for this, but the relationship between Kate and Henry sounds less than exciting. You provided me with quite a lot to think about, before I bother buying this one for myself. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am going to be really brave and wave my 'like' flag at everyone. Sorry, you all didn't like it, but I did. However my knowledge of Greek myths is zilch, so I didn't have a lot to compare it with. Eeek!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for your review,
    Ive heard totally mixed things about this book but I think I'm going to have to read it for myself just to see what its all got people in a twist about!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the honest review, Leanna. I think I am going to skip this one. A lot of people have been disappointed about the same things you were. I'm sorry this one disappointed you. I'm bummed that it didn't live up to its hype!

    ReplyDelete
  12. :( You didn't like it, that's okay! I was hoping for more romance in this book, but otherwise I liked it! Thanks for the honest review!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree completely! I wasn't feeling their romance at all either. I was also pretty let down by the tests and Henry's very non-Hades-like personality. Oh well, at least I enjoyed reading your review :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Really fantastic review Leanna, I had a similar reaction to this one though I think I enjoyed it a bit more than you:) I wanted more from the tests and the mythology element than we got, I had hoped (based on the premise and title) that those things would play a bigger role. Maybe we'll get more in book 2!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've read mixed reviews on this one. I have it on my Kindle via NetGalley. I still want to check it out. But I've seen there isn't much in the way of Greek Mythology in this...sad because that's what it seems like the book would focus on.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been staring at my computer screen all afternoon trying to figure out how to say exactly what you said in your review. I agree with you on EVERYTHING. It was such a letdown that this book turned out to be pretty bland.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's so sad that both the new YA releases with the Hades/Persephone myth turned out to be disappointing - this one and Abandon . Whatever little excitement I had for the book has gone!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This seems to be a love it or hate it book. I’m not in a rush to read it after reading the less than stellar reviews. Thanks for your honesty!

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a shame that you didn't enjoy this one as much as you expected! I'll soon be able to judge for myself as I have a copy of the book headed my way. I really hope i fall in the 'I love this book' camp.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh man - I was so looking forward to this book, but I hate it when relationships between characters are forced and don't feel real. I'll probably read it, but won't be in a rush to go out and get it. I'm especially disappointed that Henry fails to meet expectations. Lovely, honest review as always though.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Still haven't read The Goddess Test, but I will soon, although what you say about the tests doesn't make me want to read it that badly right now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Awe that is terrible. I don't know if I'm going to read it. Still up in the air. I'm not big on Emo boys.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

If you are a book blogger and have taken the time to comment, I will make sure to come visit your blog and return the favour. :)

Please note: This blog is now an award free zone. Thanks to everyone who has awarded the blog in the past.

Related Posts with Thumbnails