03 June, 2011

The Goddess Test - Review

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Publication date: 19 April 2011 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN 10/13: 0373210264 | 9780373210268

Category: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Keywords: Mythology, Mystery, Romance

Alethea's review: 

I love mythology and was really excited to read this debut novel, but the excitement lasted about 60 pages or so before I started skimming. It's not that the story is not intriguing--it's a modernized retelling of the myth of Persephone--and the premise, tagline ("Become immortal or die trying"), and cover (GORGEOUS! I might buy a copy just to have the outsides, though I didn't like the insides!) work together to really sell The Goddess Test as hot, lush, and un-put-downable.

Well, I'm sad to say I put it down at some critical moments. I actually stopped reading in the middle of a sentence as the plot finally hit its climax--and went to do some chores! It wasn't until I got halfway through a sinkful of dishes that I realized that I'd left Kate in the middle of a major life-and-death emergency. (Ugh, and I just had to go look up the protagonist's name, because I forgot it in the two days since I read the book. Whoops.)

Henry, who you figure out pretty quickly is Hades, god of the Underworld, is... very typically Hades, quiet, reserved, and cold. In fact, it's hard for me to swallow the few times he becomes decidedly un-Hades-like. The setup of the plot to make Kate his wife (if she passes seven tests and earns the chance to become immortal) is much too conveniently contrived and it was really difficult for me to read when I was rolling my eyes so much. *eyeroll*

However! I didn't completely dislike the book. There are some fairly redeeming things that will probably bring me back to read the sequel, Goddess Interrupted, which is due out next February. Kate makes an unlikely friend in Ava, a girl at her school who is totally not her kind of girl--head cheerleader, super-pretty and popular, and who begins their relationship by pulling a nasty--and fatal!--prank on the new girl in town. But she overcomes that difference between them, which I thought was really kind of a good message.

Ok, I know I said some in the last paragraph, which implies there are more than one redeeming things but I can't think of any right now. I *do* believe that some reluctant readers will be drawn in, as I was, by the lovely cover, the cool tagline, and the Greek/Roman mythology theme--and that's not a bad thing. They can find it entertaining and even learn something about mythology in the process; Aimee Carter does a pretty good job of manipulating it to tell her story. I just wish the writing had been a little more balanced; I felt like the beginning and end were good but the middle sagged like a damp toga and took all the fun out of my reading.

Oh, and if HarlequinTeen ever decides to do merchandise with the cover art--I am SO there. Put me down for a Goddess Test t-shirt in Medium, please.

Visit the author online at http://www.aimeecarter.com, on Facebook, and Twitter @aimee_carter

We received the ARC for review from the publisher through Netgalley.

Want to read a review from the perspective of someone who liked this book? Check out Beth's review over at Points West.

Comments? What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)

Audio: You can listen to this review below.

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Intro/outro music is "mont" by Gablé (Free Music Archive).


  1. Thank you for sharing your review!

  2. I read it via NetGalley and reviewed it on my blog ( http://pointswest.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/book-review-the-goddess-test-by-aimee-carter/ ) in April. I really liked it. One of the things I noticed is that it is *definitely* a romance novel, and there are certain traits of the genre that could really turn off non-romance-fans who are initially drawn in by the premise and the art. Speaking of the cover art... it really is fantastic, isn't it?

  3. I too was drawn in by the cover art - Harlequin Teen art department, take a bow.

    What was between the covers . . . yeah, it didn't thrill me as much as I expected. Perhaps this is a case of the cover tease promising too much? I don't know. It's been a few weeks and I'm trying to be more objective about it. The storyline as a whole was really interesting and a clever update on mythology, but the writing didn't quite hold it all together. For my taste, I wanted Henry/Hades to be more of a baddy but he was far too nice.

  4. Thanks for sharing your review, Beth! I'll actually post that link in the body of my review so people can get a different perspective.

    @Ebony, "cover tease" is a really good way of putting it ;) There was no chemistry there for me.

  5. I'm reading this one right now, and I just don't feel like it was executed very well. Kate seems to take the whole thing like it's no big deal, and still thinks of it as some joke. Plus, there is so much info still not revealed. I'm going to stick this one out, but so far it's only okay. Thanks for you honest review!