I've always thought that Persephone and Hades' story was kind of tragic, and that Hades, though he is the God of the Underworld, has always been one of the most interesting Gods there is. They're the most intriguing pair of God and Goddess I've read. I know there has been quite a few books written based on their story, but the Goddess Test easily surpassed those that I have read.
Title: The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1) by Aimée CarterYou know what I said when I finished reading this book? "This is how a debut novel should be!" I still think that statement is true. I don't mean this as flattery because this is a fact. Delighted, in awe, and stunned are a few adjectives I can come with up for what I've felt when my reading journey for The Goddess Test was finished.
Release Date: April 19th 2011
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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...
Just when you thought these immortals had been re-invented and rewritten every way possible, Aimee Carter stepped in and created a story so good you would not be able to put it down until you read the last page. I love how these immortals behaved. They were anything but perfect in this book. They were "mortalized". You always expect them to be all high and mighty, above everyone else, a bunch of wise, unfeeling deities, but I love how the Gods and Goddesses in this book have feelings and emotions ruling over them. It was established that they weren't "omniscient". They make mistakes, which was evident throughout the story and I think that increased the book's loveliness ten fold.
I love Henry. I've always thought of Hades' character as a cruel, dark and scary God of the Underworld, but the Hades in this book just makes me want to give him a big hug. Its a total turn around from the usual portrayal of the God often misunderstood in most stories. Filled with desperation, loneliness and a lifetime of heartache, he's a character you can't help but feel for. Reserved and shy at times, maybe you can even say he's weak in a sense, but I think that just adds to his charm. I just love the portrayal of Hades' character. He became so lovable that you wouldn't be able to help yourself but root for him!
Kate, on the other hand, I was a bit unsure with her when I started reading. I thought the way she was coping with her mother's illness will only make life difficult for her in the long run. But as I read on, I gradually came to understand her feelings and why she behaves that way. Kate was strong, and despite the maturity she had gained throughout the difficult years with her mom who she dearly loved, she's also vulnerable, and cracks immediately when facing the fact that her mother could die anytime. Here was a heroine who has a mother she can lose anytime yet she had this innate kindness in her that makes her want to sacrifice things for her friends, for her mom, and she was willing to fight for someone, love an immortal who has almost given up on everything, his life, finding happiness and resolving to just fade away. It's those qualities that endeared Kate to me.
Every single character in this novel seemed so significant in the plot you can't really do away with any one of them. I learned that especially towards the end of the book. Just when I was questioning myself "where and when will these tests happen?", I was stunned when I found out that it was already happening, and like Kate, I had no idea that she was already going through all of them. Which is just brilliant, if you ask me. I got so engrossed in the story that I wasn't even able to decipher which tests happened which time until I've read of them.
There wasn't an overload of cheesy scenes in this book, but there are tons that will leave your heart racing. The Goddess Test is beautiful in its own way without those overly exaggerated romantic scenes. The moments between Henry and Kate were simple, and yet they're enough to leave you breathless.
My jaw literally dropped in one particular big twist in the novel. I can't tell you what it is without spoiling, but the whole while I was playing a guessing game to see find out the reason for each character appearing in the story, and ended up trying to find out which character represents which God because of that twist. I got some of them right! I loved Ava. She's an energetic girl and I think Kate was really fortunate to have her as a friend, even when their friendship had a rocky start. I still have mixed feelings over James, but I can't help but take pity on him sometimes.
Don't you just love it when everything comes together perfectly as the story you're reading comes to a close? The Goddess Test has one of the best conclusions of a story that I've read in a while. And its not even a stand alone novel! It was a graceful end and a wonderful start for the second novel. Definitely a cliffhanger which will leave you wanting for more. It hurts to see the release date for Goddess Interrupted because we have to endure 11 more months of waiting! But I know its going to be worth it.
Fans of book based on mythology will definitely swoon over this book! And even if you're not a fan, I guarantee you will be once you get your hands into this wonderful debut. Maybe you'll even be interested to know more of Hades and Persephone. Aimee Carter is a writer to watch out for, I tell you!
Can I give this a 10 out of 5 stars? :) I can!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
Book cover crush alert! That's Kate in the cover right? The green all around reminds me of Eden so much!