The Goddess Test

Kate Winters has had her teenage life on hold - missing a year of school and barely socializing - due to her mother's cancer. When her mom's greatest wish is to retreat to the small town of Eden, Michigan where she grew up, Kate begrudgingly agrees to the move and tries to settle in at a new school. Making a few friends but more concerned with her mom's declining health, Kate doesn't exactly fit in but when she crosses path with Henry - who eventually reveals that he is really Hades, god of the dead - Kate is given the opportunity to step up into the path of Persephone. Chosen to live with Henry for six months, Kate must undergo a series of tests to determine if she is worthy of the role she has been asked to fill. The reward is immortality, but no mortal has survived the test yet.

Aimee Carter takes on a clever premise with this novel. I liked Kat's character and her relationship with her mother was both realistic and heartwarming. Her dutiful love and anguish over the illness was well painted and Kate maintained a degree of character strength throughout the book that I appreciated. Carter also took some interesting twists and turns with the traditional Greek mythology. In some ways the updated version was unique and it was blended into Western religion as an interesting twist. However, I wish that there had been a little more substance to the mythology and the characters - especially the gods - could have been more strongly tied into the figures on which they were based. Especially at the end, many of the gods seemed to be haphazardly introduced with little basis or character development other than that it seemed convenient to include them. Also, the tests that Kate is challenged by were hardly tests at all. I suppose with the setup that every girl before Kate died trying to reach her position, I was expecting trials more akin to the labors of Hercules. It was clever that Kate did not know what the tests were before she had to complete them, but all-in-all I think there could have been more action and intrigue surrounding her endeavors.

There are definitely novels that do a better job adapting ancient traditions to present time, but in terms of a girl-meets-boy high school novel with a mythological twist, The Goddess Test was a decent book. The ending sets up nicely for a sequel and leaves off with a promising cliffhanger. Hopefully future stories in the series will bring more adventure for Kate and lend more character development and deeper insight into several of the gods introduced in this one.

I know Aimee Carter's book has gotten mixed reviews, being praised and panned throughout the blogosphere.  Have you read The Goddess Test?  Are you planning to?

I received this book for review as an eBook through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, via NetGalley.  The badge at left is from the wonderful blogger Mad Scientist over at  Steampunkery & Book Reviews.  This badge denotes any review I'm posting that I read as a digital book.  Clicking on the image will take you to my "eBook" label to check out all the books that I've read in Kindle format!

2 Response to "The Goddess Test"

  1. Ellen aka Ellie says:
    June 9, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Placed on hold, old school style. You know, book form.

  2. Anonymous Says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    I love YA books that bring in the Greek Myths. I need to get this one for my oldest daughter. She's a big fan of the Riordan books, and I think this one sounds right up her alley.

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