Monday, March 21, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Every girl who has taken the test has died. Now it's Kate's turn.  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...

This was one of those books I couldn't wait to read, and I was so glad I got to.  First off all, I'm a huge fan of Greek mythology.  I always have been, ever since I saw that movie Clash of the Titans (the old version) when I was a kid.  I love the idea of a petulant group of gods out there somewhere who aren't all-knowing but seem kind of spoiled.  Aimee Carter gave them such a new spin and I thoroughly enjoyed the changes and new elements she brought to an ages-old mythology. 

Strangely enough, Hades was always my favorite of the greek gods, and the story of Hades and Persephone was always one of my favorites as well.  So the fact that this story is about Hades, and a replacement for Persephone, really sucked me in right away.

How many different ways can I explain how much I loved Henry (Hades.)  He was such an endearing character. He had an old-world, timeless feel about him, while still having a youth to him that made him so appealing to readers and to Kate.  Kate was an admirable character to me.  This is someone who has devoted her life to caring for her mother, taking care of her through illness, even while waiting for the inevitable death she believes is coming.  She had such a strength to her.  I loved seeing her in Henry's world and watching her acclimate, and I loved watching the suspense mystery play out in the story as the reader waited to discover just who the murderer was who was trying to sabotage Henry's happiness.

The only thing that disappointed me was the ending, but that was only because it was over!  I didn't want it to be over.  Aimee Carter has created such an intriguing realm for her gods and for this story to take place.  I am simply beside myself that I have to wait a year or so to read the sequel.  I can't stand it.  I want to see more and see it now.

Carter has come into the YA fiction genre with a bang.  She picked a wonderful setting and background for her story and I can't wait to see more from her in the future.  Her writing was at times poetically beautiful, and sometimes straightforward and blunt.  Both were a pleasure to read.  Her story reminded me of P.C. Cast's Goddess Summoning series, which is also great.  The concept of bringing greek myths into modern times is a favorite.  Bring on Carter's next book!  Goddess, Interrupted!!

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