The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: 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 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 that 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...
Why did I pick it up?: I heard a lot of buzz about Goddess Interrupted the sequel to The Goddess Test and as a fan of re-workings of Greek myths I had to check it out.
My Review: The Goddess Test is not a retelling but a continuation of a myth. All the Gods and Goddesses have taken new names, something Carter says they do every so often. I guess after so many millennia they want to switch it up. It will make the story easier for younger teens who won't have to stumble over Greek pronunciations, but I found myself translating Henry to Hades when reading.
In the original myth Hades, god of the Underworld, kidnapped Persephone and took her as his wife. The other gods intervened but she was forced to return to the Underworld for 6 months a year. The Goddess Test begins after Persephone escaped the Underworld for good and Hades, now called Henry, needs to find a replacement. Fast.
With the clock ticking down to Spring Kate is tested during the 6 months of fall and winter she spends with Henry. Of course, someone in Henry's mansion wants to kill Kate, but overall she doesn't seem to consider that a serious threat and in turn I wasn't very concerned for her life. For me the best part of the story was the relationship that grows between Henry and Kate. It comes off as genuine and kind of adorable.
In the end, I was hoping for more about the other gods and goddesses. But the sequel, which I will definitely pick up soon, sounds like it will be more mythologically focused.
Recommendation: Quick summer read for anyone who loves Young Adult and is interested in Greek mythology.
Next Week: Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin