Series: Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Release Date: April 19th, 2011
My Rating: 2 Stars
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 suceeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.
IF SHE FAILS...
When I was in seventh grade, we had a project where we had to choose some facet of history and do a speech on it. Being the morbid little middle schooler I was, I was totally gunning for the Black Plague. I mean, festering sores and blood tainted pus? Who wouldn't want to jump on that? Alas, it was not meant to be. A twerp of a kid named Ryan took the topic, and I was stuck with castles. Which are cool, but not as cool as the Bubonic Plague.
Come speech day, I waited on tenterhooks for Ryan's speech because despite the fact that I didn't get the Black Plague, it was an awesome topic, so of course the speech would be equally awesome. Ryan began to speak, and I waited to be overwhelmed by awesomeness. And waited. It shouldn't have been possible to make the plague that decimated half of Europe's population boring, but that day, Ryan accomplished the impossible. He made the Black Plague boring. When I gave my speech, people actually stayed awake. I was very angry. Angry because I could have done the Plague justice, unlike Ryan, who completely turned something amazing into utter sleep-inducing crap.
This is what The Goddess Test reminded me of. You have the fascinating premise of a girl passing a test in order to gain immortality, along the way falling for the god of the dead. Who isn't a sucker for Greek mythology? Yet Carter somehow manages to compress it into some run-of-the-mill young adult romance. Basically, like Ryan's lame presentation, it failed to live up to its potential.
We have Kate, our Mary-Sue heroine who relies on goodness of heart and blah, blah, blah, and her whole world comes crashing down because after a month of knowing some guy, there's the possibility he might not love her (but he does, obviously). The entire time, Carter gave me the distinct impression that she had bitten off way more than she could chew. The plot in the first half seemed completely different from the second half, and wholly unrealistic. How does Ava go from hating Kate with a burning passion to being her best friend? And how does Henry, who seems to be completely in love with Persephone, go to loving Kate in such a short amount of time?
I get that the mythology aspect and setting might not be realistic, but the relationships between the characters should be. And they are not. The tests are boring, lame, and unoriginal. The plot is a mess and pointless. I disliked Ava a lot (this begs repeating). I had no idea why Kate seemed to love her so much, besides the fact that the way she dies in the beginning is completely pathetic. I liked the risk and implied consequences of Kate's mother dying, but Carter managed to ruin that for me too. I thought Henry had loads of potential. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing sexier than a dude who rules over the dead, except Henry does nothing of that sort. He's just there to look pretty and make out with Kate. Honestly. He did nothing fitting his role as ruler of the Underworld besides speaking archaically--which was awkward, since all of the others had no problem using contractions--and for some weird reason he could bring Ava back alive but couldn't bring her back a second time but then he did and this is really confusing, okay? Nobody dies in this book, despite the fact that it revolves around the dead. Which is annoying and a total copout.
Overall, a tasteless book that could have been so much better. Just like Ryan's presentation (not that I'm bitter or anything).
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