Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter


'How did it happen this time?'
Henry tensed at the sound of her voice, and he tore his eyes away from the lifeless body on the bed long enough to look at her. Diana stood in the doorway, his best friend, his confidante, his family in every way except by blood, but even her presence didn't help rein in his temper.
'Drowned', said Henry, turning back to the body. 'I found her floating in the river early this morning.'

Pages 297
Published by Harlequin Teen, an imprint of Harlequin on 26th April 2011in America. As of yet no UK release date available.
This book is the first in the Goddess series.
Book: Read via Netgalley

Kate's mother is dying. She has one last wish before she relinquishes her life; to return to her childhood home.  Kate as her soul carer, carries out her last wishes, scared that her mother may not survive the journey home.
Kate instantly becomes the new girl in a new school with no friends and family to support her and each day is a struggle. After Ava decides to play a trick on new girl Kate and everything goes wrong, Kate finds herself making a bargain with Henry who claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld.  After watching Henry bring a young girl back to life, Kate hopes that by agreeing to Henry's wishes she may be able to save her mother from death too.  Kate consents to live with Henry for six months of the year, whilst trying to pass seven trials.  Will she be able to save her mother from dying?

 This book is a modern retelling of the Greek mythical story of Persephone, who originally was kidnapped by her uncle and taken to live in the Underworld. In the original myth, Persephone was rescued but only after agreeing to spend six months of the year as Queen of the Underworld, after eating six pomegranate seeds. I found this new version of the story  to be original and refreshing in its adaption  for modern times.  

From the prologue, I was lost in the book. Straightaway, you are thrust into a beautiful story.  You finish the prologue with a head full of questions and enough temptation to continue.  You are instantly caught up in Kate's immense sadness, as she tries to squeeze more treasured moments with her dying mother, hoping  that she can keep her alive just a little bit longer.

As the story progresses, you feel Kate's every emotion as she struggles with her decision and need to keep her mother alive. She will do anything for her.  She agrees to live with Henry for six months of the year, hoping that her mother will be given extra time to live in order for her to say goodbye.

Henry may be the King of the Underworld, but he appears as nothing but gentlemanly and charming.  He reminded me immediately of Cole Turner from the Charmed Series (who was also Head of the Underworld).  He comes across as one of those wonderful male characters you can imagine effortlessly rescuing you from a burning building.

This book has a slight air of Beauty and The Beast about it, which gave it a fairytale quality.  Henry is such a feared character, yet so loving and caring to Kate. He will do anything to save her life, which is under threat from the moment she agrees to live with him.   The whole story is just beautiful written and delightfully charming. 

As you get pulled more and more into the story, you are filled with shocks and surprises as the plot thickens. However, by the end of the book, I was left with such a warm feeling of contentedness and completeness, as Kate's world changed forever. I find that I want to tell you so much, yet I have to stay really quiet for fear of giving away any of the plot.

I  adored this book and read it in two settings. Even though the book is the first part of a series,this story is complete, there is nothing left floating around to leave you pondering. You can put it down content that all the loose ends have been tied up.

My only niggle with this book is the title.  It appears too clunky to me. For some reason, I feel such a beautiful book should just be called 'Goddess' and nothing else,  the word 'test' instantly makes me think of school and the trials she faces are so much more than that.. 

Other than that, I loved it completely and was happy to be lost in Kate's world for a few hours. This is definitely one of those books, you want to keep.  Now I will sit here waiting rather impatiently for the second book in the series. 

If you would like to know more about Aimee Carter then please click here to visit her website.
The second book in the series called Goddess Interrupted comes out in America in February 2012.


16 comments:

  1. That does sound good. Very intellectual review loved the background about Persephone :D Thank you for aiding my education but not for making me covet more books :D

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  2. Viv I have to be honest I agree totally with you on the title. I began to skip over the review, but at the last minute decided to skim it just to hear your thoughts. It wasn't until I noticed it was a retelling that I stopped and paid actual attention to it.

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  3. I love your review! And thanks for explaining your quibble with the title. On the TBR list it goes :)

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  4. Not too sure about the re-telling of such tales but I'm willing to give this one a try. Thanks for a insightful review.

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  5. I loved studying mythology, so I'm intrigued by this book. I agree that the title's not the greatest.

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  6. Oooh! This is an addition to my list! Thanks for the review and discovery!

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  7. Honestly I did not need more than to read Hades, love mythology :D

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  8. I am a bit surprised that Harlequin is the publisher of this. It sounds really engaging. Great review, Vivienne.

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  9. Asamum - I thought it best to add as not everyone knows the story. Surprisingly!

    Christina - the title just doesn't do it justice.

    Mary - I just think it might put people off and I wouldn't want that as I loved it.


    Petty Witter - there are a lot of Greek myths being rewritten at the moment.

    Bermudaonion - I have always been attracted to the Greek myths.

    Michelle - my pleasure and thank you for visiting my blog.

    Blodeuedd - sorry . Like an evil temptress.

    Suko - I was surprised too, but Harlequin have some amazing YA out there at the moment.

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  10. I can totally see why you think the title doesn't quite work for the book. The story sounds really charming though. Another one for my list!

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  11. Wow. I'm loving the idea of a modern retelling of Greek mythology. That immediately grabs my attention. Will definitely be looking up this one.

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  12. I'm glad to hear you liked this one Viv. I have a galley copy hanging around. I really like the cover on it as well.

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  13. sounds like a great retelling....I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I do like the cover also.

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  14. The story sounds good and so is the beautiful cover!

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  15. I absolutely loved this book! I've always been fascinated by Greek mythology, ever since I found a book of myths at my grandmother's when very young. As a junior high social studies and English teacher, I was thrilled when the Percy Jackson series came out--my students loved them, and suddenly they shared my interest in the Olympians. Around the same time, I found Marie Phillips's Gods Behaving Badly, which gives another view of how the "Big Twelve" might deal with modern life. I loved it, but I certainly couldn't share it with my students! I've often wished there were a book or series in between that some of my older students could enjoy. The Goddess Test more than fits the bill.

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