Title: The Goddess TestSeries: The Goddess Chronicles #1Author: Aimee CarterPublisher: Mira InkPublication Date: 16 Sep 2011
Rating: 3/5Synopsis from Goodreads
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 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.
Loosely based on the story of Hades and Persephone, set in modern day where the Gods characterizations have fabulously quirky twists, the way in which their individual traits associated to their domains were exaggerated was something I especially adored about this book. Ava/Aphrodite made me giggle. Although it did take me a while to work out which God was which.
Written in first person narrative from Kate's perspective. I will be honest with you, at points I found Kate extremely irritating and this is the reason for my rating. Kate is very much what I would class as a doormat - blaming herself for things that were beyond her control or she had no influence in affecting. Saying that, I sympathized with her over her mother being terminally ill. The emotion was poignantly portrayed. The good thing about Kate is that she always tried to find the best in people, such an admirable quality, which in turn resulted in the positive qualities of people being brought out by Kate and endearing her to others. If I were to sum up Kate in this book I would have to say that she is a bit mopey and emo-ish but with an inner strength she hasn't fully tapped into yet.
Meeting Henry and agreeing to undergo the tests to become a goddess in exchange for spending additional time with her mother added to the portrayal of grief and how hard it is to lose a parent. I felt that the relationship between Kate and her mother was a little extreme, probably due to Kate having been her carer for a number of years. Kate feels she is only defined by her mother, she doesn't know how to be her own person.
The ups and downs of emotions alongside some ingenious plot twists make for a very compelling story-line, seriously my only criticism is Kate's doormat tendencies which made me want to slap her.
The way in which the tests were conducted, the fact that we didn't know what the tests were or when they were being carried out added to the tension of the narrative. The tests are not revealed until the very end was a stroke of brilliance.
Overall I adored the characters, the interactions and the plot my rating is a reflection of my dislike of Kate's doormat inclinations more than anything else and I will most definitely be carrying on with this series.