Review : The Goddess Test
The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter
Pages : 293
Genre : YA, Fantasy, Romance
Series : Goddess Test (Book 1)
My Rating :
What it’s about :
As her life comes to an end, Kate’s mom has one single wish : to move back to her childhood home.
What Kate doesn’t expect is that on top of moving to a new town and going to a new school, she’ll be meeting some out of the ordinary new friends. First of them is Henry, who claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld. When Kate sees him bring back to life a dead girl, she knowns Henry is her only chance to save her mom.
My Thoughts :
When I finished reading The Goddess Test, a couple months ago, my first impulse was to sit and write an extraordinarily negative review. Which I would hate to do, but the experience of reading this book was such a negative one for me! Which is surprising, considering the amazing reviews this book has received on the blogs. Take a look at its Goodreads page, and you’ll see it is generally well loved. But I struggled through it, and if I continued to the end, it was only to know whether I had guessed the twist or not (I had).
There were some really great points to the novel : Carter’s writing is smooth and pleasant, and her main character, Kate, is actually really likable. She has a huge heart and her quest to help her mother is an honorable one. I loved their relationship, for what little we saw of it, and I liked Kate’s outlook on life.
Sadly those positive aspects were strongly outweighed by the negative ones. I guess it depends on how “seriously” you take your Greek mythology. If it’s something you enjoy like I enjoy fashion (the things are pretty, but I can’t distinct the fake from the “real thing” and I don’t care that much about the brands), then I believe you’ll have higher chances to enjoy it. If however, you have a deeper knowledge of the mythology (for instance, you’ve read some of the classics or read non-fiction on ancient history), then you might find The Goddess Test less to your liking.
To me, the way Carter used the mythology was pretty much the equivalent of nails on chalkboard. And I feel really bad for saying that, because I am sure Carter simply intended to give mythology an original and new twist. Sadly, it contradicts so much of what Greek mythology is that I couldn’t get behind it. Beginning with Henry/Hades, who is such a good guy. He’s not even a bad guy with a big hearth. He’s nice. And kind of thoughtful. But so tortured. Huh.
And believe it or not, all of those “Greek” gods are kind, generous, honest peeps who want a new goddess who lives a life exempt of selfishness, jealousy, and other deadly sins. They all have very high moral standards.
The Greek gods are everything but those things. I’m not saying Carter had to include all the lust and wars and such things, but turning it over on its head and sprinkling it with elements of christian faith? I just couldn’t buy it.
Reading The Goddess Test was such a frustration for me. Some reviews on Goodreads, like this one or this one, translate my thoughts better than I could do it myself (they’re also somewhat funny.) Because I had such a strong reaction, I can’t recommend or not recommend this book. All I wish is that other readers have better luck with 🙂
Series Reading Order :
- The Goddess Test
- Goddess Interrupted (coming April 2012)