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.

Say what?

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 :

  1. The Goddess Test
  2. Goddess Interrupted (coming April 2012)

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11 responses to “Review : The Goddess Test”

  1. christina says :

    I am not familiar with Greek mythology outside of the bare essentials. You know, like, I know Poseidon is the god of water – and he is Greek right? Not Roman.

    –you see, not my strongest interest —

    Because of that I thought it was creative how she chose to present Hades and I liked the spin off that Persephone was freed from her obligation.

    What I had a hard time with was my initial buy in. The whole city of Eden, still believing it was this offset town? The whole: hey Henry just revived you from the dead and EVERYONE in the town was OKAY with it? Yeah, I was put off.

    Interestingly enough I JUST posted MY review yesterday. 😉

  2. BermudaOnion says :

    Sorry to see this didn’t work for you.

  3. Sharry says :

    Hmm, I avoided this book because the cover just didn’t appeal to me. I haven’t read any reviews of this book yet, but you’re post just confirmed my prejudice against it!

  4. Sharry says :

    gah, I mean “your” … sorry just my own grammar bothers me..

  5. zibilee says :

    I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to read about Greek gods that have been so homogenized that they lose their passion and fire. It’s all well and good to turn mythology on it’s head and mix things up a bit, but when you start interfering with the fundamentals of that, it probably just comes off as trite. I can’t see myself reading this book, and I am glad that you were so honest in articulating why it didn’t work for you. Though it wasn’t a positive review, it was a great one to read!

  6. Juju at Tales of Whimsy... says :

    Great honest review. I definitely see your point about.

  7. Vasilly says :

    I’ve read positive tweets on Twitter about this book but I had no idea what it was about until reading your post. This is definitely NOT a book for me. I want Greek mythology separate from Christianity and the gods to be who they are. They’re frustrating enough as it is without turning them oh so sweet.

  8. The Book Wurrm says :

    I did not like this book. The writing drove me nuts. The awkwardness, the characters – they played chess on their wedding night… ergh.

  9. aliza says :

    Hmm…I had high hopes for this book, I guess I’ll have to see for myself when I read it.

  10. Ceri says :

    Think I’m probably going to avoid this one. Sorry to hear it wasn’t really all that but, hey, at least it gave your a strong reaction and I’m glad you were honest about the way you felt. 🙂

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