I loved this book. As well as being a great story with endearing characters, its themes of death, justice, responsibility for others and the process of releasing a loved one made it moving and thought provoking.
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 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.
If she fails…
Story – The story is different to anything I’ve read before and kept my interest the whole way through. The link to the Greek gods and goddesses gave another layer of meaning, and the way the tests were hidden in the action was a clever device for keeping the reader guessing. It made their revelation at the end a great culmination. I guessed some of the mysteries early on, but I was as surprised as the characters were when the killer was revealed.
Characters – The main characters were well fleshed out, but I would have liked a little more attention given to the supporting characters. Henry was the star player and beautifully written. Apart from being dark, tortured and mesmerizing, he was gentle, caring, had a sense of timelessness about him and the enormous patience that would presumably come with immortality.
Kate was believable, likeable and easy to relate to except for the point at which she chose to go to Henry. I balked a little at her reasoning until she got to the point of what he could do for her mother. I also found it strange that she didn’t at least ask James to look after her mother when she knew it was possible that she wouldn’t come out for six months. However, this didn’t detract from my enjoyment.
Relationships – The development of Kate and Henry’s relationship was well done. It seemed natural. I found James’ sudden friendship a bit strange at first but when I got to the end, the reasoning for it became clear.
World – Carter described the speculative world sufficiently for this story and for a first book in a series. However, I hope that in the sequels we find out more about the afterlife as understood in Greek mythology.
The ending – I found the end very satisfying. The nature of the tests and the reasons why she passed or failed were excellent.
I give this 5 stars and recommend it for anyone who likes YA paranormal romance.
Excerpt from The Goddess Test:
“The prize is immortality,” Henry said. “It’s not something we give out lightly, and we need to make sure it is something you can handle.”
I felt a cold block of ice form in the pit of my stomach. So my choices now were to live forever or die trying. Somehow it didn’t seem fair.
“You will do well,” Henry said. “I can feel it. And afterward, you will help me do something that no one else is capable of doing. You will have power beyond imagining, and you will never fear death again. You will never grow old and you will always be beautiful. You will have eternal life to spend as you wish.” But would I have my mother?