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Review: "The Goddess Test" Is Mythically Captivating (The Goddess Test, #1)

Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer 1921goddess_cover

Author: Aimée Carter

Published: April 19, 2011

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Series: Goddess Test (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Mythology

Every girl who has taken the test has died.  Now it’s Kate’s turn.  It has always been just Kate and her mother. But now the events have added Henry into the mix, a man who is dark and tortured, brooding, who just so happens to claim to be Hades, the God of the Underworld.  Kate is sure he’s crazy, but as mysterious, almost magical events happen, Kate finds herself holding herself together for him, to not fail and be his bride.  Now all she has to do is survive 6 months.

The Goddess Test, which follows Kate Winters as she moves from New York to the small town of Eden to take care of her ailing mother, is Book 1 in The Goddess Test series written by Aimée Carter.  Published in April 19, 2011 by Harlequin Teen, the novel begins by captivating young adult audiences as it incorporates mythological and urban fantasy genre with a paranormal romance twist as it sets of to set the pace of the novel and the overall plot when a prank goes wrong.

For anyone who is a fan of Greek Mythology, this novel does not tarnish the mythos.  Much like with the Percy Jackson series, this novel changes some aspects to reintroduce the subject. It not only modernizes it, but grounds the characters for readers to enjoy.  It makes the story more than mythology.  Above all, though, it does not tarnish Greek Mythology.

With that in mind, this was a well-written and structured novel.  The story begins by establishing who the character Kate is, where her priorities lie and what her living situation is (i.e. taking care of her dying mother).  As the characters enter Eden, Carter establishes the scenes thoroughly, allowing the reader to see what Kate sees and leaving some of the details up to the readers’ imagination.  Through Carter’s writing, readers get a sense of who the characters are and what makes each one of them unique and vital to the story.

However, what really makes this novel work is the journey the character Kate takes, not only in the physical sense but also in the metaphysical sense.  Readers see who she was and are able to see her growth through the progression of the novel.  This enables readers to understand and thus connect to her character.  Carter writes Kate in such a way that allows readers to see every decision she makes and the reason she makes it.  It is not very often that writers create such grounded and down to earth characters, and Carter masters that with Kate.  For instance, Kate not only thinks about herself, but she things about the consequences of her actions, thinks how they would affect those around her.  That is what makes her character fun to read and stand out.

While the story was interesting, a retelling of the story of Persephone and Hades, the ending reveal of the villain was made obvious about halfway through the book. Character development was the main aspect in this novel that hooks in readers and propels them through to the end.  Nevertheless, throughout the story, there are subtle hints and details that add so much to the story that once readers get to the end they are drawn back to the beginning to re-read the novel.

The Goddess Test offers fans of Greek Mythology a new, creative and inventive story that takes the story of Persephone and Hades to new heights.  ★★★☆☆ (B+)

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