the low down on new books

The Goddess Test

Reviewed by Brittney

Just the Facts: by Aimee Carter. 298 p. To be published April 26, 2011 by Harlequin Teen.  Advanced copy provided in electronic format, courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley.

Verdict: ★★★☆☆

Who Cares? YA Fantasy

Short Bio: Kate’s only desire is to spend as much time as possible with mom, who is dying of cancer.  Her mom takes them to a small, rural town where Kate meets James and Ava . . . and begins a series of events that lead her to make a bargain with Henry/Hades, the god of the Underworld that will give her more time with her mother.  If she can pass the 7 tests that the unseen “council” of gods puts before her, she will become an immortal (and Henry’s wife, to boot).

Eyewitness Account: I thought this book was going to be a lot more interesting – it follows the popular trend of books about the “contemporary” Greek gods.  However, what made for great adventure-packed stories for kids came across rather bland for a YA romance.  While a number of plot devices showed good promise (great foreshadowing at the beginning, interesting development of “the Underworld”, and clever theme behind the 7 tests),  this modern-day twist on the tale of Persephone didn’t quite work.  The plot felt contorted and contrived, and the characters never fully enough developed to be real.  Rather than acting “ageless,” Henry acts like an old protective father, which makes it difficult to picture him as someone a teenager would fall in love with.    

The fun part of the Greek gods are how they interact with each other, play around with mortals, and create great quests for heroes like Jason and Hercules.  As the plot focuses only on one god (Henry), who generally mopes around or acts overly parental, the best part of setting is rather lost.  The only thing that kept me turning the pages was the desire to know what the tests were (of which I only guessed a couple, so kudos to the author for not giving everything away).

Other Books Read by This Author: None.

What are other people saying? Lit Express, A Myriad of Books, WhatchYAReading?

Rating:

★★★☆☆ Plot Development

★★☆☆☆ Characterization

★★★☆☆ Writing Style

★★★☆☆ Original Idea

★★★☆☆ Page Turner

Overall ★★★☆☆

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4 responses

  1. Loved reading this! I love all mythology and am especially into the less celebrated ones like Vietnamese deities, Navajo, Bunyoro, Korean, Shinto, Korean as a subset of Polynesian myth, etc.

    Looking forward to reading more!

    March 25, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    • How interesting! Have you found any other good books with those lesser known myths in them? I’d love to know what to read next 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 8:15 PM

  2. Hello! First off, I meant to say Hawaiian myth as a subset of Poynesian myth. Duh! Sorry! To avoid flooding you with book titles here’s a few – Original Myths of Vietnam, Aquarian Guide To African Mythology, Myths of Korea, World Mythology, Sweet Salt: Navajo Mythology and Folklore, and many many others. (I’m not trying to be a spammer so feel free to edit the rest of this out, but I have articles and pages at my blog devoted to each of these pantheons with HUGE lists of the dozens of books I used as references if you’d like a more complete list of wonderful books that step outside the Graeco-Roman, Teutono-Norse, Egyptian subjects.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:27 PM

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