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.
I’m usually a fan of stand-alone books, but if The Goddess Test wasn’t already going to be a series, I would hunt down Aimee Carter, grab her by the shoulders and shake her until she agreed to write more.
Now that I have my crazy-stalker-fangirl statement out of the way, here’s the professional part of my review. Ahem.
Rarely do you find a completely original spin on an ancient standard, but Aimee Carter has done the impossible by blending a heart-rending, mature contemporary plot with the paranormal beauty and mystery of the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. What begins as an unflinching glimpse at a girl about to lose her terminally ill mother — essentially her whole world — turns into a thoughtful and intelligent test of character for Kate.
Not only must she (and readers) accept that the impossible is indeed, possible, she must find the strength and determination to do what she must. What separates Kate from other heroines is her motivation. She doesn’t seek fame, revolution or immortality. She wants to save the unsaveable. She wants to take away pain and suffering. She wants to heal what’s broken inside those she cares about, and in doing so, she manages to heal herself.
Lest readers think she’s a pushover, she is not. She’s a fighter and a realist, and Carter has created two of the most intriguing main characters to hit the page in a long time. Her pragmatic approach keeps the story from feeling sappy, and unlike many paranormal romances that feel inevitable, it’s hard to see where Kate and Henry are headed, if anywhere.
The plot is unpredictable, perfectly paced and complicated enough to be intriguing, but not at the risk of confusing readers. Subtle clues are peppered in to keep us guessing, while subplots distract us from what’s really going on. To say any more would spoil it, so take this as a whole-hearted endorsement and grab this when it hits stores April 19.