Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it’s Kate Winters’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 that 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.
But if she doesn’t…
About the Author
Aimée Carter was born in 1986 and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She started writing fan fiction at eleven, began her first original story four years later, and hasn’t stopped writing since. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys seeing movies, playing with her puppies, and wrestling with the puzzles in the paper each morning.
Read an Excerpt
I spent my eighteenth birthday driving from New York City to Eden, Michigan, so my mother could die in the town where she was born. Nine hundred and fifty-four miles of asphalt, knowing every sign we passed brought me closer to what would undoubtedly be the worst day of my life.
As far as birthdays go, I wouldn't recommend it.
I drove the whole way. My mother was too sick to stay awake for very long, let alone drive, but I didn't mind. It took two days, and an hour after we'd crossed the bridge to the upper peninsula of Michigan, she looked exhausted and stiff from being in the car for so long, and if I never saw a stretch of open road again, it'd be too soon.
"Kate, turn off here."
I gave my mother a funny look, but turned my blinker on anyhow. "We're not supposed to exit the freeway for another three miles."
"I know. I want you to see something."
Sighing inwardly, I did as she said. She was already on borrowed time, and the chances of her having an extra day to see it later were slim.
There were pine trees everywhere, tall and looming. I saw no signs, no mile markers, nothing but trees and dirt road. Five miles in, I began to worry. "You're sure this is right?"
"Of course I'm sure." She pressed her forehead to the window, and her voice was so soft and broken that I could barely understand her. "It's just another mile or so."
After a mile, the hedge started. It stretched down the side of the road, so high and thick that seeing what was on the other side was impossible, and it must've been another two miles before it veered off at a right angle, forming some kind of boundary line. The entire time we drove by, Mom stared out the window, enraptured.
"This is it?" I didn't mean to sound bitter, but Mom didn't seem to notice.
"Of course it isn'tturn left up here, sweetie."
I did as I was told, guiding the car around the corner. "It's nice and all," I said carefully, not wanting to upset her, "but it's just a hedge. Shouldn't we go find the house and"
"Here!" The eagerness in her weak voice startled me. "Right up there!"
Craning my neck, I saw what she was talking about. Set in the middle of the hedge was a black wrought-iron gate, and the closer we got to it, the bigger it seemed to grow. It wasn't just methe gate was monstrous. It wasn't there to look pretty. It was there to scare the living daylights out of anyone who thought about opening it.
I slowed to a stop in front of it, trying to look between the bars, but all I could see were more trees. The land seemed to dip in the distance, but no matter how I craned my neck, I couldn't see what lay beyond it.
"Isn't it beautiful?" Her voice was airy, almost light, and for a moment, she sounded like her old self. I felt her hand slip into mine, and I squeezed hers as much as I dared. "It's the entrance to Eden Manor."
"It looks.. .big," I said, mustering up as much enthusiasm as I could. I wasn't very successful. "Have you ever been inside?"
It was an innocent question, but the look she gave me made me feel like the answer was so obvious that even though I'd never heard of this place, I should have known.
A moment later, she blinked, and the look was gone. "Not in a very long time," she said hollowly, and I bit my lip, regret-ting whatever it was I'd done to break the magic for her. "I'm sorry, Kate, I just wanted to see it. We should keep going."
She let go of my hand, and I was suddenly keenly aware of how cool the air was against my palm. As I pressed the accelerator, I slipped my hand back into hers, not wanting to let go yet. She said nothing, and when I glanced at her, she was resting her head against the glass once more.
Half a mile down the road, it happened. One moment the road was clear, and the next a cow was in the road not fifteen feet in front of us, blocking the way.
I slammed on the brakes and twisted the wheel. The car spun a full circle, throwing my body sideways. My head hit the window as I fought for control of the car, but it was useless. I might as well have been trying to get it to fly for all the good I was doing.
We skidded to a stop, miraculously missing the tree line. My pulse raced, and I took great gulps of air, trying to calm myself down. "Mom?" I said frantically.
Beside me, she shook her head. "I'm fine. What happened?"
"There's a" I stopped, focusing on the road again. The cow was gone.
Confused, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw a figure standing in the middle of the road, a dark-haired boy around my age wearing a black coat that fluttered in the breeze. I frowned, twisting around to try to get a proper look out the back window, but he was gone.
Had I imagined it then? I winced and rubbed my sore head. Hadn't imagined that part.
"Nothing," I said shakily. "I've just been driving too long, that's all. I'm sorry."
As I cautiously urged the car forward, I looked in the rearview mirror one last time. Hedge and empty road. I gripped the wheel tightly with one hand and reached out to take hers again with my other, futilely trying to forget the image of the boy now burned into my brain.
The ceiling in my bedroom leaked. The real estate agent who'd sold us the house, sight unseen, had sworn up and down there was nothing wrong with it, but apparently the jerk had been lying.
All I did after we arrived was unpack the essentials we'd need for the night, including a pot to catch the dripping water. We hadn't brought much, just whatever could fit into the car, and I'd already had a set of secondhand furniture delivered to the house.
That night, my nightmares were relentless and full of cows with red eyes, rivers of blood, and water that rose around me until I woke up gasping. I pushed the blanket off me and wiped my clammy forehead, afraid I'd woken my mother, but she was still asleep.
Even though I didn't sleep well, I couldn't take the next day off. It was my first day at Eden High, which was a brick building that looked more like a large barn than a school. There were hardly enough students to bother building one in the first place, let alone keep it running. Enrolling had been my mother's idea; after I'd missed my senior year to take care of her, she was determined to make sure I graduated.
I drove my car into the parking lot two minutes after the first bell rang. Mom had gotten sick that morning, and I didn't trust the nurse, a round, matronly woman named Sofia, to take care of her properly. Not that there was anything particularly menacing about her, but I'd spent most of the past four years caring for my mother, and as far as I was concerned, no one else could do it right. I'd nearly skipped to stay home with her, but my mother had insisted I go. As difficult as the day had been so far, I was certain it was about to get worse.
At least I wasn't alone in the walk of shame through the parking lot. Halfway to the building, I noticed a boy following me. He couldn't have been old enough to drive, and his white-blond hair stuck out almost as much as his overgrown ears did. Judging from his cheery expression, he couldn't have cared less that he was late.
He dashed forward to reach the front door before I did, and much to my surprise, he held it open for me. I couldn't think of a single guy at my old school who would've done that.
"After you, mademoiselle"
Mademoiselle? I stared at the ground to avoid giving him an odd look. No use in being rude the first day.
"Thanks," I mumbled, stepping inside and walking faster. He was taller than me though, and he caught up in no time. Much to my horror, instead of passing me, he slowed so we were walking together.
"Do I know you?"
Oh, God. Did he expect me to answer? Luckily, he didn't seem to, as he didn't give me a chance to respond. "I don't know you." Brilliant observation, Einstein. "I should know you."
Right outside the office, he swung around, placing himself between me and the entrance. Sticking out a hand, he looked at me expectantly.
"I'm James," he said, and I finally got a good look at his face. Still boyish, but maybe he was older than I thought. His features were hardened, more mature than I'd expected. "James MacDuffy. Laugh, and I'll be forced to hate you."
Seeing no other choice, I forced a small smile and took his hand. "Kate Winters."
He stared at me for longer than was strictly necessary, a goofy grin on his face. As the seconds ticked by, I stood there, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other, and finally I cleared my throat.
"Ercould you maybe ?"
"What? Oh." James dropped my hand and opened the door, once again holding it open for me. "After you, Kate
I stepped inside, drawing my messenger bag closer. Inside
the office was a woman dressed head to toe in blue, with sleek auburn hair I'd have given my right foot to have. "Hi, I'm"
"Kate Winters," interrupted James, falling into place next to me. "I don't know her."
The receptionist managed to simultaneously sigh and laugh. "What is it this time, James?"
"Flat tire." He grinned. "Changed it myself."
She scribbled on a pink pad of paper, then tore off the sheet and handed it to him. "You walk."
"Do I?" His grin widened. "Y'know, Irene, if you keep doubting me like this, I'm going to start thinking you don't like me anymore. Same time tomorrow?"
She chuckled, and finally James disappeared. I refused to watch him go, instead staring down at an announcement taped to the counter. Apparently Picture Day was in three weeks.
"Katherine Winters," said the womanIreneonce the office door closed. "We've been expecting you."
She busied herself looking through a file, and I stood there awkwardly, wishing there was something to say. I wasn't much of a talker, but I could at least carry on a conversation. Sometimes. "You have a pretty name."
She raised her perfectly plucked eyebrows. "Do I? I'm glad you think so. I rather like it myself. Ah, here we go." She pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. "Your schedule, as well as a map of the school. Shouldn't be too hard to findthe hallways are color-coded, and if you get lost, just ask. We're all nice enough around here."
I nodded, taking note of my first class. Calculus. Joy.
I turned to leave, but as my hand touched the doorknob, she cleared her throat.
"Miss Winters? I justI wanted to say I'm sorry. About your mother, I mean. I knew her a very long time ago, andwell. I'm very sorry."
I closed my eyes. Everyone knew. I didn't know how, but they knew. My mother said her family had lived in Eden for generations, and I'd been stupid to think that I could get away with coming here unnoticed.
Blinking back tears, I turned the knob and hurried out of the office, keeping my head down in hopes that James wouldn't try to talk to me again.
Just as I turned the corner, I ran directly into what felt like a wall. I stumbled to the ground, the contents of my bag spilling out everywhere. My cheeks burned, and I tried to collect my things as I mumbled an apology.
"Are you okay?"
I looked up. The human wall stared down at me, and I found myself face-to-face with a varsity football jacket. Apparently James and I weren't the only ones running late that morning.
"I'm Dylan." He knelt next to me, offering me a hand. I only took it long enough to sit up.
"Kate," I said. He handed me my notebooks, and I snatched them from him, shoving them back into my bag. Two textbooks and five folders later, I stood and brushed off my jeans. That was when I noticed that he was cute. Not just in Eden, but cute by New York standards, too. Even so, there was something about the way he looked at me that made me want to pull away.
Before I could do just that, a pretty blonde girl attached herself to his side and gave me a once-over. She might've been smiling, but with the way she was leaning against him and
clutching his arm, she might as well have peed on him. He was clearly marked territory.
"Who's your friend, Dylan?" she said, tightening her grip.
Dylan looked at her blankly, and it took him a moment before he wrapped his arm around her. "Uh, Kate. She's new."
Her fake smile grew, and she stuck out her hand. "Kate! I'm Ava. I've heard so much about you. My father, he's a real estate agent, told me all about you and your mom."
At least now I had someone to blame for the leak in my room. "Hi, Ava," I said, biting the bullet and taking her hand. "It's nice to meet you."
Everything about the way she looked at me screamed she wanted nothing more than to take me out into the woods and bury me alive. "It's a pleasure to meet you, too."
"What's your first class?" said Dylan, craning his neck to look at my schedule. "Calculus. Iwe can show you where that is, if you'd like."
I opened my mouth to object, figuring there was no reason to tempt fate more than I already was by continuing the conversation now that Ava was here, but before I could say a word, he took me by the elbow and paraded me down the hall. I looked at Ava, about to apologize for hijacking her boyfriend, but when I saw the flush of red on her cheeks and the clench of her delicate jaw, the words died on the tip of my tongue.
Maybe my mother would outlive me after all.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I guess I should put a disclaimer on reviews of books that deal with Greek Mythology, so here it is: I am a lover of all things in Greek Mythology, so usually I'm incredibly giddy before I even open books that deal with the subject matter. Having said that, I can tell you that this book did not disappoint me in the least. The more I read, the more it won me over. Besides the mythology, I can tell you what impressed me so much about this book: no insta-love! Oftentimes in YA books, the main character falls instantly in love with the object of her affection at the very beginning and then the rest of the book is swooning and talking about how perfect he is in every way for the other 250+ pages. This isn't the case with The Goddess Test. Instead, we get to see a relationship from what starts as an extreme dislike, then morphs from empathy to friendship and eventually, love. It's a realistic process, slow to start and blossoming into something incredible, something we can all relate to with love. All of the characters seemed to pass the test (pun not necessarily intended). There was something that first irked me about Kate, but her actions and personality really won me over through the book. The rocky start to her friendship with Ava added even more layers to their relationship, again making it completely believable and all the more true to a real friendship. I think I said enough about Kate's relationship with Henry and the lack of insta-love, which in turn made me love them more. Henry's character was a more humble character, though I must say that I expected him to be a little more dark and fierce considering who he truly was. Same with James, whose character was also a little predictable but it didn't make me like him any less. Dylan's character seemed a little left-field and I was confused by his presence. I understood closer to the end, yet the whole opening scenes with him felt a little more like a page-filler than anything that was truly necessary to the story. Despite some minor character issues, I can't say anything bad about this book - which means that those issues are so minor that they can be completely ignored. The story was amazing, the characters and intertwining of mythology equally so. I predicted some of the ending, but it ended up taking on more of a twist than I had initially expected. It was a pleasant surprise. It was also a fairly quick read, so there was no room for a lot unnecessary details. I enjoyed this book immensely and cannot wait for the next in the series to come out.
Ok so I read the reviews for this book before I decided to purchase it and I must say that I couldn't put the book down! I enjoyed it immensely. The characters were so easy to love that I just kept rooting for them to succeed in the test and past. Henry (Hades) is such a refreshing take on a character that is considered so negatively in Greek Mythology. Kate is also someone that if you're thinking in the beginning "Wow what a weak girl" that opinion will change as we see her grow and make decision that help her learn just how strong she really is. I recommend this book.
Okay, so I'm going to be a tad on the harsh side here. I know this was written for a younger audience, and therefore on that level, this book might be great. But, that's not an excuse for me. First off, I love everything that has to do with Greek mythology and when you add in romance, I couldn't wait to read this book. The writing is simple, straight forward, but lacks depth and doesn't tie things in well. When the main character tells her friends about her unusual offer and the situation, her friends just blindly accept her statements and believe in the supernatural all of a sudden. Isn't that quite suspicious, not right, or predictable? James is an interesting character but is not developed as much as I would like, more of him would be nice, maybe the author is holding out for that in the next book. The main god is quite weak for being a god; he's supposed to be caring and considerate, but he came off as too vanilla for me. I can see what the author intended to do, but it isn't developed or written well enough. It was a nice quick read with so much going for it, but I was a little disappointed by the end.
The book was a quick read for two reasons; the first is Aimee Carter's easy writing style. I like the way she writes and I felt transported into the world she created. The whole book had a dreamy feel to it. The second reason is because I kept hoping something exciting would happen on the next page, but it didn't. Everything moved along at a very even pace. The point of the book is that the main character will experience a series of tests and I was looking forward to seeing how these tests would play out. As in all good tests of this nature, the main character never knows when she is being tested and what she is being tested on. The only problem in this case is neither does the reader, until the very end, and at that point the book is almost over and you fell like you are playing catch-up, and I think things were taken beyond "subtle" and into "barely there". I love retellings of the classics and I adore Greek mythology so I was a sucker for this book. I was desperate to see how the author would incorporate Greek mythology, but I feel that is what this book lacked, the essence of Greek mythology. Yes, there is one or two reference to it that is all. A bunch of the major gods and goddesses go "undercover" for the majority of the story. I liked this idea, but it is again done so subtly that there is very little connection between the characters and their mythological counterparts. I even peeked at the back to see which characters were supposed to represent each god, and I still had a hard time seeing the connections. I also don't really think the characters' personalities matched the personalities of the Greek gods and goddesses very well. Some did, sort of, but very loosely. Aside from the tests and the myth references, I wanted to read this book because of Hades. I love the bad boy, and for that can you get any better than Hades, god of the underworld? I think not. And yet, this Hades didn't even have a shred of bad boy in him. However our Hades here is a very sensitive character who has been hurt by the lose of Persephone, which I think could be more appealing considering this book is aimed at teen readers, but giving him some badness couldn't have hurt either. This is the first book in a projected trilogy, but it ends pretty well on its own. I think this would have been much better as a standalone book than trying to stretch it into a trilogy, however I will probably read the rest of the books, just to see where the author take this story.
First, the bad: The writing style was simplistic, which isn't necessarily bad. Personally, I didn't like how the story would skip ahead weeks at a time, but I am also understanding of the necessity of these time skips. My biggest issue with this novel was the reactions of the characters, specifically Kate. Your "friend" dies and gets resurrected, your mother is on her death bed. And when the whole world goes to hell in a hand basket because you have suspicions that your dark, brooding stalker is the lord of the underworld himself, your reaction? Ignore it. There was never a particularly strong negative reaction that a normal person would have to this type of news. Instead of being, "You're freaking crazy, you loon!" her friends don't seem at all puzzled and are even accepting of the fact that it's a genuine possibility that this guy be Hades himself. There was also a lot of melodrama in this book. A lot of 'woe is me' and 'my life is so hard.' The Good: It's a fresh spin on Greek mythology, and despite its shortcomings it does pull a nice plot together even if the characters are painfully frustrating. Kate is a weak female character, but she has conviction and spunk, and the supporting characters are only ever in the background at arms length. All in all, I would recommend the book to someone who enjoys Greek mythology, but probably no one else.
I really enjoyed this book. Aimee Carter's style of writing is relaxed yet descriptive enough to create a sort of dreamy and dark atmosphere. I was really hooked by the premise - it's a Greek myth turns reality sort of deal with a bit of a twist. Kate is the modern day Persephone, and Henry is Hades. The catch, however, is that there are no sinister machinations going on that Kate isn't aware of. There's no kidnapping; no imprisonment. In fact, she walks into the deal knowing fully well what's expected of her. And that, my friends, is what made The Goddess Test refreshing to me. YA novels with brooding heroes and heroines tend to be filled with angsty teens teetering back and forth between emotional dilemmas. Kate has her fair share of decisions to make, but what sets her apart is her willingness to accept what's handed to her. There's very little resentment. She's a breath of fresh air in a world of angsty Bella Swan-like young women. You can check out the rest of my review at my website: raunchdilettante dot com.
This book has a different twist to it. I think now that i llike the charchter Hades/ Henry more. This book was tearful to me and i never cried so much in one book before. I love kates charchter a lot. Btw this book deserves a 6 star
I recently read Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini and fell in love with the Greek mythology branch of fantasy fiction all over again. When I heard some rave reviews about The Goddess Test I knew I had to check it out, I am so happy that I did! It was awesome! So awesome I nearly read myself blind trying to read in the dark! I loved The Goddess Test. So much so that even though I got an ebook copy from Harlquin via Netgalley to review I still went out and purchased a paperback. The hopeless romantic in me was thoroughly satisfied. I would describe this book as a cross between two very different love stories: Hades and Persephone and Beauty and the Beast (although our hero is NO beast!). It has elements from many great books and it's own original story intwined but it definitely reminded me a lot of those two. Alongside the romance is also a very intriguing story that is fast paced and flowed well, I am hooked and cannot wait until the next book. Kate is a remarkable young character. She takes care of her sick mother and when other teens would resent the task, she doesn't seem to. She's incredibly loyal and does what she has to. I love her attitude and the way she goes after what she wants and what she thinks is right. If her life was a dance she would always be in the lead, she is most definitely a fighter. Henry on the other hand has pretty much given up on his search of a queen, ultimately giving up his life. When Kate walks into his world he's afraid of getting too close but she seems to intrigue him just enough that he starts to open up. He's so fragile and broken it made me incredibly sad, but to understand him is to understand all of him and Kate does that. He's still a very strong character, even with his broken heart, and is easy to like. This book has so much to discover within it's pages, it is a puzzle only to be solved at the very end. I loved it, I think I said that but it's worth repeating! As I'm afraid saying too much will ruin the fun I end on this: I recommend buying a copy (maybe 2, one for your best friend, so that they're not borrowing your copy!) because you'll want to read and reread this one!
211 pages on my nook. I loved every bit of this book. When i wasnt reading i was itching to get back to the characters i had grown too attached to. While reading i kept thinking i couldnt wait to finish so i could re-read it again! Its been awile since ive been so intensley in love with a book. Alomst cant wait to see if there will be a sequel, but at the same time it left of so lovely i just want to remember it as it is. I will most def be looking for more from this authur. Great work.
"4.5 STARS The Goddess Test is one of the best deubt books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Aimee Carter has created a story world which pulled me stright in and held me the whole book. The characters are all well rounded an...more4.5 STARS The Goddess Test is one of the best deubt books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Aimee Carter has created a story world which pulled me stright in and held me the whole book. The characters are all well rounded and likeable. Kate was an amazing character to read about and to see how she coped with her new life and the test she went though. James is really likeable and funny at times.Henry was on and off for the first half of the book for me but by the next half i think i loved him nearly as much as kate. What I loved most about The Goddess Test was how at the end i didnt see the twist and turns coming at all. Also how the book was about the gods and myths. Favourite quote "I rule the dead.I am not one of them" The plot for this book is amazing and such a nice change from angels,vampires and werewolves.The Goddess Test is a breath of fresh air in YA books if your loking for some thing different the goddess test is a MUST read for you. I can't wait to see what happens in the 2nd book.(
I bought this because the author of Twilight reocommended it. I thought it was good. kind of a surprise ending. will read the second if it ever comes out.
Fantastic book and good story. The plot was awesome but it is not very action packed and it made me cry. Plus im a trooper and i have never cryed in freaken book! Kate is the main character she is very depressing so be warned you might want to through your nook or book out the window. Please this might sound like stupid advice but trust me you will see what i mean. Henry is sensitive, guarded, and a little.... umm he is a messed up person! Somehow i end up falling for him!? James is nice, funny, and a little overprotective.Ava is your friend who is girly, gets all the boys, also gives the worst advice. I am only giving this four stars because it depressing but i guess it should be because her mom is dying of cancer.
Brilliant book. Cannot wait for the next one to come out next April!
this book was amazimg. i connected with the main chacter, kate. i loved how the author presented henry. i hope you enjoy this book as much as i did. can' t wait for the 4th one!
Beautiful loved this!
When I got this book, I only got it because the sample was interesting and I needed something to read. Once I started the book time just seemed to not matter and once I finally looked at the clock suddenly it was 2am. This book I high recommend if your looking for a book to capture you. Aimee Carter did an amazing job writing this as though your in the book with Kate, feeling everything she is going through and you have to make the decision between others life and death. The thing I loved most wsa how refreshing this book is compared to others, I read a lot so finding a book that makes me super surpized doesnt happen lately as it once did. Not to give anything away but the end TOTALLY had me on the edge of my seat in awe and saying "WHAT??!!" repeatedly :). Cannot wait for April 2012 to get the next book!!
To describe this book I would use the words, cool, unique and intriguing. Basically, a teenage girls' mother is dying, she moves to Northern Michigan to live out her last weeks. Girl starts new school and is immediately sucked into a deal with Hades. She really does not have a clue what is going on and has to wing it. Everything is happening behind the scenes in this one and it's very cool when all is revealed at the end. I am thrilled the author is writing a sequel.
I was excited for this book. Greek Mythology is one of my favorite things and I'm always interesting in reading books that contain it. I was curious how this could be modernized to fit with our times. Sadly, I was a little disappointed in how it all played out. I liked Kate for the most part. She's spent the last 4 years caring for her mother, forgoing her teenage years in favor of these last moments with her. When the end was closer, her mother's last wish is to move back to her hometown. Kate goes along willingly. She goes through the motions of going to school, etc for her mom. She knows she's not sticking around after her death, so she's doesn't go to much trouble trying to make friends. Problem is she attracts the wrath of the most popular girl in school. After a horrible accident, Kate meets Henry. Henry has so odd powers, and he makes a deal with Kate. She agrees not realizing the consequences. After realizing her mistake, she decides to take make another deal with Henry. Keep her mother alive, and she will stay with him for 6 months of the year. It isn't until the deal is accepted that she is told she will have to take 7 tests. The 7 tests will be graded by the council, and if she passes she will become immortal and Queen of the Underworld. As it turns out, Henry is really Hades. And his estate is the gateway to the underworld. I was ok with the story up to here. My only issue was Kate making such a huge deal for little in return. Her mother isn't going to get better. All Henry is able to do is prolong her death until Kate is able to say goodbye (but it's not indefinitely). And since she's not allowed to leave, she only sees her in her dreams. My problem started when we started to get to know Henry. Hades is often portrayed as the bad guy. He's always been unhappy with his lot in life. He's a little vengeful. Here, he is the guy who has had his heartbroken and after a millennium still hasn't gotten over it. He seems to be so cut off from reality, that he doesn't care if Kate passes her tests or not. He fully expects her to die before she can (the past participates in the goddess test have all dies before completion). I didn't feel any chemistry between Henry and Kate. If he hasn't gotten over Persephone by now, I don't think Kate is going to be the key. I was disappointed by the rest of the Gods as well. Even if modern society doesn't believe in them, they should be powerful and magnificent. They should not be ordinary people playing human. In the end, everything felt contrived. I don't think anything Kate was tested on really mattered, and they certainly didn't fit in with what I know of Greek Mythology. We will see if I read the next one ...
I was at Barnes and Noble, scanning the shelf for something i hadn't already read when i spotted this novel. The cover is what got me interested, i loved the white dress against the green. So i picked it up and read the back. I've been a sucker for anything involving Greek Mythology since finishing the Percy Jackson series so i decided to give this one a chance and, wow, i was not disappointed in the least. The Goddess Test is an amazing novel, essentially based on Greek Mythology with an interesting modern twist. Kate is a strong character, someone i felt for in the hard times and the bad. The other characters, such as Henry and her mother, i also found were enjoyable and well thought out. The story line was unique and i could feel my anticipation and frusturation bubbling up as i got closer and closer to the end, and, when i finally got there, i was not disappointed. For a fiction/fantasy novel, it was very believable. I could picture myself in Kate's position, worried and confused and trying to do what was right to save her friends and family. The only thing i could complain about in this novel is how fast some of the minor characters were introduced. I felt myself reeling and trying to remember everyone at once. At the end of the book, i still couldn't connect some of the names she was listing to people and that frusturated me. It seems like Aimee might've just thrown those characters in the story without really thinking it through, just putting them into the plot line for the simple fact that there were spaces that needed to be filled. Either way, i felt this story was amazing, definentily one i enjoyed and will read over again. I'm now axiously awaiting the second of Kate and Henry's stories.
OMG, I started this just last night and finished by lunch today. Awesome, simply awesome fantasy romance. I so loved the mythology sprinkled throughout the story and the mystery suspense kept me flipping the pages to see what happened next. The final mystery, I did figure out before the author told me but the rest, wow, not a clue. She kept me guessing right up till the final pages. I really loved the main character Kate. In the beginning, I felt a bit sorry for her as she had basically given up her teenage years to care for her mother who was dying of cancer. Despite spending her whole life in NYC, she agrees to move to a small town, Eden, because her mom wants to die in the town she was born in. She starts her senior year at a new school amongst kids that she has nothing in common with just to make her mom happy. She is way more mature than most 18 year olds are but her unselfishness was a lot of what made me enjoy this book. I heartily get tired of the typical whiny teen depicted in a lot of the YA fiction. Kate basically agrees to sacrifice her happiness and freedom so that others may live. She must pass 7 tests to show the council that she is worthy of taking her place beside Henry and ruling the Underworld. While Kate is determined to learn as much about Henry's world, she must be vigilant as the last dozen girls before her died only months into their time in Henry's world. This is by far the best of the YA books I've read this year and I imagine that even 8 more months down the road, it will come out on top. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series, "Goddess Interrupted" and up to now have only occasionally read fantasy. The romance, mystery, and suspense has upped my enjoyment to the level that I won't hesitate to pick up the next fantasy I come upon.
In a world full of young-adult fiction, The Goddess Test is a debut that stands out amongst the rest. Aimée Carter weaves together Greek mythology and our modern world into a beautiful, fairytale-like must-read. I gulfed down its 304 pages before I realized I'll have to wait quite a bit to journey into Kate Winters's world once again. When we first meet Kate Winters, she's driving her dying mother to the small town of Eden - its so small, it isn't even on the map. Her mother's days are counted, and Kate would do anything to keep her in this world. So when she meets Henry, who brings back the life of a girl who plays a prank on Kate, she gets a surge of hope. Maybe her mother can live after all. But Henry needs a favor in return - a big one. And now, Kate's pretty sure her mother will outlive her. She has to pass seven tests, and at the same time, be wary of someone set to murder her, the same way that person had murdered the eleven girls before hee. While I guessed the murderer before Kate did, I still enjoyed the suspense building up to the reveal. The Goddess Test is Beauty and the Beast meets Greek Mythology, plus a murderer and seven tests. I loved the story, the characters, and Kate's realistic attitude - I know I'll be visiting Kate Winters again soon.
Kate and her mother have moved to Eden, Michigan from New York. Her mother is dying of cancer and has asked that they return to her home town so she can die there. Kate knows her mother doesn't have much time left, and the day she gets called out of class and is told that her mother has fallen into a coma, her whole world comes crashing down. Lucky for Kate, Henry, the mysterious man she met a few days earlier by the river, is actually the Greek God, Hades. He offers to keep Kate's mother alive for a few more months if Kate will become his bride. Here's the catch: Kate has to agree to live with him for six months, and in that amount of time she has to pass seven tests. If she passes them she will be granted the gift of immortality. Problem is, every girl before her who has attempted these tests has failed and ended up dead. I REALLY wanted to love this book. The premise sounded very interesting and I thought it would be something I would really, really like, but in all honesty, it was just all right. It was a quick read (I read it in a day) and it was enjoyable; it just didn't have the punch that I wanted it to have. I felt the characters were well-defined and I was especially touched by the relationship between Kate and her mother. I think my biggest problem was that the Gods seemed too nice - too housebroken. I wanted to fear them - especially Henry. Hades is the God of the Underworld. He can be smoking hot, but make him a little dangerous. Also, the tests seemed a little too dull. I didn't really feel like I was reading about someone being tested to be a Goddess. The deal breaker for me was the last chapter. I felt the big "reveal" fell flat. It was a little too contrived. I know this is the first in a new series, and I will probably read the second book when it comes out, just to give the series another chance. All in all, it was just okay for me.
Kate goes back to her mother's home town as her mother is dying and it's her dying wish to go home. She has to start in a new school and then a man called Henry offers her a choice. If she will stay with him he will keep her mother alive. A terrible choice. She may die herself if she doesn't succeed, like many other girls have before her. Henry is Hades and the last person he loved was Persephone, who didn't love him back.He's been living for many years, I would suspect he would prefer an older woman, she really didn't come across as old enough for all that was going on around her, interesting use of the myth and the aspects but in ways it didn't gel for me. On the other hand, I suspect Henry/Hades was in suspension emotionally due to his experience with Persephone.It's not bad, could do with a few suggested reads at the end for those whose appetites have been whetted by the story.
Kate Winters has spent the last four years of her life taking care of her sick mother. Now, her mother has decided she wants to return to her home of Eden, Michigan for one last time before she dies. Kate isn¿t thrilled with the idea of moving from New York City to a small town in the middle of rural Michigan, but she would do anything to make her mother happy. As soon as they arrive, however, things get complicated. Kate has to start her senior year over as a new student, to make matters worse, she clumsily bumps into the super jock boyfriend of Ava¿the school¿s most popular girl and cheerleading captain. Needless to say, it is not an instant friendship. Ava is not thrilled with Kate¿s presence (and the attention she seems to be drawing from their school mates), but she shouldn¿t worry. Kate is not interested in anything or anyone, except taking care of her mother. When Ava invites Kate to a bonfire in the woods, she reluctantly agrees to join her. Once they arrive at the party, however, Kate realizes that it was a set up. Ava brought her to the woods¿alone¿to torment her. When Ava dives headfirst into the river, Kate is left standing on the bank fuming with anger. She is stranded in the woods at night with no way home. Pulled from the middle of her thoughts, Kate realizes Ava has been knocked unconscious¿ or so she thinks. Faced with the choice to face her terrifying fear of water in order to save Ava or to let her drown, Kate finds herself rushing into the freezing water and pulling Ava to safety. Only, Ava isn¿t unconscious. She is dead. Desperate to save Ava, Kate hastily makes a deal with the mysterious (and gorgeous) Henry. In return for saving Ava, he requires Kate to live with him during the winter. At first she refuses, but she eventually finds herself living at the elaborate Eden Manor. Thinking that Henry is a complete lunatic (he claims to be the god of the dead, after all), she plays along with her role in the deal. While living at the Manor, Kate has to face several tests that will determine if she is worthy of becoming the queen of the dead and an immortal. If she fails, she returns to her previous life with no memory of her stay at the Manor, and Henry dies. If you haven¿t figured it out yet, this book is a modern retelling of the story of Persephone. I just adore Greek mythology (ok, all mythology) and this book did not disappoint me. Too often I find retellings strained and disappointingly unoriginal. However, this book was great. The plot had plenty of similarities to the myth that we all know, which satisfied me. But it also added several original elements that I think enhanced the storyline. I loved that Kate was a strong-willed, kick butt female type. I also thought showing Henry as a compassionate and caring form of Hades was a nice touch. The characters were so well developed that I found myself tearing up a few times during the touchy mother-daughter scenes between Kate and her mother. At the same time, I found myself so completely irritated with some of the characters that I felt like I could strangle them with my bare hands if they magically manifested in my presence. It takes a very talented writer to take a reader through such a broad spectrum of emotions in one novel.As far as the plot is concerned, it is certainly a quick, easy read. I found it hard to put down. There were several twists in the story that I didn¿t expect. I had my suspicions at times, but the story kept me guessing until the end. I did figure out the role of James long before Henry confirmed it, but that¿s ok. There was a pretty heavy hint that made it pretty hard to ignore. I mean, Henry said, ¿You¿ll see.¿ You had to know something was coming. I¿m disappointed that this book doesn¿t hit the shelves until April of this year. That means I have to wait until 2012 to read the next book! I love how the story ends at the perfect place for a continuation. The dynamics between the characters is so well thought out that there seems to