Title: The Goddess Test
Series: Goddess Test #1
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication date: April 2011
Source: I own a copy.
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 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 suceeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.
IF SHE FAILS…
**WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS**
Okay, I’m not quite sure where to start other than to say I was disappointed. Though, really, my initial thoughts are pretty much that the relationship between Kate & Henry makes Edward’s & Bella’s look text-book perfect.
There was a lot of hype for this book. I’d seen reviews for it. Heard other book bloggers chatting it up—even raving about it. And my curiosity got the better of me.
So I nabbed a copy.
Admittedly, I had the copy quite a while before getting around to reading it.
Maybe, deep down, my head knew it shouldn’t go in there.
This is one of those books I have no idea how to rate.
Well, I can’t deny I’m almost swayed by the enthusiasm of so many bloggers which Is hindering my opinion, but to be honest (if left to my own devices), I’m pretty much stuck between a 1 and a 2.
2—because I made it through to the end.
Or 1—because I’m not sure I’m glad I did, though the book does have 1 good thing about it (which I’ll come to at the end).
Right, so now I guess I better justify my words, eh?
So here’s what didn’t work for me.
This is labelled as YA. Why? The majority of this book doesn’t have a young adult setting. It doesn’t have young adult themes. It certainly doesn’t have relatable young adult content. The only thing in there that sounds even remotely YA is the writing. Because the voice it’s written in wouldn’t wash in an adult novel.
The tone in it is so dreary. It’s almost a shame the entire novel wasn’t created with a young adult theme—all of those things I mentioned that stalled it from being YA, should have been altered to MAKE this YA, because that would have made this a much better read. Because the opening of the book, when it was treated as a YA, and the setting was YA, and the characters acted like young adults was possibly the best part of the book.
Then I hit around the 25% mark. This is pretty much when it all started going downhill. And it shouldn’t have. Because this is the point where Kate enters the mansion—so this is where things should have started to get interesting.
But they didn’t.
From this point onward, I simply grew more and more bored.
The writing didn’t wow me. The characters were predictable (though I’ll come to all of them in a moment). And we were constantly given streams and streams of paragraphs filled with 100% tell of the passing of time. And given that her time in the mansion was just so boring, there wasn’t even anything interesting in those paragraphs (or chapters) of ‘tell’. But this also added another major flaw to the story: the fact we ended up being ‘told’ of her growing feelings for Henry. We were ‘told’ Kate found herself falling for him.
Um … why?
How can a reader be expected to follow along in the romance of a novel when they’re not allowed to journey it alongside the MC?
We barely got to see ANYTHING with regards to their relationship development, and what we did see was rocky or questionable at best—which leads me onto my next two points.
Henry. He has got to be the dreariest male counterpart I’ve ever read about. He barely speaks, and when he does he sounds about as emotional as a kernel of sweetcorn. Where was this guy’s personality? He really just didn’t have much of one at all—which makes the ‘telling’ of Kate falling love with him all the more unbelievable—because he gave her no reason to.
And then there was the pinnacle moment of the sex scene. We’re finally ‘shown’ a decent moment between them, with their spending some quality time together with actual actions and dialogue involved …. And then cut to the next morning.
Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t what bothered me. It’s an author’s decision whether or not to make their sex scenes behind closed doors scenes. It was the discovery.
That’s right, people, we find out that both Kate and Henry were drugged.
With an aphrodisiac.
Which basically means they only had sex (the first time for BOTH of them) because they were manipulated into doing so.
But that isn’t the end of that. Nope.
Whilst Henry acts fairly affronted and disgusted by it all, Kate’s more worried about Henry being upset than the fact she was ASSAULTED, with the attitude of ‘Oh well, it would have happened between us eventually anyway’.
And this is YA. What a moral lesson to be teaching out teens.
I’ll move on now (before this review ends up as an entire rant over the sex scene) to the (insanely obvious) foreshadowing.
Yep, near the end, we learn who the council members are.
Damn, from Kate’s ‘buddy’ to James (we learn of him earlier), to Dylan (think that’s the dude from school’s name) to Kate’s mother … I was not in the slightest surprised to discover they were a part of it.
Because I suspected them from so early on.
Which meant the big reveal wasn’t a big reveal at all. It was pretty much a confirmation that almost fell flat because I wanted something to wow me at the end.
I also didn’t fully understand the why of it all. Yes, I get that Henry’s lost Persephone. Yes, I get that he needs someone to help him rule. But why does it have to be another female—one who is manipulated into being there—one who has to agree to be his wife if she passes all the tests and agrees to stay? Why? It reads like he has no choice but to find a replacement for Persephone—yet I didn’t feel as though this part of it was explained enough. And if I didn’t get it, then maybe Kate didn’t get it (though she should have asked waaaaaaaaaaaay more questions on the matter), which again only goes against the credibility of the tale.
And before I quit with my negatives, I also feel the need to point out the dodgy formatting of my Kindle copy. There were paragraphs mixed up—at least I hope they were mixed up. Because there’d be one character’s dialogue in another character’s action paragraph to the point I was often left guessing who’d just spoken because it didn’t always make sense. And on top of that, there was something seriously screwy happening alongside the word ‘page’. Every single time the word ‘page’ was used, some text was missing after it and in its place were random numbers (which I’m assuming are page numbers for the PB version of the book). These numbers even showed up after the word ‘rampage’. Pretty distracting.
Okay then, and onto that 1 redeeming quality of the book I mentioned way up near the opening:
He was, by far, the best character in the book. I liked him at first meeting. I liked him by the end.
And whilst I felt sorry for him for obviously having a ‘thing’ for Kate and knowing she’s now committed herself to Henry, I couldn’t help but want to give him this piece of advice: “Dude, you’re better off out of it.”
Sorry, but this one just wasn’t for me.
My rating: seriously no idea
Have you read this title? What’d you think?