Review & Contest: THE GODDESS TEST by Aimee Carter

Coming tomorrow: Preternatural Book Club. We’ll be talking about chapters 5 and 6 of Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. Join us!

Ready to talk a little YA today? A little Greek mythology? Read on for guest reviewer Charlotte Hunter’s take on The Goddess Test, the new Young Adult book by Aimee Carter released April 19 by Harlequin Teen, and check out the contest at the end of the post!

ABOUT THE BOOK: 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 now 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. 

CHARLOTTE’S  REVIEW: The Goddess Tests is one in a growing number of YA books to plumb Greek mythology in search of a juicy story, in this case the legend of Persephone who, beloved of the god of death, was condemned to spend six months of her life in the underworld. 
                In Eden, Michigan – where, it turns out, the gods have taken up residence, the charms of the Upper Peninsula apparently surpassing those of Greece – eighteen-year-old Kate Winter braves a series of potentially deadly tests designed to prove her worthiness; success holds the possibility of ensuring her mother a peaceful death, saving the life of another teenaged girl, gaining immortality, and winning the love of and marriage to the god Hades, aka Henry.  
                Alas, Carter stumbles badly as she tries to engage our sympathies for Henry. Lost and lonely ever since he was abandoned by Persephone – an arranged marriage that failed, it turns out, rather than the violent abduction of legend – his character remains stubbornly one-dimensional throughout, proving that gorgeous looks, brooding eyes, and occasional fits of inexplicable temper and tenderness do not an sexy or intriguing hero make.  Nor does Carter show any more adeptness at explaining how Kate’s feelings for Henry evolve from terror to love.  This happens only because we are told it does, not because Henry seems to do or say anything to earn Kate’s regard.  And the mystery of the much-dreaded tests, aspiring to labyrinthine twists equal to those in which ancient Greek myth hid the terrible Minotaur, pass for the most part without the reader knowing they have done so; revealed in anticlimactic hindsight, suspense sags. 
                Kate is the heart of this story – melancholy, skeptical, generous, cynical, hopeful; she yearns, as we all do, for a life filled with hope, in which love is free of grief.  Her adventures in “Goddess” – the first in a series – will please those who enjoy new takes on well-worn themes, and Carter’s prose, particularly in the first quarter of the book, will at times delight those who appreciate graceful, evocative language.  The remainder of the story, however, will grieve those who value characters possessed of depth and believability and who yearn for storytelling that possesses consistency within complexity. 
Suzanne here again. Thanks, Charlotte! When not conducting research or teaching about diversity issues, Charlotte Hunter writes adult and YA mysteries in which fantasy always plays a part.

I haven’t read The Goddess Test yet myself, so I can’t weigh in. Reviews have ranged from scathing to ravingly positive on Goodreads, so win a copy here and judge for yourself!  You know the drill: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. If you’ve already read The Goddess Test and want to weigh in, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

37 thoughts on “Review & Contest: THE GODDESS TEST by Aimee Carter

  1. I’ve not read The Goddess Test, but I’d love to. When a book stirs this much of a diverse reaction, it’s always interesting to see which side I’ll fall on after reading it. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

    +1 blog follower
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    ReneeRearden@yahoo.com

  2. I have heard enough good things about this book so far that I’m sort of dying to get my hands on it.

    (I’m a blog follower)
    (moecatj [at] msn [dot] com)

  3. I’d really like to read this. Lots of buzzing about it lately.

    + 1 comment
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    uniquas at ymail dot com

  4. I’ve heard everyone loves this books I really would like to judge for myself. Fingers crossed!! 😀

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    luarroyave(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. I’ve heard mixed reviews as well, but am such a sucker for greek mythology. Love it.

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    jennhutson3128 at yahoo dot com

  6. I’ve only heard good things about The Goddess Test. Would love to read it.
    +1 comment
    +1 follow blog Andreat78
    +1 follow twitter @andrealynnt
    +1 RT

  7. Oh man..I really want this…thanks for the review but I would still read it no matter what review it gets. I’ve seen people leave really detailed reviews and break apart a story and give it low ratings and I loved the story. I guess I don’t look to much into and just go with the flow 😉 I love Greek Myth and would love to win this. Thanks.
    +1 comment
    +1 twitter follow as Tanya1224
    +1 gfc follow as Tanyaw1224
    +1 twittered at http://twitter.com/Tanya1224/status/70546256124063744
    Tanyaw1224(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. I got a review copy and thought that the story was very subtle yet it had some really good points in it You did not really recognize the tests as she went through them, but in the end everything wraps up nicely and you can see the tests individually as they are “graded”. I really recommend and would love a copy
    cubicleblindness at gmail.com
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  9. I haven’t read it yet but I’m really suspicious. It sounds like an awesome story, just reading the blurb I was like, Yes, I must read this. But there have been some really bad reviews. I’d still like to read it. Thanks for the giveaway. Is it international?

    +1 GFC Follower (JessS)
    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

  10. I have read pretty nice things about it, so I guess I’d like it!

    +1 comment
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    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  11. I’d love to play please.

    +1 blog follower
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    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

  12. I sooo want to get my hands on this, I’ve heard amazing things

    +1 comment
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    +1 twitter follower-@joleneallcock
    +1 tweeted-http://twitter.com/#!/joleneallcock/status/71698379041808384

    june111(at)att(dot)net

  13. I’ve read great reviews about this book, so I would love to read this myself. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com