The Goddess Test By Aimee Carter

Every girl who had 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 succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess. If she fails...


Kate is spending her eighteenth birthday driving from her home in New York City to Eden in Michigan, as a last wish to her mother, who wants to die in her hometown. Her mother is already on borrowed time, and Katherine Winters isn't ready to let her go, not being able to bring herself to talk about what will happen once her mother passes. As they are nearing the end of their journey, Kate's mother asks to make a detour to see one of the local sights, two ominous iron gates in the middle of nowhere. But when Kate narrowly avoids an accident with what she thought was a cow, turns out to be a dark haired boy around Kate's age. Simply standing in the middle of the road, with the breeze ruffling his long black coat. 

Eden is barely a town, not significant enough to even merit mention, but Kate is still expected to finish her senior year at Eden High School and leaves her mother in the hands of home nurse Sofia. After her first day at school, Kate has made a best friend in the eccentric James, Dylan who can't keep his eyes off Kate, and new rival and cheerleader Ava, Dylan's girlfriend. Kate isn't interested in making friends, she's spent the last four years caring for her mother and plans to return to New York once she passes. Ava is determined to make Kate's life difficult and through clenched teeth, invites her to a bonfire party. Except, the party is just a cruel joke and Ava leads Kate to the property that houses the ominous iron gates... And flees. But Ava doesn't escape unscathed, her life cut tragically short in a moment of cruelty.

Screaming for help, the boy who Kate thought she had hallucinated, appeared. Henry offers Kate a deal, asking what she would do to bring back Ava, telling Kate to read the ancient myth of Persephone, the deal made to bring Ava back to life. Ava can only remember driving into the water and hitting her head and wants to know what happened to her. The cruel girl's new lease on life won't be wasted, as she is now determined to smother Kate with her new found friendship.

Persephone was Queen of the Underworld, the Greek myth telling the story of her marriage to Hades. Hades supposedly had taken her by force, staying with the God through the months that mortals know as winter. Has Kate agreed to marry a complete stranger in exchange for a second chance at life for Ava? James is staunchly against Kate giving up her being, even if it is only for the winter months. But Kate can't help feel strangely loyal to Henry, having saved Ava's life. In a dying promise to her mother, who insists that Kate is destined for great things, Kate vows to make the most of her life, to find someone, fall in love and marry and perhaps even have a family of her own and with the knowledge that Kate will find happiness, her mother slips into a coma. 

On the eve of the autumn equinox, Henry seeks Kate out but will she live up to her end of the deal?

Henry is more than intrigued by the beautiful and humble Kate, he's enchanted. But will she be The One? As he offers to keep Kate's mother safe so Kate can return to say goodbye, Kate agrees to Henry's terms. She'll be his guest for the winter, calling the castle home for the next six months, where the staff and keepers seem to already know who she is. Each night, Kate spends time with her healthy and very much alive mother within her dreams, so vivid that surely they must be real. Henry rules the dead, otherwise known as Hades from the Underworld. He's immortal and looking for a queen, but is Kate willing? With a band of armed guards, food testers and being referred to as Her Highness, this may very well be one long, long winter. 

Henry was once very much in love, but Persephone fell in love with a mortal and Henry had no other option but to set her free. He has been ruling on his own for nearly a thousand years, searching for a partner in a last attempt to retain his reign. Kate is the last one, if she is accepted, the two will marry and live together for six months of each year. If Kate fails, then she will return to her life, with no knowledge of Henry or their deal. She will need to endure seven tests, that will determine if Kate is worthy of ruling and becoming immortal. But is she being deceived?

I loved The Goddess Test. It was unique and really engaging. All too often young adult mythology consists of long descriptive passages and delves further into the myth than necessary, but Aimee Carter creates a world in which readers can lose themselves. The characters are likable, especially troubled soul Henry. The deal created between Kate and Henry felt awkward and understandably, Kate just accepted without any fuss or fanfare, to save a girl she had only just met. It isn't until the story moves forward, that her motives are justified, but she's far too accepting and seemingly naive for a girl who's eighteen.

If you can move past Kate's lack of curiosity, it really is entertaining. A few plot twists that I certainly didn't see coming, will keep readers on their toes. I'll definitely be continuing on with the series, to see what becomes of Kate and Henry.

The Goddess Test
 (Goddess Test: Book One)
Written By Aimee Carter
Published 19 / 04 / 2011
293 Pages

1 comment

  1. I've heard up and down things about this book but I think I like the concept of Greek mythology interwoven in it :) Thanks for your thoughts on this!


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