Author: Aimee Carter
Series: 1st in Goddess Test
Published: Available now from Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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 Give This ...
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 ...