Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Goddess Test
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.
Another Persephone myth retelling (what can I say, I can't resist them!), although this was plenty different enough from Meg Cabot's Abandon to not feel like just a repeat. I have mixed feelings on this. Despite loving the subject matter, the execution just wasn't what I wanted it to be. I'm not saying this isn't a good book or that other people won't enjoy it, but it didn't quite work for me (until the very end - which I'll explain later). First off, I did like Kate. I liked her determination to save her mother and she had an obvious inner goodness that made her likable. Henry was boring. There's really no other word for it. Sheesh, I have never met a more insipid Lord of the Underworld. I didn't think it was possibly to make Hades so tame and dull and bland. Also, the tests were not what I was expecting. I can't say any more than that, but they were a disappointment.
I judge books like these on how easy it is for me to suspend my disbelief and dive right in. Constantly throughout the first 3/4 of this book I felt myself on the outburst of crying out "That would never happen!" "This is soooo not Greek mythology" etc... Unexpectedly, there was a huge twist at the end that solved most of my disbelief problems. It was so cool that it makes this book weigh in closer to the 'good book' side of my scale than the 'bad book' side. I'm thinking that if the sequel, Goddess Interrupted, can do anything to make Henry more interesting it will be fabulous. We'll see. I don't think I'll have the willpower to stay away from it, even if I hear that it's bad. I think it's safe to say that I have an addition to greek mythology based fiction. :D