Harlequin, 304 pages
"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 was first drawn to The Goddess Test because of the greek mythology aspect of the story. I thought it sounded like a very fun and different take on the myth of Persephone. I enjoyed the book very much even if I did have a few objections on different parts of the story.
The first problem I had with this book was the very unrealistic way of how Kate suddenly becomes best friends with James and Ava. It felt like they literally had one scene together in the book before they became best friends. I don't know if I am being too critical or not, but it seems to me that you have to build the friendship a bit more, but maybe the author made them become friends quickly because the plot in the book is on such a time constraint. Regardless of this little issue, I did still enjoy Kate's friendship with Ava and James, and I especially felt bad for James at some points.
My second issue with the story was with how quickly Kate fell in love. In the beginning of the book, she was stressed as such an independent and strong character that it was hard for me to believe that she could fall in love with someone in only six months. Again, maybe I am being a little nitpicky, but it was always a little doubt in the back of my mind.
Now, on to the positives. May I just get this said and out of the way... I LOVED Henry. He was a fantastic character, and his emotions were developed very well. Even when he was feeling sad and tortured, I couldn't help but like him. Even though his heart is a little bruised and battered, he finds a way to keep going and fight for life (Um, even if he is god of the Underworld). Sometimes I don't like certain guys in books because they are overprotective, and some might put Henry in this category, but I think his overprotection was well-warranted in his case.
The plot was very exciting and there were many possibilities of what could happen on each page. For one, Kate did not know what any of the tests were, so you were constantly wondering when she was going through one and if she passed. Not only that, but the whole time someone is trying to kill Kate and the author made it very obvious that it was a character that you have met. So you are also wondering who that would be. Not only that, but you don't know who any of the council members are, so you are wondering about that as well. It's pretty obvious that the author does a very good job of keeping you guessing and on the edge of your seat. You're always dying to find out what is going to happen next.
Overall, this book was a very satisfying read. It sated my appetite for some greek mythology after reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The romance was exciting, the setting was gorgeous (but I may be a little impartial to Michigan in this case), and the plot was exciting and kept you guessing at every turn. It has a few things that bothered me throughout the story, but they are not huge issues in the scheme of things. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Goddess Interrupted.
Rating: 4 stars - I really liked it. Worth buying.