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.
When it comes to trends in the YA book world, it seems that mythology is definitely making it to the top and as with all genre trends it has good and bad books. I really wasn't sure how I felt about The Goddess Test,which is why it has taken me almost a month to get around to this review.
The Goddess Test started out as a typical YA paranormal, with the new girl in a new school with trouble in her life. It quickly took a different direction, which I loved. I really enjoyed reading about Kate's life in Henry's house, but for most of the book I just seemed to be waiting for something to happen. When I read the blurb I was expecting the Goddess Tests to be serious things like... slaying a hydra? Solving an impossible riddle? Escaping the minotaurs labyrinth? So the lack of action was disappointing for me.
The chemistry between Henry and Kate was okay, at times pretty intense but also pretty lukewarm. There was no insta-love, which was a definite perk, but at times the relationship felt forced. I had times of 'eeee, yay!' and times of 'uhhh... weird' so it wasn't the best written relationship.
I think that the problem with well known 'people; (like the Greek Gods) being depicted in YA romance novels is that the written never match your depiction. For me, I see Hades as the blue flamey guy from Hercules (the Disney movie) maybe not in appearance but in the way that he's this evil, badass guy. It's for this reason that I could just NOT see Henry as this gorgeous broody guy!
The book is written well though, the language really is attractive for teens. Kate's narration is charismatic and at times pretty witty. I also liked Kate as a character, she made bad mistakes and was a little whiny but she was also brave and charismatic.
Overall, this book didn't really hit the spot to me. For me, the romance was a little lacking and it wasn't fast paced enough for me. I did like the main character though and enjoyed the way it was written. I'll probably try the sequel, just to see how the romance develops.
Overall rating: C-
First published April 19th 2011 by Harlequin and September 16th 2011 in the UK, through Mira Ink.
Book won as a giveaway prize.