The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test is about Kate, a girl whose mother is dying. She meets Henry, a boy who says he is Hades. After seeing him bring a girl back to life, Kate sees a chance at saving her mother's life. She enters into a deal with him to take a series of tests to become a goddess, and he keeps her mother alive during this time. Of course, every other girl who has tried died before finishing the tests. But Kate is willing to risk it.

I would have enjoyed this book more if not for the complete destruction of Greek mythology. I initially picked this up because it was based off of Greek mythology. I expected there to be some differences between how the gods were presented in The Goddess Test and how they are in mythology, but I thought the characters would still resemble their original personalities. But any book that features Zeus speaking about the dangers of lust without any irony clearly has missed the mark on the Greek gods. Zeus, the guy who causes so many problems in myths because he keeps sleeping around with all the pretty girls.

And then there is Demeter, the mother of Persephone. In mythology, she's definitely not a fan of Hades kidnapping her daughter and taking her as his wife. And the world feels her grief every year for 6 months through winter. That's not the case in The Goddess Test.

In here, Demeter pushed for Persephone to get with Hades, leading to Persephone's complete and total unhappiness. When Persephone finally decides she wants to find happiness and be with someone she actually loves, Demeter is unhappy with this. This is a pretty big difference from the loving mother from mythology who searched the earth for her daughter, losing all interest in anything else until she was sure Persephone was safe and with her again. In fact, in the book, Demeter has another kid just so Hades can have another wife. That second daughter is Kate, the main character.

(show spoiler)

Let's just say that Demeter won't be winning Mother of the Year in The Goddess Test. Ever.

The treatment of Persephone also frustrated me. She was forced to marry a man whom she did not love. She stayed with him for a long time and did her job as she was expected. But she finally finds a man she loves and decides to choose to be happy with him. For this, Persephone is treated like a horrible person. All my sympathy went to Persephone for that.

And then there's Ava, who gets blamed for the actions of two guys. It does not matter how much she may have fooled around with either guy. She did not force one of the guys to

attack the other guy, resulting in one guy's death (or fake death, as we later learn)

(show spoiler)

. And yet this is shown as being her fault and something that she must be punished for. The guys have minds of their own. They can make their own decisions. And they did. And that is on them.

I felt more sorry for Kate than anything

especially after the reveal about her mother

(show spoiler)

. She was put into a crappy situation. I didn't quite understand why she fell for Hades. The romance never really felt believable.

The tests were also a major let-down. Most of them pass without Kate even realizing it. They were incredibly tame and a bit ridiculous, especially considering the reward is becoming a goddess. One test is giving away clothes she doesn't want. Most people I know have done that. I think the tests should be challenging. Otherwise, you're setting the bar for godhood rather low.

I think this book would have been far more enjoyable for me if it had dropped the romance (and maybe the Greek mythology) and went with a more psychological angle, exploring how messed up the situation was and its effect on Kate. Although, if it went that route, keeping the Greek mythology aspect would work because there is plenty of material that fits perfectly with making a dark, psychological story. Sadly, The Goddess Test did not go this route. Instead, it butchered Greek mythology to present a love story that I could not really get behind.