Source- Review copy/ Netgalley & Harlequin
Synopsis: (From Goodreads) 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.
Review: Kate’s mother is dying of cancer and her last wish is to move to the mysterious town of Eden where she hopes Kate will start a new life when she will no longer be in it. When Kate starts at the local High School, she expects all the usual teen dramas but finds unexpected friendships in pretty Ava and casually candid James. During a school prank, Kate meets Henry who is the mysterious man who brings Ava back to life after a fall. There’s one condition to his healing though, Kate must come and live with him for the next six months and undergo a series of tests that will ultimately crown her a goddess.
The Goddess Test is based on the Greek Myth of Hades and Persephone, only Persephone is gone and Hades AKA Henry needs a new wife. If that’s not enough pressure for Kate already, she also has to try and keep herself alive as someone in the House of Eden wants her dead.
The Goddess Test throws you immediately into the action, I was completely shocked when Ava initially died and realised that this story
was going to be darker and deeper than the usual young adult paranormal fiction that usually involves an average girl falling in love with a good-looking guy due to some supernatural connection. The premise for this story is very unique and although I am not familiar with Greek Mythology I think it provided a nice starting point for the story to evolve. Kate’s relationship with her mother is very loving and she will do anything to prolong her time with her prior to her death and so her melancholic attitude towards life is quite believable.
However, I think she agreed to Henry’s proposition very quickly and didn’t really question it as I would have expected. I also didn’t really feel the connection between her and Henry, I got that she thought he was attractive and they spent most evenings together chatting and playing cards but I don’t get the sense that they really got to know each other beyond the connection of their gloomy pasts. I also thought it was a bit strange that the age difference was not disclosed because I kept having this uneasy feeling that he was manipulating her into the goddess role despite her protests that she was making her own choices. I was quite surprised when Kate easily accepted Henry into her life and fell in love with him.
The other downfall of the story was the actual tests that Kate had to undertake to be crowned a goddess. There were seven in total but the author didn’t let on what they were (because Kate wasn’t to know) until the very end when she was judged on them. On the other hand, I did enjoy the suspense of not knowing who was trying to kill Kate and the unexpected spin with Ava and James and the role they play in the story.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read which did have its letdowns but I probably will read the next book in the series with the hope that The Goddess Test has laid down the foundations for an exciting sequel. If you like a different spin on young adult fiction, then you will probably enjoy this book.
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