Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 2 of Myth Week- The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

In honour of MYTH WEEK I have chosen to do a review of Carter's The Goddess Test - A Re-telling of the Greek Myth of Persephone and Hades

Book Review The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Pub Date April 19th/11.

Book Synopsis Curtesy of 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.

My Review:

A quiet and subtle romance...

Wow, just wow. If you think you know how this book is going to end, think again! I was blind-sighted by this book half a dozen times. Each chapter left me saying "No way." I actually freaked McCoy (my dog) out from my loud gasps of surprise. It was very dramatic- like watching an episode of Y&R with two major differences: 
1. This book does not drag on like most soap operas- it has a very steady pace with many climatic build ups.
2. The writing isn't completely cheesy and doesn't suck at all- You can tell from reading this story that Aimee is familiar with the many different Greek figures of Mythology. One of the things I absolutely loved about this book, was that it was informative. I learnt many mythical facts about Persephone that I never would have known (and I took Greek Mythology in University!) I like to think that I now have some great cocktail party chitchat (now I just need to find a cocktail party haha).

Moving on to our Narrator and Heroine, Kate, I liked Kate- She's a strong character that's faced many challenges in her teenage life, but she doesn't let that stop her from fighting to live (in every sense of the word). I think what I liked best about Kate was her natural kindness/goodness, even when she's been tricked/cheated by others, she still faces her greatest fears to save those who have wronged her. Kate's a character I rooted for and will continue to root for!

Now on to my favourite part of any book- The Romance. This was an achingly beautiful romance. The relationship between Kate and Henry is so fragile. Henry/Hades is notoriously known for his actions against Persephone, but what many don't realize is, that Henry is heartbroken over the loss of his beloved Persephone. He is devastated over the loss of his beloved and my heart bled for him. He's so gentle and protective over Kate but at the same time he keeps his distance in an effort to protect both their hearts. Will Henry be able to open himself up to Kate- to a new Persephone? Well you'll just have to read the book to find out!

I recommend this book to all romantics, and Greek Myth enthusiasts.

and now I am pleased to report that Aimee has stopped by the blog today to answer some Greek Myth-related questions. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Carter!

1. Was it hard for you to get The Goddess Test published? 

I think getting any book published is always an uphill battle. I had a surprisingly easy time getting an agent, but to put that in perspective, I have nearly two dozen terrible, awful, never-going-to-see-the-light-of-day manuscripts tucked away on my computer, and they were all written before I wrote The Goddess Test. So in that sense, yes, it was extremely difficult and took many, many years. But I did sign with my wonderful agent less than a month after I originally queried her, so I had it easy there.

Finding a publisher, however, was extremely hard, to the point where I was convinced it would never sell. I was already deep into edits on the book that I thought would be my debut (Masked, which will also be released from Harlequin Teen in 2013 or so) when I got word that Harlequin Teen was interested in buying The Goddess Test, so that was beyond exciting. Almost like getting a second chance.

2. You had me guessing through the entire book, did you have an idea of how you wanted Goddess Test to end beforehand? 

I had everything very carefully outlined, but a lot of things changed from draft to draft. Overall, I'd have to say there is very, very little about the final product that wasn't ripped apart and rewritten at one point. Especially the ending - I rewrote that final scene many, many times, and it never felt quite right until very late in the edits. But as for the twists and turns and the climactic scene? They stayed consistent throughout the story.

3. How long did it take you to write The Goddess Test? 

 I've had the idea for many, many years, ever since I heard of the myth of Hades and Persephone. Later, when I started to write seriously, I outlined it, but set it aside because it just didn't feel right. Then, in 2007, the idea of Kate's mother dying and the tests being the only way she could save her came to me, and everything clicked from there. I spent a very long time outlining again and again, since it's much easier to change things about a story in an outline rather than rewrite thousands upon thousands of words. The first draft only took me about two months, maybe less, but I did extensive edits on it both before and after I signed with my agent.

4. Are you a huge Greek mythology fan? What's your favourite story? Second favourite? 

 I'm a HUGE mythology fan. I've been reading about it ever since I can remember, and one of my favorite books growing up was D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. My favorite myth...I have a hard time picking favorites, but of course I love the myth of Hades and Persephone. I also adore the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as Castor and Pollux.

5. How far do you plan to take the Goddess Test series? 

Right now I'm contracted for three books, though I have ideas for at least two spin-off novels in the same world featuring some of the same characters. Kate's story will be mostly complete in the third book though. It's possible I might come up with something else for her, but by the end of the third book, she'll have gone through a lot. If she survives, she'll deserve a break.

6. Will we see a love triangle in future books? 

You'll actually see multiple love triangles that factor heavily into the plot, one for the second book and one for the third, but definitely not the kind you're expecting. :)

7. If you could be a God/Goddess which one would you be? Why? - I think I'd be either Athena or Hades. Athena because she's intelligent, independent, and gorgeous, and what more could you ask for? And Hades because I'd be able to communicate with the dead, and I would love the opportunity to speak to my dead loved ones.

8. What do you love most about writing YA fiction? 

The freedom to explore so many different kinds of stories while remaining within the genre, and the need to write the absolute best story possible. I don't think it's any kind of coincidence that middle grade and YA produce writers like JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, and Suzanne Collins, who have massive crossover appeal. YA audiences demand great stories, and great stories are enjoyable no matter how old you are. At the end of the day, what I want to do as a writer is create a great story that people will enjoy reading. And if I've managed to entertain the reader, I consider it a success.

9. If you could pick one actor to describe Henry which one would you pick? 

Ben Barnes. Originally Henry was older, so he's not who I really pictured while writing the first draft, but now that he's younger, he's absolutely who I picture. Long dark hair, piercing eyes - darker than Henry's, but that's okay. And he's drop dead gorgeous. I've heard readers talk about Henry Cavill (I adore him to pieces!), and if he grew his hair out, he'd be terrific. And Thomas McDonell, who stars in Prom, also fits my mental image of Henry. 


10. Do you have any advice for young writers trying to get published? 

- Keep trying and don't give up, and make sure to learn from your mistakes. And don't fool yourself; you will make mistakes at every stage. We all do.
- Read agent blogs, writer blogs, advice books, whatever you can get your hands on. Absorb the information around you, but don't let any one person's 'rules' define you. Figure out what works best for you and the story you want to write.
- Don't query before you're ready. It's so easy to jump the gun these days, with how accessible agents and editors are, but the best chance you have at getting published is to take a deep breath and really look at your work critically before submitting it. You'll only get one chance per agent per book.
- Get opinions from people who won't be afraid to tell you the honest truth, and bonus if they know a thing or two about publishing as well.
- Don't brush off critiques just because they tell you something you don't want to hear. They may not always be right, but more often than not, there's probably something that isn't working in the section they highlighted, and ignoring their concerns gets you nowhere. And the last thing you want to be is stuck in a rut.
- Don't be afraid of editing. Editing is your friend, believe it or not, because it gives you the chance to fix the mistakes you made the first (or second, or third) time around. And fixing those mistakes gets you that much closer to the opportunity to see your book in print one day.
- But most of all, never give up.

Thank you so much Aimee for visiting and for you awesome answers!

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Hayley!

Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post to earn extra points in the Starcrossed ARC Giveaway! Haven't entered yet go here to enter.


  1. Ohohohoho. Potential Henrys. I likey. ;)

    I'm reading The Goddess Test right now!! Only 28% (according to my Kindle) done. I've heard so much about it, so I can't wait to get more into it!

  2. I like the fist potential henry the best!
    just finished the Goddess Test the other day, can't wait for goddess interrupted

  3. I've heard great things about this book, I must get my hands on this asap. Moving it up on my TBR list