Goddess, Interrupted (Goddess Test #2)
by Aimee Carter
Harlequin Teen, 2012
Kate Winters has won immortality.
But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she’ll have to fight for it.
Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.
As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.
Henry’s first wife, Persephone.
I am not shy when it comes to my issues with the first book in this series. I had major issues with the author’s use of the mythology and the way Kate earned her immortality. I was even initially thinking about skipping the second book, but decided that I enjoyed the story well enough to continue with the series, especially after I read the blurb.
In The Goddess Test, we met Kate, who won immortality and became Henry’s (or Hades’) wife. In Goddess Interrupted, Kate has returned from her six months away from the Underworld, only to be met with a distant Henry and a huge threat to her and her loved ones’ wellbeing: Cronus is awake and threatening to escape from his prison in Tartarus. When Henry and his brothers are taken captive by Cronus, Kate sets out to rescue them. There’s only one problem: Kate doesn’t actually know her way around the Underworld, and neither do James or Ava, who are accompanying her. So Kate ends up going to the one person she never wanted to meet for help: Persephone.
Funnily enough, that synopsis only took up the first half+ of the book. We meet Persephone, who I was torn about regarding my feelings toward her. She was surprisingly nasty and vicious in some cases. She spoke her mind, even when she knew it was cruel, and she was rather unapologetic about it. But she started to grow on me, especially in the latter half of the book. In the end I was intrigued by her, and felt a great deal of sympathy for her in terms of the thousands of years she lived with Henry completely miserable. But at the same time, I had a problem with the portrayal of her being someone who slept around; Henry’s the martyr because he loved her and she didn’t love him, and he also didn’t cheat like she did, so he was clearly the better person. Or at least that was the vibe I was getting while reading. I also really despised the comparison Kate makes between her and Ava, and Kate’s inability to see that Ava is the way she is because that’s just WHO she is. She is the goddess of love – all love, any love, not just love between her and her husband or whatever. Kate clearly views both Persephone and Ava as less than she is because she isn’t like that. I don’t know; that just rubbed me the wrong way.
And while I am still incredibly irritated with James, I found myself agreeing with him as he tried to explain that Persephone wasn’t a bad person simply because she was unhappy with Henry. I think Kate finally comes around to that in the end, but honestly it took almost the entire book, and got really tedious after a while. Likewise, Kate’s constant “Henry doesn’t love me, he’ll never love me, he wants me to be another Persephone but he’ll never love me like he loves her!” was also tedious, and unfortunately took up almost the ENTIRE book. I wanted to shake both her AND Henry, because if they just would have sat down and actually TALKED to each other, all of this could have been avoided. And the fact that Kate waited so long to tell Henry that nothing happened between her and James in Greece, even after she knew that James purposely didn’t say anything to Henry to clear that up, was also annoying. Doing THAT would have cut out a lot of the unnecessary angst.
As for the mythology, BOY were there some things that made me roll my eyes. [SPOILER] Kate didn’t realize that Walter and Calliope – Zeus and Hera – were married? WHAT? Ava saying she loves Nicholas (or Hephaestus)? WHAT? Aphrodite patently does NOT love him; Hera had them marry in order to try to keep the other gods from fighting over her. And I had a BIG problem with one of Calliope’s abilities, but I’m going to hold my tongue because I don’t want to spoil the ending. [/SPOILER] I know I should be used to the author’s re-appropriation of the myths because she’s done it in the first book and the novella, but there are some things that are just so well known that it seems odd – and potentially irritating to the readers – to go against what everyone already knows about the gods. Honestly it was probably the changes to the gods’ personalities and abilities that bothered me the most, along with the Persephone stuff. But I did like to see Calliope as the vengeful goddess that Hera so often was in the myths.
All of that being said, I did like this book more than the first one. I felt like we got to see more of each of the characters, particularly the gods and goddesses, and I especially liked Ingrid and the foresight and intelligence she brings to Kate. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of her for sure. I also felt like the story itself was a bit tighter, and that more HAPPENED. It had a middle book feel, but didn’t suffer from middle book syndrome. Yes, we’re definitely set up for the third one – particularly with the major cliffhanger ending – but I felt like we managed to take steps forward and fix some of the problems that occurred in this book, too, especially regarding Henry and Kate’s relationship. (And BOY did a lot need to be fixed with that.)
And the ENDING! Goodness! I am not particularly emotionally invested in these books, although I am interested enough to read them and enjoy them and look forward to how they’re going to resolve the problems the characters are facing, so the ending didn’t hit me with quite the punch that it seems to have hit others with. But if you ARE invested in the characters, be prepared for a shocker that’s going to leave you wanting the third book RIGHT NOW.
Basically, if you liked the first book, you’ll want to read this one. But be ready for a roller coaster of a ride!
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.