Today’s post is a dual-review as I’m going to post my thoughts on the final two books in the Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter. I’m going to state upfront that I have … more than a few quibbles with this series, but still ultimately enjoyed them enough that I wanted to see it to its completion. And I’m glad I did, even if – once again – I came away feeling rather disappointed.
For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.
Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness .
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal .
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another .
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others; but never knew true loss before .
Henry/Hades’s solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope.
First of all, can I talk about this cover? I’m thinking that the girl is Persephone, and she’s probably straining toward the sun, but her pose is really … awkward. The way her arms are sort of thrust back is just weird. Definitely not a favorite.
ANYWAY. The Goddess Legacy is a set of novellas that focus on the gods/goddesses prior to Kate’s birth and eventual ascension to Queen of the Underworld. I think it was this factor – the lack of Kate – that made me enjoy them more than I did Goddess Interrupted (look, I loved Kate in the first book, but her back and forth, constant self-doubt, and whining on about how Henry will never love her like he loved Persephone in the second book just grated on me). Plus, I also really enjoyed seeing the background to Ms. Carter’s mythology, because she definitely did some things quite a bit differently than they were in the original stories.
The first story focused on Hera/Calliope, and it definitely explained exactly why Calliope turned into what she is in the books (vague statement is vague). It was hard to read her fall from a youthful, strong woman to one who became so embittered because of her husband’s constant affairs. The second story focused on Aphrodite/Ava, and actually set up her development in the third book quite a bit; you really got to see the way she showed her love to everyone, and how she was able to love in different ways. The fourth story (yes, I skipped Persephone’s on purpose; I’ll get to her in a minute) was probably my favorite, because it gave us some background on Hermes/James. I loved his interaction with Tuck and the way this lone girl had such an impact on him. Plus I have a thing for folks who are headstrong and do what they believe is right even if they’re told not to. (And I loved Iris!) And the last story was Hades/Henry’s story; it definitely showed how beaten down he was after the death of each of Persephone’s replacements. You could feel his weariness and exhaustion with his life, and it also allowed the reader to see behind the solemn mask he so often wears in the series. My only complaint about this was the random switch to third-person for Henry’s story; all the others are in first-person, so it was kind of jarring to make that switch.
As for Persephone’s story, let me just say that I REALLY did not like her. At all. She cheated on Henry without pause or thought, yet was broken-hearted when one of her lovers did the same to her. It took her ages to realize just how much she was hurting him, and even when she figured it out, she still didn’t care. Yes, I get that she didn’t want to marry him, and I get that she hated being away from the sun and living underground, and yes, maybe someone somewhere should have stepped in to ask what she really wanted (and I’m thinking there was some interference from Hera somewhere in there as well), but honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever read a character who complains as much as Persephone did. I was thoroughly fed up with her story well before the end of it, and was so glad when they finally granted her mortality so she’d just go away already. It’s very hard to be sympathetic to a character’s plight when that character does nothing to ingratiate herself!
All in all, this was a nice installment between the second and third books in the series. Having just finished The Goddess Inheritance, I can see how well these novellas tied in to the overall plot, so while they’re not absolutely necessary to read, they definitely help fill in some holes and answer some questions. Considering that this book is my favorite of the series, I’m very glad I gave it a read (Persephone excluded, of course).
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.
During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can’t stop her–until Cronus offers a deal.
In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he’ll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.
With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.
Even if it costs her eternity.
Goddess Interrupted ended with a massive cliffhanger that I admittedly did not see coming. While I figured that this book would have a lot of action and twists and turns, I was not expecting it to start off the way it did. Even though there was a sort of pulse-pounding pace to the events, I felt strangely disinterested at the start, and it took me a while to get into the story. This made for a strange reading experience, because – while I wanted to know what was going to happen and how everything would come together – I kept waiting for the plot and characters to really grab me. And, while I finished this book at a fairly fast clip (the second half especially reads very quickly), that never really happened.
The reason for this was, unfortunately, our main character. Kate has admittedly been through hell in the nine months she was being held captive, and she’s put into a situation that I can’t even imagine, but, honestly she just got on my nerves. And I don’t really think that’s what the author was going for. Kate was such a strong person in the first book, and I found myself rooting for her over and over again. Then she turned into a whining, crying girl who was full of self-doubt in the second book. And then, in the third, she turned into that girl that you’re screaming at because, if she just would TALK TO HER HUSBAND, things perhaps could have been figured out without all the drama they inevitably end up going through. There’s also a lot of circling around the same thing, which was that she couldn’t be mad at Henry because he did exactly what she was willing to do, but she couldn’t believe he’d done it, but she was going to do the same, etc., etc., etc., and, seriously, enough. There were so many times when I just wanted to reach through my Kindle and strangle her for her stupidity; she was just very hasty and really didn’t think things out very well at all. Even at the end, it took someone else to make her realize what needed to be done, and by then I was just really done.
Also? Walter is a complete and utter bastard. Talk about someone who needed a swift kick in the arse! Between him and Kate there was plenty for me to shake my fist and mutter about, which I was doing pretty much throughout the book.
All of these complaints aside, there were things I really did enjoy a lot. I loved this rendition of Chronos, and also Rhea. I appreciated how villainous Calliope was. Henry was really rather swoon-worthy in this installment, and I enjoyed the mother-daughter relationship between Diana and Kate a lot. I also found this book to be compelling, even if things were driving me crazy. And I loved that we got to see Ingrid again! The twists and turns were also done well enough that I was constantly guessing as to what was happening, which is always a good thing.
While I couldn’t help but be disappointed in some things, I still found The Goddess Inheritance to be a decent finish to the series, and am glad I read it through to its completion. While I can’t help but think the ending was tied up a bit too nicely, I was pleased with most aspects of the story itself. I am a little concerned by the statement at the end of the book that this is the end of the Goddess Test series “for now,” though; I really don’t think any other installments are really necessary. That being said, Ms. Carter has a new non-Goddess Test book coming out this fall, and I enjoyed her writing well enough that I definitely will be checking that one out!
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.