The Goddess Inheritance

The Goddess InheritanceTitle: The Goddess Inheritance
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: February 26, 2013
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

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.


***

 

After finishing The Goddess Inheritance, it is hard to believe that this is even the same series as The Goddess Test. The books have gotten so much better as the story continued and I am amazed at the depth and compassion Aimee Carter is able to instill in both her characters and the readers. Not only have I grown attached to the characters, but the plot has also gotten so much more rich and exciting.

As a long standing mythology fan, I am very familiar with the gods & goddesses and how they are typically portrayed in literature. I can usually find a twist or two in mythology novels, but it is typically how the Underworld or Olympus is portrayed that varies from novel to novel. While the gods’ personalities often vary a bit from author to author, I have never felt compassion for the gods that are typically hated. Hera, for example, is hateful in pretty much every mythology retelling ever told. Aimee Carter, however, makes us feel sorry for her. We still don’t like her and she is still a terrible person, but I just really felt for her by the end of this series. I understand how she has become such a horrible person, and she has my sympathy, even if I still don’t like her.

I also found myself feeling unexpectedly bad for Cronus. Authors love to make Cronus the bad guy—he ate his own children and is constantly trying to escape from his prison and wreak havoc on the mortal world. I don’t believe I’ve seen or read a single mythology story where I felt bad for Cronus, but Aimee Carter manages to miraculously pull this compassion out of me. He may be a bad guy, but his lot in life over the past millennia has left a lot to be desired.

The other striking difference with The Goddess Inheritance is how much the plot has changed since The Goddess Test. While the novels have always revolved around Greek mythology, The Goddess Test was very slow paced and there was little to no action in the entire novel. The subsequent books, however, have all been filled with action, adventure, and heartbreak. As much as I enjoyed The Goddess Test, I am thrilled that the books have evolved so much since then and really enjoy the more fast-paced novels.

As a die-hard Greek mythology fan, it’s hard to see this series go. I loved everything about it and am impressed with the way Aimee Carter has re-envisioned such a classic world. Throughout the series, I have been impressed with her ability to blend amazing characters with such a well crafted plot. This series is a must for mythology fans.

 

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The Goddess Legacy

The Goddess LegacyTitle: The Goddess Legacy
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #2.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: July 31, 2012
Pages: 395
Format: eARC
Source: For Review
3 Stars

SYNOPSIS

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....

Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.


The Goddess Legacy starts out at the beginning of the Olympians reign. Since it is told from the perspective of several different gods, my enjoyment of the story fluctuated with how much I liked the character telling the story.

The novel starts out slowly because it is told from Hera’s perspective—and I have never really been a Hera fan. While it was interesting to watch her development and understand why she became such a hateful person, she is still an extremely unlikeable character. My opinion of her does contain a little bit of sympathy after reading her side of the story, and I have to say, I love Carter’s take on how Hephaestus hurt his legs.

Ava’s story was the best by far because her personality is just a lot of fun. I also loved seeing the Ares-Aphrodite-Hephaestus triangle unfold—I have not seen an author explore this before, so it was new, fresh, and fascinating. Learning more about Persephone, Hermes, and Hades was also interesting, but not as much fun as Aphrodite.

While it is not necessary to read the Goddess Legacy to understand the rest of the series, it is an essential for fans of the series. Aside from an interesting standalone plot, The Goddess Legacy gives you a much better understanding of the gods and goddesses, as well as their motivations.  There is a lot of history between the gods that just can’t be explained in the Goddess Test novels because they focus on Kate and Henry’s story, so this is an excellent way to explore the unique world Carter created.

 

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Goddess Interrupted

Goddess InterruptedTitle: Goddess Interrupted
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: March 27, 2012
Pages: 305
Format: eARC
Source: For Review
4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

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 continue to be pleasantly surprised by the progression of The Goddess Test series. Goddess Interrupted is full of action, passion, and romance. After returning from her 6 month vacation in Greece, Kate discovers that life has been anything but quiet in the Underworld. Certain events (which Greek mythology lovers will really enjoy) cause turmoil to abound in Kate’s new kingdom. Granted, the reason for the turmoil is a bit cliché when it comes to Greek mythology stories, however, it does lend its self nicely to an action-packed storyline.

Aside from the action, the romance in Goddess Interrupted was slightly heartbreaking. Kate and Henry have a lot to work out in their new marriage, and it really takes its toll on Kate. Even though she is a strong character, you can feel how incredibly hurt she is at times and Aimee Carter does an amazing job of transferring Kate’s miserable feelings to the reader. I still feel bad when I think about a few of the heart-wrenching scenes.

My favorite part of all was the ending. Aimee Carter thrusts the reader onto a ledge and just leaves them dangling there, anxiously awaiting the next installment, so that we can find out what happens next! It’s an evil type of ending—but evil in a really good way. I have a lot of respect for authors who can keep me on the edge of my seat and really excited about the story long after I’ve finished reading. Aimee Carter has certainly accomplished this, which I commend with a tip of my proverbial hat.

The Goddess Hunt

The Goddess HuntTitle: The Goddess Hunt
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #1.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: March 1, 2012
Pages: 92
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

A vacation in Greece sounds like the perfect way for Kate Winters to spend her first sabbatical away from the Underworld...until she gets caught up in an immortal feud going back millennia. Castor and Pollux have been on the run from Zeus and Hades' wrath for centuries, hiding from the gods who hunt them. The last person they trust is Kate, the new Queen of the Underworld. Nevertheless, she is determined to help their cause. But when it comes to dealing with immortals, Kate still has a lot to learn....


The Goddess Hunt is a novella that takes place in between the first and second books of The Goddess Test series.  It takes us into the myth of Castor and Pollux and, surprisingly, contains a lot of action and adventure. Unlike The Goddess Test, The Goddess Hunt is pretty fast paced and isn’t character driven. Even though the plot is action driven, we still get a deeper look into some of the characters—particularly James.

I loved James in The Goddess Test, so I was extremely excited to read more about him. There is definitely some strong potential for a Henry-Kate-James love triangle (yay!), but who knows if that will actually materialize. I definitely see chemistry between Kate and James, and am excited to see if this goes anywhere.

The Goddess Hunt is a quick, enjoyable read, but is not essential to the overall plot of the series. It offers up a unique story that will help you get to know the characters better and immerse you more deeply in the world that Carter has created. If you are a James fan, you won’t want to skip this one.

The Goddess Test

The Goddess TestTitle: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: April 19, 2011
Pages: 293
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

Every girl who had taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

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 that 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.

If she fails...


I really enjoyed The Goddess Test, but the beginning of the novel made me incredibly sad. Kate’s mom is fighting cancer and she only has a few days left to live. Aimee Carter describes the pain and suffering Kate’s mom endures as she nears the end of her battle with cancer, and it was incredibly accurate. Having had someone close to me pass away shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, this brought back some really unpleasant memories.

Kate is a wonderful main character—she is selfless, strong, and loyal. As she is thrust into Eden with Henry and grapples to adjust to life with a God and being surrounded by dead people, Kate learns to come to grips with her mother’s illness. Learning to let go is an extremely difficult, but important lesson for her to grasp.

As a Greek mythology fan, I loved seeing the gods and goddesses in this story. Since they were all disguised as mortals, it was a lot of fun guessing which god or goddess they were. I wished we could have seen more of James because he was definitely my favorite character. I expected the tests to be more eventful, but we didn’t even really know most of them were happening until the end of the novel.

The Goddess Test is light on action and adventure, but it has plenty of romance, self-discovery, and heart-breaking moments to capture readers’ attention.