This ARC was provided for me by Harlequin and no money was exchanged I requested this galley because, after reading the blurb, I immediately decided that the concept was awesome and that this book would be made of win I tried to rationalize with myself that it might not be the fantastic story I was imagining, but it still had to be good, right RIGHT Of course the concept of Vampire has already been taken, murdered, chopped into little pieces, jellified and poured into a modern, PC mould of super coolness image error image error Warning There are some vulgarities in here because I m a very vulgar person Look away if your sensitive eyes can t handle it.Man, getting through this book was like having my wisdom teeth pulled out with no lidocaine Terrible, I tell ya.But anyway, let s get on to the review, shall we The Goddess Test has an awesome, awesome premise Girl going through tests to become the bride of Hades HECK YEAH, GIVE ME SOME OF THAT And it started that way but shortly after immediately crashed and smoldered So much so that I ended up going, no, no, take it back I understand that it s an author s prerogative or free choice to reinvent staple figures of mythology, legends, stories, or what have you but really, I don t care what you say I hated it You know those Greek gods that you loved because they were such dick faced assholes that were vain, selfish, and just had unending reserves of violent natures Forget about that here Now they ve been turned into PUSSIFIED versions of themselves I am not joking Hades, excuse me, Henry is some pathetic caricature of himself in which all he does is mope, sulk, mope some , and does boring things like fancy parlor tricks Hah By the way, he s a virgin Hold up, back the fuck up, did you just say VIRGIN Yes Are you going to tell me that the baddest fuck in Greek mythology who loved to murder, damn people to hell for all eternity, kidnap people, rape young girls, screw his relatives, and whatever is a FREAKING VIRGIN Give me a moment to pick my jaw off the floor and suspend my moment of disbelief Sorry, nope it s not working I guess I should have known what the premise calls him dark and tortured Those were my cues to STAY THE FUCK AWAY Not to mention the stop eating crap What the hell If some bastard told me to stop eating I m going to slap him in the face It s not like I m a fucking whale that needs to watch their weight It just rubs me the entirely the wrong way that this is perfectly acceptable when you consider how the media forces it down our throats of how we must be thin, be beautiful, and be absolutely perfect but telling Kate, who is fine the way she is appearance wise, her personality is another matter , has to fit into this model is just not taken as something wrong That this is A OKAY No, sorry Not gonna sit right with me, EVER I don t give a crap if it s for some stupid test Gluttony or not This is just wrong.Which leads to another thing the tests They revolve around the Seven Deadly Sins Do you not see something glaringly wrong with this They are Greek Gods GREEK Why in the hell would they care about Christian ideology when, you know, they were are a religion in and of themselves WHAT Just why And these tests were completely pathetic I was propped up by the premise to expect something damn awesome but what do I get NOTHING I m serious If I could become a Greek god by just giving away my clothes or some shit like that, frick, why isn t everyone I know including myself not one right now Cuz damn I d sure implement some changes if I had that kinda power.Okay, okay, okay, I m being a real whiny bitch If there was one thing that I thought was a potentially redeeming factor it was the relationship Kate had with her mother, and the grief and pain she feels about having to lose her to cancer Her pain was constant and emotive, something I can personally connect to because I have family members who have gone through cancer, and it is one of the most gut wrenching things you can ever experience.But then this was circumvented at the end when we find out that Kate s mom is actually a GOD and that her suffering was actually a TEST Excuse me How dare you demean and minimalize her suffering this way I m sorry but that just pushed my raging button Where was my happy ending button when MY family members had cancer, huh I horrendously disliked the way the author manipulated this character just so she can use this as an excuse for a plot point or character development Ugh.And what is up with the gods names What s wrong with keeping to the original And, heck, if you re going to give them new names make them sound at least FUCK YEAH I M THE BIG SHIT IN THIS BLOCK Instead of, you know, simple common names like Henry or Xander Of course some people might argue that this is what makes it genius, but I beg to differ.If you re looking for balls to the walls character development here, you aren t getting it Most, if not all, the characters are devoid of life, personality, or distinguishing features that separate themselves from the other In fact, I ve forgotten who they are already after finishing this book two days ago Pretty bad, huh I m serious The characters feel like they re just there for the purpose of moving the plot along rather than THEM being the plot It had SO much promise but failed for me in every way. Warning Profanity What is this Seriously What did I just read Because it s supposed to be a retelling of the myth of Hades Persephone Instead I got some emo god with no incest, no monsters or three headed Cerberus.I can forgive errors if the material is good over all So I can deal with the mythical flaws in Xena Hercules and Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Disney s Hercules However, this piece completely bastardizes the source material by turning into a cheap romance, that lacks any emotional complexity or sense of excitement.Kate is frustrating and I should feel for her easily Loosing my mother is one of my deepest, darkest fears so why can t I manage any sympathy for her Oh, that s right she s a poorly written, straw wo man feminist, with a martyr complex that makes no sense with her self centered personality I mean she gets the deal of a lifetime handed to her on a silver platter and she just keeps complaining but I don t like dresses I m a progressive woman STFU Not to mention this story all revolves around me supposing to believe that she will give up her freedom to save someone who she doesn t even care for I can t believe that Nothing in her character makes me think she has that kind of moral code All she comes off as, is a WASP from NYC probably Park Slope who probably adores the smell of her own farts.Hades, oh my poor, poor Hades I would have honestly preferred if they went the Disney root and made him the villain Say what you will about Disney s Hercules, but Hades despite being grossly misrepresented is one of the highlights of the film The deity in this book is a boring, sexually repressed virgin of all things There is nothing wrong with being a virgin, we all are once, but for Zeus s sake, you are an immortal and you haven t tapped one ass As for these tests I wish someone would explain me the logistics of having the Greek Gods give a rats ass about the Christian Catholic seven deadly sins I mean, have you met Zeus Mr I ll plow anything with a hole, no matter rain, sleet, goose or bull For him to say we don t abide lust is the biggest crock in the world and only shows the further bastardzation of the biggest man whore in mythic history Also how they were all presented were just stupid greed is measured in pretty dresses that are free apparentlyNow the ending ugh What a gigantic ass cop out I don t want to spoil anything for you, but if I was Kate I would have told all the gods to go have one gigantic wank and flip them off.I know some of my friends here do not like the Percy Jackson series, but that children s book series has emotional depth, accuracy, better character and handles the dark side of the mythos in a mature way. This was a truly terrible book, but I feel so bad giving it such a low rating It s like I just kicked a puppy A really stupid puppy that s wet my bed for the 47th time, but stillkicking a puppy.I ve read a lot of unrealistic heroines in my day, but Kate tops the list She s not all that terrible I ll give her some points She is kind, caring, with a soft spot bigger and tender than a newborn s head The first sentence of the story gives us a preview of her character I spent my eighteenth birthday driving from New York City to Eden, Michigan, so my mother could die in the town where she was born Kate s had a tough life No father, and her mother has been terminally ill from cancer for the last four years She s known suffering, and she is kind, compassionate, and caring she will forgive just about anything Kate is endlessly supportive, endlessly optimistic, even while she s scared that she ll fail and let everyone down She just doesn t give up If I wanted to read about saints, I d go read the Bible Enough with the martyrdom already The key to writing a good character is for them to have flaws Believable flaws Kate s flaws aren t so much flaws as they are embellishments of her oh so perfect personality Even her flaws are good ones.It s like going to a job interview When the interviewer asks What is your biggest weakness If you say I m just too dedicated to my job, I m too hardworking the interviewer is just going to internally laugh their ass off, because that s just not a believable fault That sums up my feelings about Kate She s just too perfect to be a good, believable character.Her friendship with Avanow, that pissed me off I didn t feel like Ava added anything to the story besides making Kate look good in comparison Ava s existence seems to serve the purpose of highlighting Kate s good nature and willingness to forgive So in the beginning, Ava fakes friendship, only to abandon Kate with no choice but to cross a river, knowing full well she is afraid of water Despite the cruel trick, Kate becomes her best friend anyway, no matter what kind of idiocy Ava gets herself into you re the reason it happened I stopped in front of the bed, running my fingers through my hair Ella wants you gone Frankly, if all you re going to do is waste your time sleeping with every guy in the manor and acting like the world revolves around you, then so do I You re useless here Ava becomes the shamed slut, and Kate the wrathful, righteous angel who puts down Ava the sinner in her proper place There is very thinly veiled slut shaming here.Kate assumes fault for everything Someone dies It s her fault She saves someone s life, only to have them die again Her fault No one else should have to die because of me Because of me Because of me That phrase is repeated by Kate throughout the book and I became sick of it You re not a serial killer, Kate Nobody died because of you Stop assuming fault for everything bad that happens Even if something is clearly not her fault, it s still her fault because she trusted the wrong personhonestly.Regardless, she is so sympathetic, which is why I feel like I m kicking a helpless animal every time I criticize her character I mean, how can you not feel for her after reading this I m not her, Henry I can t be her, and I can t spend eternity trying to live up to your memory of her I m nobody to you right now, I get thatI get that I m not her and won t ever be I don t want to be her anyway, not with how badly she s hurt you But if this works if I pass, I need to know that when you look at me, you re going to see me, not just her replacement That there s in this future for me than standing in the shadows while you wallow the rest of your existence away It s like Meredith s Love me speech in Grey s Anatomy It sucks to know that you re a replacement.The other female characters in the book seems also to serve the purpose of highlighting Kate s godliness They fight All The Time Screeching, yelling at each other, everything short of hair pulling I am so sick of the trend that only one single female character can be truly good, and all other females in the story serve as bitchy foils, be they friends of the main character or not.Henry himself didn t register on my radar much He spends the majority of his time moping about and being depressed, despondent, and feeling hopeless I can t imagine he s any use as a god, he doesn t seem capable of anything besides pouting and sulking.The plot itself is absurd The land of the dead, in Michigan Random residents of town are inhabitants of Henry s little kingdom The pantheon of gods, which includes Zeus, Apollo, etcand Henry Somehow, my copy of Bullfinch s Mythology made the glaring error of omitting Henry from its list of inhabitants of Zeus marbled halls This is one instance when things would have gone better unexplainedthe book gives an justification for everything, which only served to add to the preposterousness, and everyone seems to accept everything ridiculous that happens without any sense of disbelief.What I thought was the major plotline, the tests, were weakly glossed over They seemed to be put together in a rush when the author realized she completely forgot the major plotline, and I didn t find the result any credible than the rest of the book and its characters. This explains a lot. 2.5 starsHere s the thing about this book it was decent enough Not nearly as good as what I was hoping for, but decent Now, I have been in the midst of a passionate love affair with Greek mythology since the 2nd grade I am perpetually in the throes of a burning passion, you may say I love it all it s like a soap opera times 100 Greek mythology contains some of the most entertaining and delightfully sinful stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading, telling, reenacting.Anyway, did you hear that, Ms Carter Sinful was the key word, there And here leads to what I didn t like about this book The Greek Gods Sinned Like Motherfuckers Literally, if you catch my drift Sorry, children Look, I understand and appreciate artistic license You can bend your material a bit But when you have ZEUS the king haha, pun of promiscuity saying that lust is wrong You know you ve done something wrong You made a wrong turn somewhere, Ms Carter.Let us ponder.I think I knowYOU COMBINED GREEK MYTHOLOGY AND CHRISTIAN IDEALISM Look, both mythologies are interesting in their own right sorry to anyone who may be offended by my referring to Christianity as a mythology, btw it s just how I look at it , and I m willing to entertain the idea that everyone goes where they imagine want when they die, and I even kind of like that idea unoriginal as it is , to an extent But do you realize that Greek mythology came about before Jesus was even a twinkle in the great God s eye Zeus was fucking his sister in peace thousands of years before that, Ms Carter Shall I draw you a time line I think I shall A REALLY LONG ASS TIME AGO Kronos ate his kids.A LONG ASS TIME AGO Zeus married his sister, killed his father with the help of his brothers Word of the Day Fratricide , and fucked every other female member of his family.A LONG TIME AGO Jesus came out of Mary s magnificently holy vagina.Was that skillfully crude time line enlightening I really hope so Wanna know why Because I actually have some hopes for this trilogy.And here is where I talk about what I actually kinda liked about this book and why I gave it almost three stars.1 Kate s relationship with her mother Demeter really was lovely It felt real and Kate s motivations and feelings behind it were probably her most redeemable and interesting qualities The relationship between Kate and her mother was probably the strongest in the book 2 I liked Kate and Henry Hades enough Oh, Lord, that is a sad statement Enough That s just depressing Especially cause he s Hades, and I ve always had a soft spot for him However, his character portrayal waslacking The occasional fits of rage were good, because that s fitting for any Greek god, really, but now I feel I must touch on the most ridiculous thing this entire book managed to spout out HE S A VIRGIN A virgin, I tell you I m really tired of these immortal and supposedly drop dead sexy and yet another pun men in these YA books who never manage to get laid Oh, I know Maybe he s saving it for the Lord snort 3 I didn t see that shit with Calliope coming You got me there, Ms Carter, I ll admit it It was a fairly decent twist 4 This book wasn t entirely boring Kate held my attention well enough I don t hate her I don t love her, but I don t hate her She s kind of on the fence for me right now We ll see how the second book goes.5 The book smelled amazing And so, if Ms Carter can pull her shit together and stop talking down to us good readers, and cut it out with that Seven Sins bullshit, and let Henry fuck I will enjoy the second book I really will, Ms Carter Overall, you had a good idea So please, please, grant my wishes and don t let me down like most books I read nowadays Please PS I feel I should add this in Look at that cover That is one beautiful cover Sometimes I pull this down from the shelf just to smell ogle it I am a binding whore, admittedly I know that that sounds wrong, don t feel the need to point out the poor word choice as an attempt to save me from future word vomit. Every Girl Who Had Taken The Test Has Died Now It S Kate S TurnIt 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 FallThen 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 TestsKate 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 DNF at 9%a wise woman once said fuck this shit and she lived happily ever after. This book took me FOREVER to get And you know what it s like when you finally have access to the book you ve always wanted..CUE THE CHA CHA DANCE But seriously, even 5 MONTHS is still a little hard to take in.I mean, 5 MONTHS Seems like Carter is a little famous in the book world Ok, enough with the music and happiness We re getting serious puts on biker jacket and pretends to look cool This book was an EPIC read As in when I was a 10 year old, I liked every single book there was out there So yeah, I honestly don t know if I would love it as much as my little kid self.Just warning ya, folks Kate is a girl who gets sucked in by Henry to the oh so magical underworld However, her only hopes are to save her mother So, obviously, in this action packed book, Carter makes this a life or death scenario I mean, what did you expect Unicorns and rainbows No A f ing hot dude who gets a girl to take a test and marry him.or die.Should you read it Totally your choice.