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Radiant Shadows

The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter As someone who loves the idea of learning about Greek mythology, but never really took the time to sort through all the details, I mostly enjoyed the Goddess Test. There was some romance, some back-stabbing and some twists, all delivered in a fairly readable manner. But while being entertaining on the surface, once you dig a little deeper The Goddess Test starts to crumble and fall.Kate is an ok protagonist. She's not overly strong or independent, basing most of her decisions on the fact that she doesn't feel she can survive without her dying mother, and anything Henry will make her do will be worth the consequences if she can just spend more time with her. Some people might argue she made her decisions based out of love, but I would argue that her decisions were based out of the selfish fear of being alone. She did make sure her mother wouldn't be in pain, but Henry admitted that all he would be able to do is prolong the inevitable. So while she ultimately was able to spend more time with her mother, it was at the expense of delaying her the peace that comes after fighting a debilitating illness for several years. I didn't dislike Kate, but I did question her actions several times. After Henry seemingly brought Ava back to life, Kate continued as if nothing special happened. When it came time to explain what had happened, Kate was able to explain the situation without pointing out the impossibility behind it; it was just another fact of life for her, and warranted no special attention. Later however, when Henry is explaining that he is in fact a god and ruler of the Underworld, she questions her sanity and has a hard time believing him. I just couldn't understand how she could so readily believe he could bring someone back to life, but then completely disbelieve his claims to immortality.Being quite ignorant of Greek mythology, I was ok with the liberties Carter took to use it as a backbone to her story, and I enjoyed learning the mythology behind the story of Persephone and Hades. I can see how making gods feel accountable and giving them some semblance of a moral compass would have other people bashing their heads in though. From what I do know, the ancient Greek gods wouldn't have worried about the seven deadly sins (a staple of Christianity) which were used to test Kate. Greek gods didn't conform to any human notions of morality or sin; they took what they wanted when they wanted without repercussion, as they were gods. If they did decide to grant immortality to a human (for whatever reason), they would send them on a quest, meant to test their strength, courage and intelligence - not the ideals behind a religion created thousands of years after they came into being.Speaking of testing, I would expect that if I were given the chance to win immortality, the test(s) involved would prove to be quite difficult, pushing me to limits I wasn't aware I could reach. Kate, however, is completely unaware when she is undergoing a test, and spends her days being pampered, passing most of her time however she deems fit. When you start to realize that she won't be faced with obstacles to overcome, but is asked just to "be herself", any suspense is drained and you are left feeling disappointed with the anti-climatic conclusion.The subtle hints dropped as to whom wished to hurt Kate allowed for me to successfully pinpoint the assassin, and the "surprise" twist at the end was something I expected from the prologue. As a reading experience it wasn't necessarily well-done, but it also wasn't poorly-done; it sits in the land of the mediocre.Originally published on my blog, Radiant Shadows