Published by Harlequin Teen on April 19th 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
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 think I pretty much speak for a lot of people when I say that I LOVE Greek Mythology. So I was excited to read this because the premise is heavily based on it. While it doesn’t completely stick to the original stories, it is different and fun. To be honest, I think I have a like/dislike relationship with this one. (not love/hate because I wasn’t moved either way) There are things I like and equally disliked about this book. So I may sound hypocritical.
This is a very interesting twist on the story of Hades and Persephone. It was well written and I thought the pacing was smooth. I was able to stick myself in the world quite quickly. It’s filled with quite a few shocking twists and turns and it kept me guessing throughout the entire book. Since the story is told over a 6 month period, we had a few “re cap” moments. For the most part, this was done well, save for the romance. I felt like I was being “told” about Kate’s feelings, not actually watching her fall in love.
Kate is a strong, dedicated, loving and compassionate person. My heart was breaking for her from the start. Since having to take care of her Mother, she hadn’t really had her “own” life and the thought of having to adjust to life without her mother is inconceivable. She was given an opportunity to save her, so of course she jumped at the chance. She had to make some really difficult choices throughout, and I didn’t question her once. There wasn’t that much growth to her character though, she was already pretty mature for her age. I would have liked to have seen a least ONE flaw that she was able to grow on. I liked the interactions with all the “quests” of the house, especially her and Ava. As for Henry. I wish I had nice things to say about Henry. But I really don’t. He’s full of angst, grief, anger and is all around brooding. He is so wrapped up in his past and failures that he hardly gives Kate a chance. He expected so much of Kate -with good reason- but his initial lack of caring ticked me off.
Now, it is said over and over again that Kate has a choice and can leave at any time she wants. But if you looked deeper, the consequences of leaving and backing out of their deal are a matter of a life and death. So tell me, with that kind of “options”, would you really feel like she had a choice? It seemed more a like a bribe to me. The concept of the tests to become immortal were interesting, but once it was explained what they were… I actually put the book down out of irritation. I didn’t like the implication or the cross between mythology and other religions. I had this feeling that there was some subliminal messaging going on. And honestly, the tests could have been a little bit more difficult. And although the story was well written, I felt the ending was rushed. There are some things I wished would have been explained (maybe in the next one?) so it left me feeling a little deflated.
Overall- I did like it. It didn’t wow me like I thought it would and I would have liked a more solid, strong ended. Will I read the second one? I haven’t decided yet.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter & Instagram for random shenanigans.