The Goddess Test
by Aimée Carter
Kate Winters and her mother move to Eden to prepare for her mother's death. After four years of her body being ravaged by cancer, her mother's body has finally given up and it's time to say goodbye.
When they arrive, her mother directs her to a huge estate surrounded by a large hedge that blocks the view of the mansion within. But Kate gets a better look later when she's tricked there by a jealous high school girl who thinks Kate is after her guy.
This starts off a string of events that eventually leads Kate to her "goddess test". It seems that the Greek Gods of mythology really do exist. And now, with the world's population growing so quickly, Hades (now known as "Henry") has become overwhelmed and can barely keep up with the arriving dead.
When his wife, Persephone, left him for a mortal generations ago, Henry let her go in the hopes that he would find happiness, but now it's all getting to be too much. He and the council have come to the agreement that if he can find a new wife within a century, he would stay on as the guardian of death. However, if he can't, he must give up the responsibility and fade from all existence.
Kate Winters is his last chance. The previous eleven girls selected for the test never made it to Christmas. They either failed the test or were murdered.
Now Kate must find a way to pass the test and survive the evil intentions of whoever is plotting to kill her. In return, she gets 6 more months with her mother before her mother finally dies, and she gets to become a goddess herself, to rule over the domain of the dead six months out of the year, immortal.
Oh yeah... if she passes, she must also marry Henry, so no pressure.
Final thoughts: This is a good story with some interesting twists. It's a great way to get girls involved with Greek myths. Boys have Riordan's Percy, and now girls have Kate. I liked Kate and her honesty. Her reasons for beginning the test are clear, even if it's all a little unbelievable. She does seem to accept her situation more quickly than many would, but once she's there, it all makes sense. There's some drama, some romance, and some good "moments", so it's an easy recommendation. The one thing I think the publisher should do is remove the character chart at the end of the book. I read this on a Kindle, so it wasn't an issue with me (I didn't even know it was there until the end), but a person reading this in a classic book format could easily find this and then spoil the ENTIRE book. The chart is nice, but it would be better to redirect people to a website with the chart instead; that way, there's no accidental spoilage for the casual reader.