|Available April 19, 2011. Pre-order from B&N here.|
Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now 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 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 just started this book yesterday and was hooked right away!! I couldn't put it down and finished it today, much to my dismay (say it ain't over already!). This book was phenomenal and to find out the author is only 24 years old...all I can say is WOW! The book starts out with Kate and her mom moving to Michigan. It's her mom's childhood home and she wants to spend her last moments there. Kate's having enough problems worrying about how much time she has left with her mom and now she has to deal with going to a new school as well. A strange boy named James befriends her right away, even though she is a little reluctant and then she has the "pleasure" of running into Ava. Ava seems to think Kate might try and take her boyfriend so she pretends to be her friend, then invites her to a bonfire. She takes Kate out into the middle of the woods, across a river (Kate is terrified of water and can't swim), and then finally showing her true colors Ava announces that she's leaving Kate out there by herself with no way to get home. As Ava dives into the water, she hits her head. Even though Kate is terrified, she knows that she can't just stand by and watch someone die without trying to help, so she goes in after her. After she drags Ava to shore, she meets Henry. He's mysterious, gorgeous, and he has a proposition. He'll save Ava if Kate agrees to join him for 6 months in the winter and possibly become his wife. She agrees, though at the time she was not fully aware of what the agreement actually entailed. When Henry comes to collect, Kate finds out about the 7 tests that she must pass. If she fails, she dooms Henry's very existence, as he has to have someone to rule the Underworld with him. If she passes, she will become his wife and be Queen of the Underworld. Most important to her though: if she agrees to undertake the 7 tests, Henry will keep her mom alive so that she has more time with her before she has to say goodbye for good. Kate would do anything for more time with her mom and she agrees to the terms, but how can she ever hope to pass when so many have failed before her.
Ok, phew...that was long but I think it pretty much sums up how the story gets set up without giving anything extremely important away (essentially it's not much more than you get from the book's synopsis I posted above). So on to the review.
1) Character Development: Woohoo, A+ in this department! I don't get to say that very often, but in this case it is very true. It's easy to fall in love with Kate and her mom right away; impossible not to feel for Kate when she knows she is going to lose her mom any day and there's nothing she can do about it. I am so close to my mom and I've had a nightmare or two about her dying. I can't even imagine the amount of heartache. At first Henry is a mystery at first, but as he begins to reveal more about himself you can't help but fall in love with him. The other minor characters are well developed too and all of them together just makes you wish you could get pulled into the book to meet these people. Of course with the author's descriptions, you feel like you know them anyway!
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Sometimes Ugly: First the good - well I already said the characters are great. That's one of the biggest things for me. The writing was great too, it just flowed. I kept saying "ok just one more page..." but I just could not put this book down. You find yourself not being able to wait to see what happens next and I definitely see that as a sign of a truly fantastic book, when you even contemplate taking it into the bathroom with you just so you can keep reading and not put it down! The bad - the only negative thing I can really say about this book is that I found the ending fairly predictable; I pretty much had it pegged from the beginning. But I didn't find that annoying at all in this case; it did not take away from the ending even though I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen. It was still wonderful and enjoyed every page of it! The ugly - umm...the next book doesn't come out until 2012! How am I ever going to wait that long?
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle: Definitely sizzle, but it's not as obvious as some books you might read. Henry and Kate don't throw themselves at each other right away or experience love at first sight. And I LOVED that about this book, because I find some books have the characters falling in love to quickly and as we all know it rarely happens like that. This was much more believable and therefore more enjoyable to read (for me anyway). It allows for them to be able to develop a deep bond that the reader can watch grow and mature. Very well done!
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: The plot was very unique in this book. I haven't read many books that included Greek mythology, although I took a class when I was younger on the topic because mythology has always really interested me. Seeing some of the familiar stories take part in this book was really cool and it was fascinating the way she incorporated it into her story. I love reading a book that doesn't make me say "man, this sounds familiar" and this book definitely gave me something fresh and new.
5) Final Thoughts: I found this book on NetGalley even before I started seeing it show up on other people's blogs and after reading the synopsis I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed, it was everything I was hoping it would be and so much more. This is my favorite read of the new year so far. So pre-order it now so you can see for yourself. Then you can join me in waiting for Goddess Interrupted in 2012!
My rating: 5/5 stars