Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Paperback: 297 pages
Source: ARC (Thanks NetGalley!)
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
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.
I have read so many good reviews of this book, and I tried really hard to like it. Really, I did. And it's not bad, it's just not as great as I thought it was going to be.
First of all, I really liked the premise behind this story. Like I've said before, I'm loving the new mythology twists everyone is coming out with. However, in this case, I think the author was far too ambitious. Dealing with Greek mythology is huge. It has a built-in set of expectations that I don't think this particular novel lived up to.
The thing I found most problematic was that there was very little development going on in this novel. Everyone instantly became friends or enemies, or enemies and then friends. I didn't understand it. Kate may feel like James is a good friend, but I don't feel the same way, because the relationship isn't explained. I don't know enough about him to make a decision for myself. Due to this, the characters were fairly weak; even Kate's character is weak. It's a first person novel, yet I don't know her at all. We don't get enough of her thoughts, just her decisions and actions. No inner conflict. Very little doubts or insecurities.
I also wanted a little more of an attitude on Kate. She just lets people boss her around! Why does she have to wear what Ella tells her? Especially when Kate's supposed to assume the role as queen. These conflicts didn't add anything to the novel, because they seemed trivial and easy to fix. Kate needs to show a little backbone if she's going to be Queen of the Underworld. She also needed a few more flaws. She was way too good and proper for me. I've been over characters like those since elementary school.
However, there were parts of this novel where I got excited and just had to read more. So that shows that the story isn't all that bad -- I was definitely interested. I cared about the outcome of the novel (even though it was painfully obvious to me what was going to happen), and I wanted to know more about the characters. I just wasn't given enough.
My Rating: 2
I'd like to thank Harlequin Teen via NetGalley for approving my request for an ARC of this novel.