Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Number of Pages: 304
Source of Book: NetGalley eARC
Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Every once in awhile, I just want a good, escapism romance...and if it ties into mythology, which is one “genre” that my students have to read during the year, even better. I enjoyed The Goddess Test when I read it last year, so I was really excited to see the sequel on NetGalley the day that I bought my new ereader. Luckily, I was granted access to it and I immediately put my other book aside that I had been reading and booted up my device so I could delve back into the world of Kate and Henry.

This second book picks up six months after the first one ended and James is taking Kate back to Eden to go back to Henry after her spring and summer “off”. I adore these two, especially because they never make things easy for themselves, but underneath it all, there is a true love there. Of course, that fact that Kate is very young, and Henry’s existence has been since the beginning of humanity, they each have their own ways of dealing with things and angst to get through. Ultimately, though, this story comes back to Kate loving Henry and not being confident in his love for her. I totally get her feeling that no matter what anyone else tells her about Henry’s feelings for her, she needs to hear it from him to truly believe it. Not that he doesn’t have quite a bit of other things on his mind what with Calliope trying to get back at them all and a huge battle brewing and him being take captive by the king of the titans and Persephone coming back in the picture. All of this leads to Kate’s increasing insecurity in his feelings and a sense of loneliness that she’s not sure she can get past in order to live in the Underworld with this, her new family.

And what an entertaining family it is as they’re surrounded by a cast of entertaining gods and goddesses. One of the things I like most about Aimee’s series is the personalities she’s given to each of the main gods and goddesses that fit their “realms”. I’ve read a lot of mythology-related books now, and it’s always interesting to see how the author reimagines the same types of settings and characters. In this sequel, we get to visit the Underworld, and I love love love Aimee’s depiction of it. It’s beautiful and terrifying and as they traveled through the spirits’ different areas, and the scenery changed based on that person’s view of the afterlife, it was thought-provoking as well.
As much as the romance and drama seems to take the forefront of this book at times, I do appreciate the major themes coming out of it. Messages about it being completely up to you to choose to be happy or unhappy about things, and bravery being about moving past fear if you know it's the right thing to do, are things I think it's important for teens to hear. I really enjoyed this book, just as I did the first, but the ending was a shocker and quite the cliffhanger. It is going to feel like an extremely long wait for the final book in the trilogy now. But, I was left satisfied with the main concerns I had about the characters, and there was resolution the big things that I felt needed to be resolved in order for me to feel OK with where the story ended. I’m rooting for Kate and Henry, and as soon as they can learn to really communicate with each other, they’re going to be a powerhouse of a couple ruling the Underworld. Oh, but only if they can get those baddies out of their way and save humanity.

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