Title: The Goddess Legacy
Author: Aimée Carter
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: The Goddess Test (Book 2.5)
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Format: Paperback, 395 pages
ISBN-10: 0373210752 (Harlequin Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210756 (Harlequin Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.
Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others – but never knew true loss before….
Henry/Hades’s solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….
Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.
Quick & Dirty: This prequel to the Goddess Test series reveals everything you never knew about the gods and how they’ve evolved — but don’t expect it to change your opinion of the characters!
Opening Sentence: In all the years I’d existed, I’d never expected to be free.
There are five novellas in The Goddess Legacy: The Goddess Queen, The Lovestruck Goddess, Goddess of the Underworld, God of Thieves, and God of Darkness. The plots are much more simple: explain life before Kate Winters, and show how our favorite gods got to be the way they are.
If you’ve read the rest of the series, you already know most about what happened, but The Goddess Legacy fills in some blanks Kate’s story couldn’t. They start off right after the Olympians defeat the Titans, and we see them united in a way they’ll never be again. It was sweet, and it made the changes they go through to get to the Goddess Test series more painful. We learn why Henry needs a new wife and how James got to be the outsider. Their stories were by far my favorite, and I’d suggest buying the book for them alone. Of course, their stories are also the simplest plot-wise, so you’ll have to content yourself for the one-liner up in the synopsis section.
I think the more important point of the novel was to make the goddesses Calliope, Aphrodite, and Persephone sympathetic, and I’m sad to say it didn’t succeed. They’re selfish, shallow Mean Girls, and telling me their sad, sad story about why they decided to cheat on their husbands didn’t really change that for me. Ava, who is Kate’s friend in the books and who I like half of the time, is pretty much just a slut in her story. She ruins people’s lives. Calliope’s husband is a manwhore, but then she falls in love with someone else…. until he turns to someone else too. Her story was a little on the long side, a bit more monotonous, but made all the more depressing by the fact that if Calliope had trusted her instincts in the first place, she wouldn’t be so unhappy. Persephone’s in an arranged marriage with a man she doesn’t even like, while the man she truly loves is unattainable. So because cheating is just a thing gods do, she steps out while her husband runs the underworld. In the main trilogy, she seemed sympathetic, but here she’s a judgmental hypocrite with a selfish streak.
Vague? Yeah. I was trying not to ruin the first two books…
The Goddess Legacy was a fun read, and it answered a lot of questions. I loved how the novellas played off each other, so even though the stories were independent, we still had some cohesion. Overall, however, the novellas frustrated me. I felt the male characters, James and Henry, grew deeper and more complex because of their stories, while Carter’s portrayals of the women made their characters more hateful and unlikeable than the main story line did. Maybe that was the point, and I’m completely missing it — it wouldn’t be the first time. If you love the Goddess Test Trilogy, these are worth picking up, but I think I would have been happier if I’d skipped over Ava, Calliope and Persephone’s stories.
“We all won the war,” said Demeter. “We will all rule together, as a council. We will all have equal say, and we will all listen to and respect one another. It is the only way we will not fall victim to revolt, as teh Titans did.” She squeezed my hand. “Is that acceptable to you, Hera?”
As if I had any read say. But all five of my siblings watched me, waiting for me to yield, and I had little choice. I would not be the one to cut the ties that bound us together.
“As long as it is an equal rule, I can accept that,” I said. At least that way the chances of Zeus and Poseidon wreaking havoc were considerably diminished.
Zeus grinned boyishly. “Then it’s settled. Let’s draw lots for the kingdoms.”
“The kingdoms?” I said. “But there are only three.”
“Yes,” said Zeus with mock patience, as if I were a young child who had to be spoken to slowly in order to grasp anything. “Like I said, humanity would never follow a queen.”
The Goddess Test Series:
1.5 The Goddess Hunt
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of The Goddess Legacy. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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