Originally published at Winged Reviews.
I am always hopeful (perhaps naively so) about the Goddess Test
books, because I love mythology retellings. However, the first two books were disappointing due to poor characterisation and predictable plots. The latest offering, The Goddess Legacy
, includes five short stories from the point of view of the other gods and goddesses and delves deeper into their histories and character. While I was frustrated by more of the same from Aimée Carter, some of the stories made me feel emotions other than frustration, and I took that as a good sign.
The first story was about Hera (Calliope), her love for Hades (Henry) and how she reluctantly ended up married to Zeus (Walter) instead. It was predictable, falling for a man who committed to change himself but didn't, but I really sympathised with Hera, who only wanted to rule on her own terms as a daughter of Titans should. In fact, I liked her much more here as opposed to the outline of a villain that she was in the first two books. It was nice to see her as a strong personality who stood up for her ideals, instead of being motivated purely by unrequited love. One small detail did bother me, which was the fact that everyone seemed aware of her feelings for Henry, yet we're supposed to believe no one was suspicious of her as the culprit in the first book? You would think immortals have longer memory spans than that.
Both Aphrodite (Ava) and Hermes (James) were also portrayed well in their stories. Aphrodite learned something about the different types of love offered to her, caught in a love triangle with Ares and Hephaestus. Hermes, who hurt Hades by cheating with Persephone, learned about love and the pain of loss. His story also attempted to explain why the gods/goddesses now go by different names. Again, I expected a little more about the revelation, but it was another case of the concept being more interesting than the execution.
On the other hand, the other two stories were perfect example of why the series frustrates me—characters like Persephone and Hades (Henry). Persephone was whiny, self-righteous and utterly selfish. She judged Hermes and Aphrodite for 'cheating' on her, but seemed to forget that she did the same to Hades. Her immaturity and hypocritical behaviour (not unlike Kate) was unbearable and my distaste for her grew from the last book. On the opposite end of the scale was Hades, who, for a powerful god and ruler has absolutely no backbone. He is a coward, for choosing the easy way out and being unable to move on from Persephone. Man up Henry, get on with your reponsibilities and have some courage to try to find love, instead of fading and being a simpering idiot.
So all in all, I rated it slightly higher than the first two books because I liked some of the characters better as a result of these stories and probably because of the lack of Kate. A great read for fans of the series, but for those that didn't like it you could probably do without.