Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: "Goddess Interrupted" by Aimée Carter

Goddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 27 March 2012
Source: NetGalley/Purchased
ISBN: 9780373210459
Buy the book: Physical Copy/Kindle

Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, 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 whom she would really rather not meet.

Henry's first wife, Persephone. (Goodreads)

I'm going to warn you right now... there are more than likely going to be spoilers throughout this review. This is, after all, the second book in a trilogy. So if you have yet to read The Goddess Test (or the e-novella, The Goddess Hunt), I suggest you stop reading this review right now and go pick up book one. I also want to warn you that there may be some ramblings going on, as I've been having difficulty organizing my thoughts due to a cold medicine induced fog blanketing my brain. You've been warned.

After waiting for what seemed like ages, I was extremely pumped to finally get to see what new adventures our newlyweds, Kate and Henry, were going to have. I was pleasantly surprised to find out this novel had a much more grand adventure in mind than I could possibly imagine.

So where to start? I think I'll jump right into the characters. Like I mentioned in my review for The Goddess Test, Aimee Carter knows how to write some wonderful characters. In the second installment of Kate's adventures, some new people are introduced. One notable addition is also probably my new favorite supporting character, Ingrid. Ingrid was one of the girls tested to be Queen of the Underworld before Kate finally succeeded. In other words, she's one of the girls murdered by the maniacally jealous Calliope. In Interrupted, we get to learn some of Ingrid's history and how she met Henry, which was a wonderful treat. This girl is ridiculously smart and intuitive. Not only is Ingrid seriously intelligent, she's also funny and a great, helpful friend for Kate. Along the way, Kate is able to meet her and she provides great insight to Kate in times when she needs it most. She seems like the kind of person who would be a great friend and I can't help but wonder what would have happened if she hadn't met such an untimely end. I genuinely hope we're able to see more of her in book three.

Another new character introduced was Persephone, Kate's sister... and Henry's first wife. Frankly, I thought she was annoying, but I think she has the potential to be likeable. Having left Henry to be with a mortal, Adonis (yeah, that one), Persephone was already not one of my favorite people... nor was she someone Kate was excited to meet. She seemed like a spoiled, know-it-all who was used to having her own way. Kate and Persephone were an interesting combo... I really can't wait to see more interactions between them, should Persephone pop up in book three. They have a kind of competitive, bickering sisterly relationship that was at times amusing and very true to life; I think Aimee depicted their relationship wonderfully.

Along with new characters, I was pleased to see some of my old favorites as well. James is still infatuated with Kate, while trying to be a good friend and showing her she has a choice in the direction her life goes. I still like James, and I know he only wants what's best for Kate, but I think he needs to give up his quest for her heart. She loves Henry. Get over it. Another character I was interested to see more of was Ava. Here's a character that really grew on me. When I first met her, I didn't care much for her at all. Through this novel, she stands by Kate through thick and thin. Diana, Kate's mum, was in this book a lot more than the first one and I have decided that I really like her. She's such a wonderfully strong character and a great mother, too. I was really excited that there was more character development and back-stories for the other Gods and Goddesses in this novel. There are a couple revelations that really shocked me, but I won't go into those. You'll just have to read the book to find out what they are.

As for villains, well... Calliope has gone completely insane. She's bent on revenge and her target is Kate. She will stop at nothing to ruin Kate's life, even at the cost of everything she once held dear. I was completely shocked and amazed at the lengths she was willing to go to get what she wants. In her blind, evil hate, she enlists the help of a seriously creepy bad guy, Cronus. A Titan and father to the Gods. Yeah, I'm sure you've heard of this guy. Talk about bad news! It took all six of his children (Calliope being one of them) to imprison this guy, and yet she's willing to free him if he'll help her. Not only is she wanting to free him, she thinks he'll do what she says once he's out. Like I said, Calliope is insane and evil... and Aimee depicts that perfectly! Cronus is... well, I'll just repeat that he's creepy and leave it at that.

As for our two lovebirds, Kate and Henry... where do I start?! At the beginning of novel, Kate is finished with her six months above ground and about to start her time in the Underworld with Henry. She's so excited to see her husband, but a lot has been going on and she finds him distant and distracted. I felt like so much progress had been made in their relationship in the first novel that, needless to say, I was quite startled to find out they were practically at at square one again. Ugh. So let's start with Henry. I'm sure to many people, Henry seems like quite the jerk throughout this book. That may be the case for some, but I think I can see why Henry is so distant. Not only is there a lot happening with Calliope and Cronus wreaking havoc every which way they turn, but he finds out that Kate has spent the summer with James. He's still terribly wounded that Persephone gave up her immortality to be with Adonis (not to mention that she never loved him and she cheated on him... a lot), but he's worried Kate might decide to leave him too. Also, he's lost a lot of girls during the Tests (eleven, if I remember it correctly) AND there's already some bad history with James, too. I know he's been terribly hurt, but I wish he would've been more willing to talk things out instead of just running away and retreating into himself. I can't imagine going through what he's had to suffer, though. My heart really hurt for the guy and, in the end, I still really like Henry.

Kate is kind of annoying in this one, what with her constant insecurities and wondering if Henry really wants her there. Like with Henry, I'm sure there are a lot of readers who will dislike Kate this time around, too. BUT I can also see why she acts and feels the way she does. First off, Henry is incredibly distant and closed off towards her. I mean, how would you feel if you haven't seen the person you love for six months and not only does he NOT greet you when you return, he barely looks at, touches or talks to you? Yeah... I'd be sad, disappointed and confused too. She also feels like second pick to her sister in the lives of all those around her. AND she's made this huge decision that will affect the rest of her eternity! She's so worried she's a replacement/last resort for her sister, she doubts her worth and role as Henry's wife and ruler of the Underworld. She even feels like her own mother only wanted her because she felt bad for Persephone ditching her duties. Talk about emotional turmoil galore! Poor thing. I feel for her, but I just wish she didn't whine quite so much... or often. With all that said, I also still really like Kate. Though she jumps into situations too soon without thinking about the consequences to her own safety, she means well and is still the super brave, kind, selfless Kate we remember from the first novel. I like that; it seems real and genuine to me. I also like that the author gave her some new powers now that she's an immortal... I just hope she's able to control them soon!

As much as I enjoyed more character development, I think what made this novel shine was the setting. Unlike The Goddess Test, which takes place almost exclusively in Henry's manor, this novel takes place in Henry's kingdom, the Underworld. I know what you're thinking. The Underworld is dark, dreary and not the place you'd want to spend any amount of time in, right? I thought so too. Oh how happy I was to see a completely different view of this place! The way the author has showed us that the land of the dead need not be so awful was a much-needed breath of fresh air. The palace was familiar to Kate (and the reader) in that it resembled a larger version of the manor, so that was nice. The rest of Henry's domain, while not populated with living plants and whatnot, was still beautiful and mesmerizing with its jeweled flowers and afterlives of the dead. Actually, one of my favorite parts was how the author depicted the afterlives. Depending on what the person thought they deserved, their afterlife could be full of wonderful moments and sunshine or torture and nightmares. The descriptions of what it was like in the afterlife of a "tortured" soul were absolutely terrifying! I found myself physically cringing at one description in particular, it was that vividly depicted. I think it safe to say that that reaction is a testament to Aimee's wonderful writing ability. Seriously awesome and creepy at the same time. Well done!

Aimee Carter has delivered yet another memorable, engaging, well-written addition the the mythology genre. Though I felt it at times repetitive (in the beginning), I was completely invested in the story. And that ending! THAT ENDING! Holy freakin' cliffhanger, Batman! All I can say is that I'll definitely be hounding NetGalley for an advanced copy of book three, The Goddess Inheritance. Dang! So totally didn't see that ending coming.

All in all, Goddess Interrupted is a fast-paced, action-packed sophomore novel that I couldn't read fast enough!

A favorite quote: "Being brave doesn't mean never being afraid, you know. It means going for it anyway because you know it's the right thing to do."

Be sure to check out my review for book one, The Goddess Test!

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