Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: GODDESS INTERRUPTED by Aimee Carter


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 who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry's first wife, Persephone.
This book... Hmm. I had such hopes for this book. I've already reviewed the first book in the series, The Goddess Test, and at the end of my review, I listed a few things that I hoped to see in the sequel, mainly growth from Kate and Henry.

I mean, after all, Titans! Titans are cool. The explanation given by Carter is a bit confusing, but I didn't care. The king's name is Cronos, so he has to be pretty awesome.

And he was awesome. Cronos was the coolest part of the entire book, amazing for his scarcity. He's locked deep in the heart of the Underworld but is able (through the help of a betrayer) to reach out via mysterious fog that can cause harm even to the gods and goddesses - Kate and Henry included. He's like the shark in Jaws, more terrifying because of the brief glimpses we're allowed.
"Cronos is still behind the gate," said Irene, "While he's awake, he can reach the corners of the Underworld most of us don't even know exist. Which is why the others kept him asleep all this time. But what you saw earlier was only a very small part of him, and if he were to fully escape, the damage would be catastrophic."

All of the blood drained from my face. "That-- that was only a piece?"

"Like a pinkie," said Dylan, wiggling his finger for emphasis.
Goosebumps, people. Life and death struggles, I love them!

What I didn't love so much? Oh, pretty much everything else, which saddens me greatly. I heard great things about this book. I fully expect other people to continue raving about this book. I wouldn't mind if they wandered on here and tried to convince me how wrong I am. But I just flat-out did not like this book.

More specifically, I wanted to push Kate under a bus. Repeatedly.

She was soooo needy. I understand feeling unsure of one's self, of feeling subpar, of feeling unwanted and second-best. I do. I also expected Kate to have all these feelings with Persephone's arrival so strongly emphasized in the summary on the back cover. Such emotions can be fun if done correctly, if balanced with other positive qualities and if we as readers are allowed to let those feelings simmer as we tend to other things.

Bruce Willis is baffled by your
waaaaaambulance ride
Kate would not let them simmer. She whined and complained and sulked and cursed and moped and screwed things up royally. She was The Thing That Never Shut Up. Carter tried to give Kate balance by letting her be the one to lead the charge to defeat Cronos, to be the one to convince Persephone to help, etc. It just didn't work. Kate would have a moment of bravery and then collapse into a sniveling heap over Henry.

Oh, and Henry. That... that man. Uncommunicative is one thing, but freaking mimes can communicate better than that man. Grow a set and either hold her close or cut her loose, man!

I understand that the point was to build tension so that any possible resolution would bring relief. Cognitively, I get that. But about halfway through (if that), I was so done. The relationship was so incredibly dysfunctional beyond any bounds of normal. No one stepped in to smack Henry upside the head; instead, they all made excuses ("Aw, he's new at this." "He's just not good at expressing his feelings."). Kate was made to carry the burden. The initiative ALWAYS fell with her to a point that she came across as manipulative and Carter felt like she was purposely causing unrealistic misunderstandings to stretch the tension too thin.

I'm sure many readers will disagree with my assessment. Many already have in their own reviews. all I know is that I finished the book feeling disgruntled and disgusted. Nevertheless, I will probably read the inevitable sequel just to see what happens.

Points Added For: Cronos - he's the bomb; an interesting perspective on the Underworld and Hell.

Points Subtracted For: Kate's Bella-like ineptitude; a severe lack of communication; unrealistic and unbelievable tension; unpleasant relational dysfunction.

Good For Fans Of: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, all other books mentioned in my previous review (so says Amazon).

Notes For Parents: Language, adultery, sex (tasteful fade-to-black), extremely poor relationship models.


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