The Goddess Test (2011) by Aimee Carter has an attractive cover, an intriguing prologue, and a neat set-up: girl moves to small American town, gets caught up in a hidden paranormal world, and embarks upon a whirlwind romance. Life-threatening suspense ensues.
Kate Winters is an ordinary teenage girl, but her mother is terminally ill with cancer. Her mother’s dying wish is to return to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she was born, to die there in peace. After moving to Eden with her mother, Kate enrolls in the local high school and meets several new friends… and enemies. Through a creepy turn of events, Kate must make a deal with the devil– well, with Hades, ruler of the Underworld: spend six months in his otherworldly Eden Manor, and take a series of seven tests, to determine if she will become the new Queen of the Underworld. If Kate fails, Hades dies. If she passes, she becomes immortal, and must spend half of every year with Hades as his bride and co-ruler of the Underworld, for eternity. Kate agrees, only because by doing so, she’s allowed more time with her dying mother, just for trying. How can she refuse?
Though containing some discrepancies (i.e. immortal gods can die; ancient pre-Christian gods celebrate Christmas and base their goddess tests off of the Christian 7 Deadly Sins, etc.) and I wasn’t completely sold on the romance, there are some exciting action sequences, and a few of the end’s twists caught me off-guard. Readers of teen paranormal romance, and fans of books like Twilight and Beautiful Creatures, are Carter’s target audience, and will appreciate this novel.