Mini Reviews # 11

My eleventh Mini Reviews post is dedicated to three YA reads with mythological background. The THE GODDESS TEST series by Aimée Carter just wasn't mine but EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton is a 2012 debut I would always recommend.

Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton

Nikki Beckett spent one-hundred years (equalling a few months in the real world) in a version of the underworld, the Everneath. Now she's back on earth but only for the limited time of six months, to say her goodbyes and spent the rest of eternity in the underworld. The first chapter was confusing at times, the Everneath a strange new sphere but you'll get what's happening when you are a few pages into the story. I really enjoyed the mysterious and hellish setting of the Everneath.
I felt connected to Nikki from the second I met her, thanks to Brodi Ashton who reserves plenty of time to get to know our heroine and her emotional dilemma. Her time in the Everneath, spent with Cole, robbed her of all emotions and she's feeling devastatingly empty. She's so strong despite everything she's lost.
And when she thought she'd lost her will to live, too she falls in love with her ex-boyfriend Jack all over again.
There is an Everneath boy, too. Cole, a very ominous character. He might be a hot rockstar and gather lots of fans around him, but he is also egoistic and kind of a  parasite, drawing Nikki's energy to prolong his own life.
The concept of dependence that somehow binds Nikki, Cole and Jack in a love triangle was what made the relationships intriguing and I liked how both boys have very different meanings for our protagonist. Our present story is interrupted by scenes from the past that help us understand how Nikki got to know both boys and how she ended up in the Everneath.
But truly Cole has nothing on Jack. Jack, Nikki’s ex-boyfriend, Jack who she ran away from many months ago. He is exactly what I needed in this story! He has been waiting for her to return all along and he's willing to sacrifice everything for Nikki. Such an epic love story!

4,5/5 ****/* EVERNEATH-  A smoldering & emotionally charged countdown to a beloved heroine’s ultimate Goodbye.

EVERNEATH was a new kind of story that I fast became absorbed in. Two hotties, one devilish clever, the other angelic sweet, are fighting for Nikki's love and for a way to bind her to their respective worlds. As invitingly hot and daring as the gorgeous cover of EVERNEATH, the story behind it is no different. EVERNEATH is a definite 2012 cover and debut favourite!

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: January 24th 2012
Length: 370 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, mythology, underworld, romance, love triangle
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1) by Aimée Carter

Fearing the inevitable death of her mother Kate strikes a deal with a man she just met, Henry or Hades, god of the underworld. She has to take a few tests to prove worthy of becoming Henry's new queen in order to save her mother.
I was looking forward to an impressive test marathon. These kind of stories with game character are often very active and daring and belong to my favourites, like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
THE GODDESS TEST didn't make use of all its possibilites. No grand arena, or crazily exciting tests to endure. The tests are nothing spectacular and often even passed by Kate without us knowing or being told. 
Greek mythologies are full of quarrels and tests, wars and epic love stories and I was drawn to THE GODDESS TEST after reading its summary. I was disappointed to find out Kate and Henry's story was nothing like that. Henry's still in love with his wife Persephone. I appreciated his honesty but ignoring Kate and keeping something important from her is just no way to treat your potential partner and so I just couldn't think of Henry as a genuine love interest. Their romance is defined by the ever same circle of arguments, whiny statements, excuses, I couldn’t hear it any longer.

3,5/5 ***/* THE GODDDESS TEST – A  Greek mythology YA debut for beginners.

Kate's story was one that had so much potential, especially with the tests she has to pass in order to save her mother. THE GODDESS TEST is a well-written debut and even though I wasn't overly enthusiastic about its characters and their romance, its world building and Greek mythology background made for a promising sequel. 

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: April 19th 2011
Length: 293 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, mythology, gods, romance, tests
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Kate and Henry's story continues. She might have proven herself to be worthy. She is the one that should have Henry's heart forever, but even after everything they've been through he's keeping his distance and secrets from Kate. No improvement in the romantic department. Both Henry and Kate didn't learn from past mistakes and their so called love story is more a constant fight than pure harmony. Their relationship felt rather pitiful and their constant whining made me furious just like the overall ambiguity and promiscuity of the other gods.
As sad as it sounds (and I hate to say it) but this second book made me like the characters so much less. I don’t think there was a single one that didn’t annoy me at some point.
In the second installment in the THE GODDESS TEST series Henry is abducted and Kate and the other gods set out to save him. A test scenario like the first book offered, only on a bigger, a bit more exciting scale.

2/5 ** GODDESS INTERRUPTED - Our gods and Kate are tested again, and sometimes even your patience.

I'm a fan of YA stories shaped by elements of Greek mythology but obviously having a few gods in the story cast and following their various tests is no guarantee for a book to become a favourite. Aimée's writing is as flawless as in her debut novel, it's just that I couldn't find access to her THE GODDESS TEST characters. I don't give up easily on a series, but I decided to pass on the third book in Aimée's THE GODDESS TEST series.

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: March 27th 2012
Length: 296 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, mythology, gods, romance, tests
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

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