(Goddess Test #2)
Paranormal Young Adult
Available March 27th
Received through NetGalley for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
A bit darker and fraught with more emotional intensity than its predecessor, Goddess Interrupted takes us beneath the surface both literally and figuratively as Kate descends to the Underworld after her absence over the summer and finds the progress she made with Henry before her departure lost behind his reinforced defensive shields. The tenuous thread of hope she mustered after he saved her life in the previous book quickly frays, the stark realization that she’s in a relationship with not only Henry, but also Henry’s long memory of Persephone as well, one that settles over all of us with a tangible weight that only increases in tonnage as she throws herself against his barriers again and again to no avail. We walk alongside Kate one lead foot after the other, wishing as she does for some flicker of love or approval from the ruler of the Underworld to help her navigate the monumental task of guiding the dead while she fights a Titan who can easily replace her immortality with mortality.
Kate is still the same young woman we met in the first book, her tendencies toward self-sacrifice in full swing as the Olympian gods face an ancient foe, but her vulnerabilities with regard to Henry are more apparent than ever. While we completely understand her insecurities when faced with Henry’s obvious love for Persephone and how his seeming lack of affection for her chips away at her confidence, the cyclical nature of her self-pity, then her resolve to embrace what she has instead of mourn what she doesn’t, and finally the deterioration of that resolve in the face of Henry’s detachment gets a bit tedious. Her anger and hurt are more than justified, Henry’s family’s pretty words and assurances that his love for her is real both empty and meaningless when any sign of their truth is hidden behind an impenetrable immortal mask, however her downward spiral into a repeated mantra of “I’ll always be second to Persephone” tries our patience as we flip the pages.
Like Kate, Henry is much the same character we met in The Goddess Test, a rather dark and brooding version of Hades who doesn’t reflect the explosive personality we might expect from the God of the Underworld. His brooding nature isn’t necessarily a bad thing by any means, but the lack of any emotional spark from him does make our connection to him rocky at best, and we long for the moment when the force of his personality will break through the block of ice in which Persephone’s betrayal encased him to give us a man we can reach out in touch instead of a god who slips right through our fingers. By the end, he does begin to slowly take form, solidifying ever-so-slightly to give us the barest hint of reality instead of smoke and mirrors, and that's enough to have us thoroughly anticipating the third installment in the hope we’ll see what we’ve up till now only caught the barest glimpses of.
The Greek mythology element was extraordinarily subtle in book one, but luckily for us it’s a bit more prominent in Goddess Interrupted, the immortal nature of Kate’s new family becoming more apparent as secrets are revealed thanks to a Persephone-shaped catalyst, opening our eyes a bit wider to Henry’s pain and giving both Kate and us an idea of just how different from us they truly are. Despite Kate’s continuous self-doubt and Henry’s emotional distance, the story itself is fast-paced and entertaining, though those who fear cliffhangers should brace themselves for a rather spectacular one at the end of this story. It does its job however, leaving us blinking rapidly in stupefaction that we’ve reached the last page and groaning aloud as we realize how long we must now wait for the next installment.