It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family, and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.
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I've had my eye on this series for a while now and patiently waited for it to hit audible so when it did I snatched it up. First, the synopsis and cover grabbed my attention. I thought we would have this young girl struggling through grizzly unthinkable situations in order to save her mom, wrong! There are some bad things that happen to the main character (Kate) but the tests she was administered were ones she didn't even know she was taking. I was really looking for a nice angsty gritty read but got an overly super sappy sweet read instead. The narrator did a really good job with the characters, but some parts in this book are just way too unbelievable for a person to go through what Kate went through and react the way she did to the situation and the characters that treated her a certain way, I just couldn't buy into the believability of the story. I know some people have said they have issues with the mythology being wrong and getting facts wrong but honestly it didn't bother me, I don't have a good knowledge base in mythology to know better anyway. So my opinion is, it's a nice easy laid back read, don't get your hopes up for a bunch of ups and downs, it was mainly a very constant storyline, I never really felt any connection, emotion or believability towards any of the characters. That being said, I will try the next book ONLY because I bought this on the buy 3 for 2 sale and feel I should get my $$ worth. HAPPY LISTENING!!!
This was SO VERY NOT my cup of tea. I went into this book thinking, like others before me, that it would be more about Kate's relationship with her mom, and learning to understand death and grieving loss, but no. Everything in this book is a set up to get Kate with Henry, who as far as I can tell has no redeeming qualities other than that he's very attractive, and approaches serious topics only to skirt around them with fluff and garbage. The characters are poorly portrayed as well; Kate comes across as a very bratty young girl with abandonment issues, Henry is an aloof controlling dick, Eva is a stereotypically ditzy cheerleader, and Kate's mom is a plot device.
Aside from the actual plot, Ms. Carter just has some really annoying literary habits. Like, items appearing "seemingly out of no where" because she needs them in the scene to move the story along but couldn't figure out how to integrate them into the prose any other way. Also, Henry is constantly being described as warm. Like, if he's on the same plane of existence as Kate she can "feel the warmth radiating off his body." It's a weird thing to repeat so many times over the course of the book, especially because all the other descriptions are pretty sparse.
Spoiler alert, but this book has some really weird attitudes towards sex. Kate is eighteen, and it's implied that Eva is about the same age as her (also a senior, and all), and in the chapter (fittingly) titled "Judgement," Kate slut-shames the crap out of Eva for sleeping with one of the guys at the manor while they're there for six months. In that very same chapter, Kate and Henry also engage in premarital sex, but Ms. Carter institutes the drugged-to-absolve-them-of-any-"blame" plot device! No one bothers to mention that this means that neither of them was able to consent to sleeping with the other, and Kate spent half the book saying she didn't date, didn't want to sleep with Henry, had no intentions of doing so, and was just there to save her mom. . . It didn't sit well with me at all.
In short, if you liked Twilight, you may like this book. If you are looking for strong female leads in a YA fiction book, you desperately need to hit the back button and keep looking.