Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
Release Date – July 30, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harlequin Teen
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  395 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review (via Netgalley)**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimee Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows. 
Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness.... 
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal.... 
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another.... 
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others-but never knew true loss before.... 
Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope.... 
Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages
While reading The Goddess Test and it's sequel Goddess Interrupted I often found myself wondering about some of the other characters and their actions. The story is told from Kate's perspective and we only know what she is privy to. These are the kind of novellas that make you want to go back and re-read the previous novels. Each novella gives you insight into the characters and paints their actions in a new, and often changing, light.

The notion of good and bad is tossed aside as Aimee shows each character is a shade of grey. I felt for each of them, and yet disliked many of their actions, but each story brought me something new to think about.

The first story, titled The Goddess Queen deals with Hera (Calliope) and her story. Her callous and unthinkable actions from the previous novel are not excused, but rather explained. The heartbreaking, crushing betrayal from not only her husband but her sisters  had a hand in turning Hera into the cold hearted, formidable goddess we know. Her love for Henry is understandable, if somewhat intense. Her strength is shown, and I do believe she is a force to be reckoned with.

The second story titled The Lovestruck Goddess deals with Aphrodite's (Ava) story. The theme of different loves providing you with different things, and if we should expect to get everything we need from one person are explored in this story. Aphrodite is absolutely fickle, but she never hides this. She is upfront and honest about what parts of herself she can give to another person, and what she is unwilling to comprise on. The importance of finding someone who cares and loves you for who you are is also something I took away from the novella. She’s quite sure of who she is and what she needs which is not always the case for young women.

The third story title The Goddess of the Underworld happened to be my favourite. It is Persephone’s story. It resonated the most with me because we learn about events that not only motivate Persephone, but Hades (Henry) as well.  The power of love, and what you are willing to sacrifice for it was beautifully touched upon in this sad novella. The theme of not settling for anything less than someone you care deeply for, and who cares just as deeply for you is one that also ties into the present time story as well. Love can not, and should not be one sided no matter what the circumstances and letting someone go might just be the greatest act of love there is. I did enjoy seeing where the Persephone/Ava dynamic began. The heartbreak both Henry and Persephone go through in this novella really helps the reader understand Henry’s current state of mind in dealing with Kate.

The fourth story is titled God of Thieves tells of Hermes (James) relationship with a girl named Tuck. Acceptance from our family is very important, but sometimes our family can be those who are not related to use by blood. James learns the true nature of loss and love. James sought out the answer to why the gods and goddesses are fading, and I think this story may be quite important to The Goddess Inheritance. Getting to see how the relationship between Henry and James became strained was something I was happy to discover, and this novel made me look at James quite differently.

The fifth story entitled God of Darkness revolves around the path Hades (Henry) takes leading up to meeting Kate. The devastation he felt each time a small piece of hope was ripped away when one of the girls was murdered tore at my heart. His distance from Kate is not only understandable but expected. Henry’s fear of getting close, to only be hurt again, has caused him to shut down. Everyone who has had their heartbroken can relate to the pain of opening up again. The Henry we meet in The Goddess Test is already in ruins, and this tells his side of how he got to that point. Ultimately this ends on a note of hope in the form of Kate. A tentative, small step out of the darkness and towards the light.

This novel deepens the characters, shines new light on the previous novels, and might even get you to view beloved (and maybe not so loved) characters differently. This is the reason novella’s should exist.  It is a book for the fans in every way and for that, I say thank you Aimee.

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