Review: “Goddess Interrupted” by Aimée Carter

For the love of books

Kate thinks that now she can live happily forever after with her husband Henry, a.k.a. Hades, the king of the Underworld and lord of the dead.  After passing the goddess test and becoming immortal in The Goddess Test, Kate is confident all her worries are over.  In Goddess Interrupted, it turns out that she could not be more wrong.  Cronus, the king of the Titans, has escaped from his prison in Tartarus thanks to Calliope.  Immediately he unleashes a mad desire for revenge against the immortals who conquered and subdued him.  Suddenly, Kate’s perfect world is destined for destruction as her new family prepares to battle against a being more powerful than themselves.  To make matters worse, Kate’s relationship with Henry is spiraling downward and imploding, which only gets worse when Persephone walks back into the picture.  Being a goddess is no picnic—especially when an insane Calliope and a vengeful Cronus join forces to annihilate everything and everyone Kate loves.

Being a sequel, Goddess Interrupted picks up where Aimée Carter left off in The Goddess Test, with the exception of Kate’s summer vacation sojourns accounted for in the e-novella The Goddess Hunt.  Most sequels either make or break the continuing series of books they belong to.  Unfortunately, Goddess Interrupted effectively destroys most of the concepts introduced in The Goddess Test with ghastly further speculation.

The story has nothing to do with the myth of Hades and Persephone anymore, or any particular Greek myth for that matter. For example, Persephone’s image was relatively left alone in the first novel.  Now, she is illustrated as a villainous cheat and disloyal ex-wife, a flirt and a misunderstood former goddess.  Kate’s obvious hatred for Persephone and what she did to Henry transforms into a sort of mild respect and understanding for her troubled sister, but Henry’s irrational love for Persephone despite her actions is exasperatingly unreasonable in itself, lengthening the novel considerably and unnecessarily by bringing old news back to life.

Moreover, in dealing with the problems surrounding Henry, Kate transforms from being an admirable and compassionate heroine into a whiny, complaining brat of a wife.  Although she’s only twenty years old, Kate starts to sound exactly like Bella in the Twilight series, depending solely on an extraordinary man for her happiness and wanting nothing else in life but to have a perfect union with him.  It doesn’t help that Kate’s desire for closeness is not limited to the spiritual kind.

Sexuality is made a big part of Goddess Interrupted, which has subsequently shallow effects on the content of the novel.  Kate’s main goal in life is somewhere between having Henry’s unconditional love and leaping into bed with him, a fact that is emphasized towards the end of the novel when Kate’s unexpected pregnancy mirrors that of Bella in Breaking Dawn.  Kate’s desires overshadow her other emotions; the strong love for her mother that she exhibited in The Goddess Test is no longer visible.  With the character of her mother now in the background, Kate’s relationship with Henry is the irritating center of the novel.  Henry pushes Kate away so much, emotionally and physically, with his indifference and his cold behavior; this side of Henry conflicts with the ending of The Goddess Test.  Aside from the way the author makes romance become a depressing and pathetic soap opera, she also has re-assessed Greek mythology in Goddess Interrupted.

The ideas Carter had regarding the Greek deities, the immortality of the soul, and the afterlife all change drastically for the worse.  She finally answers the question of punishment and reward in the afterlife, only to promote an “unjust” existence where hell fades away and heaven is unequivocally for everyone, good or bad.  Ancient and modern “theories” are set aside and the morbid equality found in the process of death is queerly reflected in Carter’s views.  The Greek deities so carefully constructed in The Goddess Test are back to the flawed, immoral personalities described by the ancient Greeks: womanizers, unfaithful friends, and a twisted family.  Instead of focusing more on the origins of Cronus and the Titans, Carter leaves the god-creates-god aspect a puzzling mystery and dismisses propping her story against a more complex backdrop.

In light of how much she talks about it, Carter equivalently stamps Goddess Interrupted with the topic “sex talks.”  Where is the warmth, sincerity, and profound contemplation that made The Goddess Test an enjoyable critique of ancient notions?  It’s so disappointing to see her pull down all of her characters, even Kate and Henry.  True, Carter never said her gods and goddesses were perfect beings.  Nevertheless, now the difference between immortals and mortals is almost unnoticeable, and the deities’ respect for morality and virtues in The Goddess Test is turning out to be some sick kind of joke.  The author’s decision to break away from Greek mythology by introducing original insight in The Goddess Test rebounds here.  It is ironic that while she gained criticism for ignoring basic “truths” about Greek myths, her closer adherence to them in Goddess Interrupted is corrupting what made its predecessor refreshing and unusual.  In its place, Carter merely reiterates the nonsensical drivel incorporated into Greek mythology and makes Goddess Interrupted a melodramatic mess of a sequel.

Original review: Part 1: ‘Goddess Interrupted’ is the opposite of ‘The Goddess Test’Part 2: ‘Goddess Interrupted’ is the opposite of ‘The Goddess Test’Part 3: ‘Goddess Interrupted’ is the opposite of ‘The Goddess Test’, Examiner.com

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One thought on “Review: “Goddess Interrupted” by Aimée Carter

  1. Pingback: Jimsbox Newsletter | August 12 2014 | JimsBox.com

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