Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ARC Review: The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: July 31st, 2012

For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aime e 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. 
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I am a big fan of retellings.  I adore a good Fairy Tale Retelling, and lately retellings of Greek myths have really grown on me.  I never paid much attention when we studied Greek mythology in school, and I think that had a lot to do with the fact that my teachers kind of glossed over, or skipped altogether, the more entertaining parts of the lore- the affairs, the debauchery, the betrayals, the sex...  Through my reading of these retellings, I have found a renewed interest, and I look at the original stories in an entirely different light now.  Aimee Carter's series, beginning with The Goddess Test, is one of the ones that sparked this renewed interest.  The Goddess Legacy is the third (actually, it's titled as number 2.5) book in the series, and thus far, is my favorite.  The Goddess Test begins with the story of Henry/Hades and Kate, and her quest to pass the tests set forth by the Olympians so that she may become one of them, Henry's bride, and Queen of the Underworld.  Goddess Interrupted picks up where The Goddess Test leaves off, and ends with one of those horrible cliffhangers that makes the reader ponder and pine for more (read my review HERE).  Both are centered around Kate and Henry's relationship, and while many of the other gods and goddesses have roles, their stories and motivations are not stated.  The Goddess Legacy gives those stories an opportunity to be told.  It consists of five novellas, each telling the story of a god or goddess who had an integral role in the first two books.  Each is told from the POV of the god or goddess in question, and while not all of their stories evoked my sympathy, they did earn my understanding of their motivations and behaviors.

In the first two books Hera/Calliope is painted in a rather negative light.  Her negative traits include bitterness, selfishness, and a manipulative nature, and that is only to name a few of many.  She is cast as the total villain, and rightly so.  In The Goddess Legacy, as her life story and motivations are revealed, it becomes glaringly obvious why she has become the goddess she has become.  Did I ever grow to like her or excuse her actions because of it?  No.  But I can better understand how she came to be the goddess she is in the first books.  She has experienced much pain and suffering at the hands of others, over the course of her eternity.  Because of her pride and principles, she made some very deplorable and misguided decisions, of which there seems to be no end in sight. I still don't like her, but I now feel some pity for her.

Next was Aphrodite/Ava's story, and my opinion of her actually changed, after getting the skinny on who she actually is.  In the first two books, I felt sorry for her.  She showed some selfish tendencies, and she often made some questionable choices, but I honestly thought that those things were mainly a result of her lack of intelligence.  Wrong!  She is one manipulative, cunning girl.  Obviously she is her daddy's (Zeus) favorite, and she milks it for all it's worth.  She is spoiled and self-absorbed, and almost always gets what she wants, come hell or high water.  One scene that sticks out in my mind is when she argues with Persephone over Adonis; she isn't getting her way, and she shouts, "Daddy!", and Zeus immediately arrives to sort things out.  She is like a mythological Veruca Salt (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, for those of you who have been living under rocks).  She is entertaining, but she is a brat.  Her only redeeming quality is the tenderness she shows toward Hephaestus and Eros, but in my mind, it isn't nearly enough.

After Aphrodite, we "meet" Persephone.  Compared to Persephone, Aphrodite's selfishness looks like martyrdom.  That said, I still felt more sympathetic toward her because she was truly a victim of the poor choices that others made on her behalf.  Zeus and her mother, Demeter, arranged the marriage she did not want, Hades allowed it to happen, and Hera clearly cursed the possibility of their union to ever working.  I'm glad Persephone found her happiness in the end, even as badly as I feel for Hades.

Next up is the story of Hermes/James...  In the first two books I didn't care much for him.  It wasn't that I disliked him, I just kind of felt indifferent.  Now, after reading his story, I really like him to the point that he is one of my favorite characters.  I enjoyed his story the most, and I really loved learning how each of the gods/goddesses got their "modern" names and why.  I felt like he had the most depth and humanity.

Finally, we learn more about Hades/Henry, and the circumstances leading up to his story in the first two books.  Having more of his background really helped me to understand him as it pertains to his cautious nature as far as Kate was concerned.  All of the gods/goddesses suffered to some degree, but he had it the worst.  At least they had one another to comfort them in their moments of pain, but he was alone in the Underworld.  Still, he almost always make selfless choices, even ones that the others didn't understand or hated him for.  I like the path Aimee Carter took when telling his story, and it makes me look forward to The Goddess Inheritance all the more.

Overall, this compilation of novellas really added to my enjoyment of this series.  If you've read and enjoyed Aimee's books to this point, make this one a priority on your TBR.  If you haven't read the first two books, that's okay, you can still read this one and fully understand what is going on.  The stories stand alone, but I will warn you, once you get a taste of Aimee's take on these characters, you will want to read more!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  There is definitely some sex (Aphrodite is the goddess of it, after all) and a few of the characters definitely have some issues with morality, but otherwise this book is clean.  I stand by my grade level recommendation for the first two books.  Grades 6 and up (ages 11+).

**Don't forget to check out my giveaway for a chance to win a hardcover cop of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry!  Click HERE to enter!  Ends at 12:00am, August 14th, 2012**


  1. What really stood out to me in Goddess Interrupted was the God's immortality.
    They are alive SO long that lovers come & go so the same morality that applies to us seems silly to them.
    I really do need to pick this up and find out more about Henry.
    I started to like Ava in GI but it looks like I might change my mind again here. lol

  2. I just picked up a copy of this and it is going to be the next book I read! I was a bit disappointed with the previous book, so I hope this one is a bit better.

    Btw...I switched over from Lily's Bookshelf to Reading by Lamplight. I'd love it if you stopped over!

  3. The Goddess Legacy just made me love the characters even more(especially Henry). I always felt bad for him, but now we can really see all of his pain and suffering that he keeps inside. Great review!


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