Usually, I love anything that has to do with Greek culture; their architecture, myths of curses and heroes, and gyros, but The Goddess test was more chick lit than the myths I know and love.
All you have to know is that it is a bad mix of Percy Jackson and Abandon by Meg Cabot. Separately, they were both amazing, but if you combine them the gods will curse you.
The plot is a continuation of the myth of Persephone. Hades needs to find a new wife after Persephone left him. Obviously, only the worthy could marry Hades and become the goddess of death, so they hold a contest that is like The Princess and the Pea.
Kate is chosen to be the next tested, but she does not know it. She only agrees to it for the sake of her mother who is dying of cancer. She has to go through a series if tests to determine if her character is strong enough to survive in the harsh landscape of the Underworld. But there is an extra problem for Kate to deal with-- all the other girls who have taken the test were murdered.
The plot sounds better than it is executed. The mythology is downplayed and the romance is multiplied. The whole book is Kate whining about how Henry would not pay attention to her. Finally, in the last chapter of the book, she realizes that the god of death might not be the best at displaying emotions. IT TOOK THE WHOLE BOOK FOR HER TO FIGURE THAT OUT!
The mythology disappointed me. I never would have guessed who the gods were if there was not a guide in the back and this is coming from an avid Percy Jackson fan who memorized all of the Greek myths when I was ten.
The names also annoyed me, because Kate Winters is such an original name for a girl who is stuck in the Underground every winter. The gods' "new" names were cliché. Did they have to be alliterative to the old ones? A character's name is their essence and Kate's name speaks volumes about who she is--a naïve and innocent girl who ignores the obvious to wallow in her own self pity.
Carter tried too hard to fit too many themes into one story. Murder mystery, Princess and the Pea, and Greek Mythology just do not mix well.
As for the rest of the series, I would recommend skipping it. It only goes down from here. The books become less YA and more adult and the plot continues to fall short of expectations.