SPOILER ALERT – This is a series, I might make mention to things that happened in the first couple books.
First of all I have to say, though I hate myself for saying it, I LOVED this series. Seriously, I read all 4 in less than a week and now I’m absolutely DYING for the 5th installment (er… 3rd, since two of them were novellas and only count as 1.5 and 2.5). I don’t usually say that about a teen series.
I originally gave Goddess Interrupted 3 stars, mainly because Henry pissed me off. Kate returns from her summer abroad to a brooding, depressed, distant, and sometimes downright mean Henry. Not the loving, happy husband she left in the spring. She spends the entire books basically groveling at his feet and begging for his affection. He refuses to kiss her or even hug her, and forget consummating their marriage. He disappears for days at a time and she spends all her time moping around the palace looking for him. Her thoughts are consumed by the idea that Henry no longer loves her… or never did to start with. Consumed. This book is more or less 200 pages of a tormented teenage girl’s thoughts on unrequited love.
Things only get worse when, in order to save the world from a recently awakened Titan god, Kate has to turn to the one person she hoped to never meet, Persephone. Henry’s first wife; the girl he loved with all his heart, the girl he still yearns for (openly), the girl Kate could never hope to replace. From the moment Persephone enters the plot Kate feelings nothing but insane jealousy, hurt, and betrayal. And Henry does nothing to alleviate those feelings. He skirts around the problem and refuses to tell her what he knows she needs to hear. He twists his words until Kate can no longer discern how he feels, but everything becomes quite clear when (spoiler) she catches him kissing Persephone. At this point I realized Henry is my ex-boyfriend (except Henry is supposedly gorgeous and my ex-boyfriend, last I checked, looks like a homeless man). At this point I also decided that I hated him and I pitied Kate.
I have been in Kate’s position, I have been the girl who begs and pleads for love that obviously isn’t there. I knew what it felt like to fight what is clearly a losing battle, to do whatever it takes to close the distance that had been forming from the beginning even though every effort just increased that distance. I made all the same mistakes Kate was making and I wanted so badly for her to get some self-respect and stop being so pathetic. I wanted her to stand up for herself and walk away, to ignore all of Henry’s empty promises and heartless pleas for her to stay. And then, after months of clinging to false hope, she finally reaches the end of her rope. And I was so proud, as proud as I could be of a fictional character in a teen series.
Then, of course, (more spoilers) Henry changes his tune and becomes the Prince Charming he should have been all along. Though he still loves Persephone (grumble) he suggests that one day he might learn to love Kate more (grumble grumble). Kate accepts this with a grain of salt, she agrees to stay with him and continues to love him on the off chance that one day he might love her the same amount. Good for them. She then uses her new found independence to venture out in the world in search of Rhea, a Titan god she must convince to fight in a battle against another Titan god (did I forget to mention the battle waging in the background of Henry and Kate’s love affair?) Anyway, in retrospect this book deserves more than 3 stars and it left me yearning for the next installment.
Goddess Legacy turned out to be a compilation of 5 novellas, each detailing the early lives of the Greek gods and goddesses, before we meet them in The Goddess Test. This book gets 5 stars, I don’t think I would have loved the series as much as I did if not for this book. It was beautifully and artistically written, it ties the entire series together in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and it gave me empathy and understanding for characters who wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise. Because of this book, decisions that were made in book one suddenly make more sense, relationships that were strained for no apparent reason now have a reason. The author is either incredibly lucky that everything fell together so nicely or this was a series that was carefully planned and outlined from the beginning. Either way, these are books that deserve more recognition and I would recommend them to anyone.