Review of “The Goddess Legacy” by Aimée Carter

Ever since I opened my Ancient Greece history book in the 4th grade, I’ve been circling around the mystery and intrigue of Greek mythology.   Greek myths hold a lot of potential for retelling.  They present a new angle of life and observation.   And I already know someday I’m going to join the club of authors who have retold many Greek myths in new and exciting ways.

Aimée Carter is one of these authors.  I really enjoyed The Goddess Test but got in a huff over Goddess Interrupted.  The former introduced an amazing main character and a new twist on my favorite Greek myth.  The latter ruined my perception of the former and…I thoroughly did not enjoy it.  But The Goddess Legacy was…inspiring.

When I first read the synopsis, I already was thinking this novel by Carter was going to be different.  Happily, it was extremely different.  Five major Greek gods get to tell parts of their life stories in their own words: Hades, god of the dead; Hermes, messenger of the gods; Aphrodite, goddess of love; Persephone, queen of the Underworld; and Hera, goddess of heaven.  Calliope had no scruples and appeared to be dominantly evil.  At first I liked James, but Goddess Interrupted turned that opinion around.  Henry seemed so strong a character, but when it came to emotions, he also seemed to lack backbone.  A flirt from the start, Ava’s personality needed expanding.  And as for misunderstood Persephone…here is a love-hate story unlike any other.

The Goddess Legacy surprised me.  Enlightened me.  And gave me a new perspective of Greek mythology that was bright and dark at the same time.

The author made me feel for each of the characters.  Reading each novella separately, I was rooting for each of them—except perhaps James, whom I still didn’t like much anymore.  Some of the main characters were against each other, but understanding each of them helped me to see so much more behind every story as the novel progressed.  I sympathized with Hera’s need for loyalty and her longing to be loved, as well as her agonizing marriage with Zeus.  I enjoyed Aphrodite’s quest for true love and how she found it in an unexpected person.  Persephone only wanted the freedom of choice and to find happiness, but she only ended up hated by everyone…until she found the wonderful Adonis.  With James…he learned about the pain of loss indeed through a biting lesson.  Hades’s narrative wasn’t as disappointing as reviewed; I liked how Carter circled back to Kate and explained Henry’s low self-esteem and lack of faith in love.  And there were so many Greek myths entwined into the novellas!  The first-person narration was an insightful choice, even though Henry managed to evade that.

The style of the narrative was very thrilling, as by the end I felt that The Goddess Legacy had successfully pieced together its puzzles and matched all the characters’ experiences in one time frame.  The emotions portrayed were warm and deep, the storyline credible and very realistic.  Humanity was mirrored by the gods’ personalities and problems, all their vices and weaknesses relating back to Carter’s original thoughts on the deities in The Goddess Test.  The reader has a chance to see through the eyes of the protagonists and the antagonists…and then decide that judgment is impossible.  For a story about gods and goddesses, The Goddess Legacy has a very human edge to it, an edge that makes it captivating in the midst of a very detailed, very unusual lost world of beginnings, endings, and eternities.

I had fun with The Goddess Legacy.   It’s a touching retelling of Greek myths unlike any other.

Natalie Gorna

6 responses to “Review of “The Goddess Legacy” by Aimée Carter

  1. Reblogged this on Around the bend of the book and commented:

    Another of my reviews that never made it to the Examiner.

  2. Pingback: Review of “The Goddess Inheritance” by Aimée Carter « Blog of Natalie Gorna

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  5. Whilst it isn’t a book that could be aimed at my area of the target audience, it does sound fascinating.

    Great review.

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