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Reviewed by Charity Tober for Readers' Favorite
Goddess by Callista Hunter is a young adult fantasy mythology read. The story follows a young vestal virgin named Olivia, who along with her fellow virgins are devout followers of the goddess Vesta. After a surprising turn of events, the girls discover that Vesta is not what she seems (basically a fake) and their world is changed forever. The question is posed regarding how would you see yourself and what would you do if you found out that your life (and devotions) have been based on an elaborate hoax? Olivia and her friends are confused and thus are easily tempted by a boy named Cassius to experiment with their own individual powers to invoke the real gods (something reserved only for men in this society). But not everyone chooses to use their powers for good, and Olivia quickly finds herself in the middle of a mythological war.
I found Goddess to be an entertaining read. Hunter does a good job weaving mythology throughout the story. Olivia was a strong protagonist and I felt like she was trying to do the right thing and remain true to herself in the ever changing situation. The interactions between Olivia and Gaius were some of my favorite scenes in the book, lots of sweet moments there. Cassius was interesting too; he had some qualities that were definitely intriguing. I thought the theme of the book was unique (especially in the over-saturated dystopian, apocalyptic YA market) and I think readers will enjoy the cast of strong female characters.