Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Age of X #1
Reading Level: Adult
Publisher: Dutton Adult June 4, 2013
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.
When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.
First off, Gameboard of the Gods is very, very different from Richelle Mead's previous books. It's not like Vampire Academy, Bloodlines, Georgiana Kincaid, or her Dark Swan series. Don't get me wrong, I can see some similarities between her other series but overall the first Age of X novel walked a different tune.
That is not to say that this book was bad. It was actually pretty good (as I gave it a 4 star rating) but I had to warm up to it. I was fluctuating between giving it a 3 or 4 star but I ultimately chose a 4 star because I think it has potential.
Back to the warming up part. It was slow. At first, in the beginning I had to force myself to read it. I think it was slow due to these reasons:
1. The world, the build-up, basically the whole introduction of this new setting. To be honest, it was kind of confusing at first with all the gadget, politics, and religious talk. But, I understand it because, like most first books in series a lot of the stuff has to be explained in order to get the gist of the whole thing for later in the book and the next ones after that.
2. The characters. For some reason, I didn't really get invested in Justin, Mae, or Tessa for that matter. I think this was largely due in part to Mead's use of third person POV. It just felt really impersonal. Still, like I said before it got better in the last half of the book. I actually felt a little for Justin and Mae.
Despite the differences from her previous books and the slow start, Mead debuts a promising new series. I, for one, am going to read the second book in the Age of X series. Hopefully, it'll be good.
What are your thoughts on Gameboard of the Gods? Did you like it?