Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adult
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Source: Penguin Group Dutton via NetGalley
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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.Review by Nara
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.
Richelle Mead has done it again. Gameboard of the Gods was absolutely amazing. Creative, action-packed, suspenseful....there is literally nothing that goes wrong in this novel.
Gameboard is listed as an adult novel, but to me, it actually had more of the feel of Mead's young adult novels. Maybe because it wasn't in first person, it just didn't have the same feel as her other adult series (all of which I've read, incidentally. I've literally read every full length Richelle Mead novel out there. You can probably tell that I really like Richelle Mead.) Also, it certainly wasn't anywhere near as sexually explicit as her other adult novels (particularly her Georgina Kincaid series), which I found was definitely more my style.
There is some incredible world building in this novel. At the start, weird and foreign terms like RUNA and praetorian and ego are thrown left and right, and it does take you a while to get your bearings, but once you've been submerged in Mead's world, it's pretty amazing. Mead has a way of introducing the world to you at a reasonable pace, so that you're not completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information. Science fiction is the main genre of the novel, but there is an aspect of fantasy to it that is very interesting. I can't say much about it, or it'll be spoiled and you won't be able to get the full effect of it, but I'll just say that it has something to do with the gods, and the gods using humans as pieces on their "gameboard" (probably obvious). It really is a fantastic and creative set of ideas.
Gameboard of the Gods is written from the perspectives of multiple characters, including Mae and Justin. I seriously loved all of the characters (except the villains of course, they can suck it), but strangely enough, Justin was probably my favourite, womanising and substance abusing and all. I liked seeing the relationship between Mae and Justin, and although it hasn't yet built up to a point where it's "official", the sexual tension between the two was certainly almost palpable.
While it was a very long novel, that didn't actually bother me, and honestly, I wouldn't have minded if it was even longer, just because Mead's writing was so impeccable. There was definitely enough mystery to keep it going, and the pace was probably exactly the speed I would want it to be at. Several threads of mystery flow through the novel- bit by bit, they are revealed until the climax is reached, where they combine to reveal the biggest secret (which I was half expecting, half not).
There is a nice ending, which is cliffhangerish but not absolutely gut wrenchingly horrible like some of the other cliffhangers Mead has pulled out in the past (I'm thinking Shadow Kiss here). However, it was definitely intriguing enough for me to eagerly await the next book (which doesn't yet have a release date *sobs*).
While you're waiting for Gameboard of the Gods or the second Age of X to come out, have a read of Richelle Mead's other series:
1. Vampire Academy (Young Adult)
2. Bloodlines (Young Adult)
3. Georgina Kincaid (Adult)
4. Dark Swan (Adult)