Title/Author: Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead
Publisher/Date published: Dutton Adult, June 4th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: 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.
So there's been a lot of talk about Richelle Mead's new series. Some good, some bad, a lot of it just mostly disappointed it isn't like Vampire Academy. And it's not, like Vampire Academy I mean, but for me that was pretty much ok.
I haven't yet finished her uber popular VA series (don't throw things at me, I swear I'll get to the last 3 books soon!) and though I am a fan, I knew from the summary that this would be something else. And I like that. I mean, why would an author pretty much write the same book over and over again?
I admit that it took me a while to really get into the story, mostly because there's just so much to this world you don't know and while I thought her writing style is as engaging as ever, it did take a little bit longer for me to connect to the MCs here than it did with Rose, I really liked both Justin and Mae! They are both very strong, very well fleshed out main characters, flaws and all, and I love that! They're complicated and human and just full of character and though I didn't necessarily always agree with their choices, I could root for them and for me that's really important. I loved that Mae is actually the strongest physically of the two.
This world that Richelle Mead has created in Gameboard of the Gods is fascinating! There's a whole set of rules and intrigue and I loved all the religions that were mentioned! It's fascinating that with religion pretty much being banned, all these little cults pop up and Christianity isn't really all that big anymore.
And seriously, I LOVED the paranormal twist on all this! The book definitely got more excited once that part started creeping into the storyline and I was amazed by how much I was enjoying reading it then! It was a bit slow to start, but in the end it was so worth sticking with this book! It probably helped that I had a lot of time on my hands and could just read a huge part of it at a time.
If you're expecting VA, you'll be disappointed (just like so many people were that The Casual Vacancy wasn't Harry Potter), but if you go into Gameboard of the Gods with an open mind and heart, I think you can definitely come to love this new series that Richelle Mead has crafted! It's a bit dark and mature and I really enjoyed it!
My rating: 4 stars