Title/Author: The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2) by Richelle Mead
Publisher/Date published: Dutton Adult, May 29th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect — special humans marked by the divine — are turning against one another in bloody fashion.
Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.
Meanwhile, Mae — grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine — has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.
***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES***
I really enjoyed Gameboard of the Gods, the first book in this series, especially towards the ends when things got a little more paranormal and I was going YES PLEASE! So I was SO excited to get approved for The Immortal Crown!
And guys, Richelle Mead did not disappoint with this sequel! It's definitely not an adult version of Vampire Academy and I like that. I like that Richelle Mead is versatile enough as a writer to go a different way and create this world and intriguing plot and set of characters! I like that the story takes off a little bit after where we left Justin and Mae and the others in Gameboard of the Gods. There's no elaborate rehashing of the first book's plot and while the finer details have probably escaped me over the course of a year, I had no problem diving right in again. Though I did trip over the word 'ego' again, before remembering it's what they call the thing they use to communicate and get on the internet and such.
So Justin and Mae dive into another paranormal mystery, a bit by choice and a bit by accident and seriously, the paranormal thing is awesome. I LOVE the little bits of mythology and at this thing that happens towards the end: I TOTALLY knew who it was before the name was revealed! Yes I'm being vague, I know. I'm getting more and more fond of the ravens inside Justin's head, they are amazing, provide insight and a little comic relief every now and then. I especially loved how Justin is coming more to terms with his role in all of it and seeing him use his talents to spread the word so to speak was really enjoyable.
Aside from all the political intrigue and the side plots, I think one of the things I loved about this book was the amazing chemistry between Mae and Justin. These two are SO good together, they fit together flaws and all and I loved seeing them grow closer and Mae seeing Justin for who he is instead of who he pretends to be. And there was this huge romantic moment and I was like YES! And obviously my YES was a bit too soon and OMG, I just need them to make it right ok?
Mae continues to kick major ass and I love her for that. It was hard for her to adjust to Arcadia's restrictive views on what a woman should and should not be allowed to do. I get it. I'm not an ass-kicker and I would have felt repressed there. I liked that I could see parallels with some modern day cultures and the Arcadian culture, even though I want to imagine we'll some day live in a world in which this doesn't exist anymore.
So Richelle Mead definitely delivered with The Immortal Crown! It was full of intrigue, excitement which kept me on the edge of my seat and kept making me want to put down stuff I was doing and just read more of it. And also: the romance was SO good, and not overpowering the rest of the story. So yes, I'll definitely be reading the third book when it comes out!
My rating: 4 stars