Synopsis: 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.
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Page Count: 464
Edition: Kindle (Galley provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Rating: 3/5 stars
Mae Koskinen and Justin March live in futuristic North America called RUNA. Neither know each other until the fateful night which they meet-twice-and their lives change. Mae is a praetorian, which is an elite soldier with a chip to improve their abilities. At a friend's funeral, Mae starts a fight with another praetorian, which gets her punished. She gets sent to Panama to pick up a Dr. March. Justin March is living in exile in the province of Panama. He is in exile for unknown reasons until later in the book. Some events occur and the two meet. They have a one night stand thinking they'll never see each other again. They were wrong. (Obviously)
I am so sad I had to give this a three star rating. I love Richelle Mead's VAMPIRE ACADEMY series so much. I went into this thinking it was going to wow me. It did and it kind of didn't. I'll just start off with the good things first.
Richelle Mead always writes a tough, cool, and awesome female leads. Mae was no exception. She was tough, smart, and independent. Mae has really bad family issues and a past love that she can't forget(not for reasons you'd think). I enjoyed reading about her. Justin...let's not get into him now. I mean, I liked how interesting things happened to him. I just didn't like him. Tessa was an okay character. I don't know why we had to read from her POV but it was okay.
The whole concept of GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS was so interesting and awesome. The world building was done in such a subtle way that I barely realized I was getting a RUNA 'history lesson'. The RUNA(or Gemman society as some call it) was so freaking cool. It is almost like I imagine our future going. Well, except for the Cain thing. I liked how Richelle Mead went into more pagan religion other than the typical ones you hear about today. And the ending with this Nordic God(can't say without giving away spoilers) was so well done.
GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS had so much action. Every chapter had drama and action. There was no in between for it. It was just constant action. After reading so many romance-y dystopians, it's nice to read a pure action one. Oh yeah. There isn't a lot of romance in this book. Just a lot of meaningless sex(wasn't a huge fan of that).
Now for the things I didn't like and got this book three stars.
I hated how slow this book was. Yes, I did read it in four or five days. Yes, I read a lot of it every day. But it felt like a chore just to read a few chapters. They were all so long and something about the writing or pacing just made it hard to read. I felt like it took FOREVER just to finish one chapter. Don't get me wrong, it was very interesting. It was just so long.
I didn't like Justin. I know, I know. He was described as being arrogant and acknowledged it. But I thought he would change near the end of the book. Instead he got worse.
The last thing I want to mention was how this book just didn't wow me. I waited and waited for a moment where I could say "Wow, this is so good!" but it never came. It was really just okay. Nothing stood out to me. I could have cared less about what happened the characters. The climax didn't have me at the edge of my seat. The action scenes felt bland. The characters were just okay. I'm hoping this series gets better, but for now, I'm not going to set my expectations high.