***This review was written and posted on Goodreads in August of 2013***
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Adult
Released on: June 4th, 2013
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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.
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 Xseries, 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.
Pure excellence. Vivid imagery. Charming wit. and wonderful character development that drove this amazing novel to 5 stars.
Right from the start, where a certain badass super soldier finds herself in the midst of a one night stand with a genius con-man of sorts, I knew this book was going to be great. The world in which Mead immerses her readers into is so intricately woven and complex but in the best sort of way. At times I had to reread certain parts in order to understand all the different “wars” and “declines” and “diseases” that occurred in this futuristic world. But that’s just because I tend to be a little slower on the facts.
The air of mystery in this novel was fantastic! Mead did an excellent job at making the reader feel part of the investigation and often times I found myself reading along with my own theories in mind. It was wonderful to read that my theory was indeed correct ;D Justin March would be very proud…
On that note, the characters that Mead created here are astounding and deeply complex on a superb level. Of course, as the lovely Mead has admitted herself, Dr. Justin March does indeed remind readers of her other beloved character, Adrian Ivashkov from her VA & Bloodlines series (also other fantastic reads). However, the two could not be more opposite. Opposite in that Justin March is far more stubborn in his ways and allows his stubbornness to keep him from the one person he truly cares about. His reason? To not be bound to a higher being. I screamed at Justin oftentimes in the book “JUST SUBMIT AND SERVE YOUR GOD” but alas, Justin remains the stubborn one. The character of Mae (her last name is super cool but I can’t spell it for the life of me) is so fierce and strong that I clung to her backstory fiercely. This is a woman who grew up with her life already planned but found a different calling, one that had deep ramifications for her in the long run. I can admire that tremendously.
Other characters such as Tessa, Dom, and Leo (I think that’s his name; I don’t have the book in front of me so bare with me) were all fabulous as well. And I have to get this out there… I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT DOM, OKAY?! There’s a story there in him and I am dying to know more.
I need to create a separate paragraph for Justin’s birds, Magnus and Horatio because they were an excellent addition! I loved their ominous messages throughout the novel (despite the fact that Justin hated them ha!). And they definitely created an air of wisdom in this book. They also served as a good indicator to Justin’s thoughts even if he doesn’t know it. I mean the birds are in his mind for years (i think), so it’s understandable that they would be a sound reflection on his thoughts, right?
Pacing was great! It went from some steamy romance, to humor and wit, to mystery, straight to action and all over again. The ending, oy, I was FREAKING OUT. The mixture of mythology in the book, while also combining her new futuristic world was at times confusing, BUT I stuck it out and reread some parts and all was good. So don’t get turned off by all the new information, run with it because in the end IT ALL MAKES SENSE.
I was so enthralled with this book and I’m extremely glad I picked it up! I am very excited to see where Richelle takes her new Age of X series.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This book is very different from her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines books. So don’t go into this expecting something like those books. Dive into this book with fresh eyes and an open mind! REMEMBER, THIS IS NOT A YA NOVEL. IT’S ADULT. So it will be different, if not completely opposite, from VA and Bloodlines.
MY RATING: 5/5