May 27, 2013

ARC Review--Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

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.

I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Richelle Mead is heading into new territory with her new adult series Age of X! Gameboard of the Gods is far, far different from her Dark Swan and Georgina Kincaid series. Here is a world set in the future where people don't really believe in gods or the supernatural. Religion is a sketchy thing at best, there are religions in the society, but it's not totally kosher. Told through multiple third person points of view, it wasn't hard to make the switches throughout chapters and it was pretty easy to tell who was speaking.

I was excited to dive into this new world of Richelle's, yet I struggled throughout trying to figure the world out. The plot and characters, romance, action--all that other good stuff--was good, very good. It's just the world was a little complicated for me to grasp. Mostly this stuff about religion and gods. That and a few bits of the new technology, took me an extra long pause to realize ego is a cell phone, particularly a smart phone, but futuristic like!

I guess after finishing it, I can say that the society chooses not to believe in gods or religion, yet it's real. Very real, as our heroine and hero will learn.

In the beginning of the story, Mae, is a part of an elite force that protects the city and it's citizens. But after an early scuffle, she is forced to work with Justin, who looks into things regarding religions and debunking them and breaking them up. I can't remember the terms used here, a glossary at the end will be most helpful, but I have no idea if that will happen! What it comes down to is that Justin--after having been in exile for four years, is brought back to the States in order to solve a set of ritualistic murders that appear to be slightly out of the ordinary. And that is precisely, Justin's speciality, in some sense.

Mae is to act as his protector, because his line of work can be very dangerous and it is imperative that Justin solves this case in four weeks, before the next full moon.

A few other things to know, is that when Mae first travels to Panama to bring Justin in, she meets him without realizing who he is, and he doesn't tell her either. There's a romantic interlude and when she later realizes who Justin is, this creates great friction between the two while they work on the case.

Justin is also "possessed" by two ravens in his head. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it has to do with the whole gods part of the series. The crows work for a particular god who is trying to get Justin's loyalty and fealty, he's close but Justin must do a few things before it's official and he is trying his hardest not to do them. And there's mystery surrounding who this god is. Justine doesn't know and the ravens won't tell him either until he is fully committed to being under their god's thumb, so to speak.

There's also a lot of secrecy going on in this story. For both Mae and Justin. Justin has his secrets he keeps from Mae, and yet there's a lot of mystery surrounding Mae still. She's definitely going to be a part in all things wack-a-doodle!

This was definitely an interesting read, despite my inability to totally grasp this new world I found myself in. The characters were fun, I liked Mae a lot. And Justin was a good guy too, underneath it all. He puts on a facade most of the time, but he has his reasons for it. It's just nerve-wracking, because sometimes Mae believes his acts.

The ending was good as well! The mystery was solved, but of course new mysteries were added on top of that! New suspicions were developed and most shocking of all, Justin figures out which god he made his deal with.

Being a devoted Mead fan, I have to say that Gameboard of the Gods was a gripping and stunning novel set in a new world that I could definitely get used to! This was an exciting read and I look forward to seeing where Richelle takes this series!

Overall rating 4.5/5 stars

Gameboard of the Gods releases June 4, 2013


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this so much Jessica! As you know, I had more trouble with it. It's always nice to pick up a book and just fall into it until the story is over :)


  2. I wasn't crazy about this one, but all of my GR friends have given it very high ratings. I'm glad you loved it!

    Cat @ A2H

  3. It sounds interesting and the title is very intriguing! I haven't read a lot of Mead stuff but I may give this a try. i hope the worldbuilding is good cuz I'm kind of a sucker for those!

  4. Sooo jealous! I want to read this book so bad! Great review(: Glad you liked it.

  5. I swear Richelle can't do any wrong with her writing. Once upon a time, I swore up and down that I'd never read Vampire Academy, but I did, and I loved it. I'm sure this will be no exception. Wonderful review, Jessica! :)

  6. Great review! I finished it yesterday and wrote my review and I think we have a lot of the same ideas! I found it hard to grasp the first half of the book, but once things started to fall into place I found it hard to put down!! I'm posting my review next week ;)

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  7. I'm glad you liked it! I was a little anxious because I saw a lot of mixed review while I liked it. I was wondering if I was the only one. Glad you're too!

  8. I keep seeing mixed reviews on this one. I don’t like books that are too long and that have too much world-building. I just want a good romance! But I freaking adore Richelle Mead (her Succubus Blues series is one of my all time favorites) and I really want to give this one a shot!
    Glad you liked it!

    Oh and I got your package this weekend (last weekend?). Thank you SO much!

  9. Well, I've read varied reviews for this one. I'm glad you enjoyed it so well, Jessica. I know I'll read it because I love Richelle's writing, but I think I'll try not to have expectations and keep an open mind! :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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