Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)
Good Reads Summary
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.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Hmmm, I was not expecting a murder-mystery. Yes, it’s set in the future. And yes, there’s all that society that’s controlled talks plus the religion as well as the science and genetic manipulation, so maybe, I was expecting something else, but what I did get... while different was not necessarily bad.

So sure, I was missing some of what I liked in her other books: the humor, the funnies and the zing between the leads. Reading VA and her Succubus books was easy because they were funny while dealing with whatever it was they were dealing with. Here both Mae and Justin were almost too serious…even when Justin was being imperfect. I think the hardest thing for me was seeing them for who they were because I was waiting for something out of Succubus/VA (the funny and sexy, you know? Or even the female lead focus.) OK so the former’s not completely absent in this one; it just took a while for me to shift gears and go with things.

The leads in this one are almost too smooth at whatever it is that they do. She’s the perfect soldier; he’s the best guy at his job. But I was never 100 % rooting for either of them, mainly because I didn’t quite like Justin (I could have, though. There were moments in this almost had me liking him, but how he complicated matters for him and her. In the end, I just didn’t get why.) And her, I liked her more than I did him… except I don’t know why that is exactly since there’s not that much to root for in her too.

There are a couple of threads to follow in this one, the first is Mae and who she is: perfect soldier with a past, a past that sets her apart from her rest of the perfect soldiers. Then the whole that plebeian and patrician divide… it was interesting details like those that kept me glued despite the almost over long laying down of the world and why’s and how’s that went on early on. The second was Justin in exile and why that was as well as who he meets there. It’s in the last that allows for one other interesting character to enter the picture: Tessa (I expect great things out of the story because of her.) Then there’s the bulk of this story: how their two stories come together and what they’re tasked to do; enter Meads’ version of mythology, it’s in the second half where things were getting good: more than one mysterious appearance, then more questions, and then the both of them following clues toward unexpected reveals.

I will be reading the next one, obviously.   




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