Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Genre: Adult Dystopia & Mythology
Release Date: Jun 4 / 2013
Publisher: Dutton Adult
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 was fairly surprised by Gameboard of the Gods. I thought I wouldn't like it because of all the negative reviews it has gotten, but I actually liked it a lot. It has a completely different taste from the bestselling Vampire Academy / Bloodlines series. That doesn't make it bad though. It just probably wouldn't be appealing to some VA fans.
Vampire Academy is more about vampires (of course), romance, action, and a supernatural side. Gameboard of the Gods has all of those aspects (except vampires) but it just has different taste than VA. It's a dystopian novel more about government and mythology. I really enjoyed the world-building and the myth behind the murder cases.
The plot moves at a good pace but the romance was a bit frustrating for me. There were a bunch of complication to Mae and Justin's relationship. If they had sex, Justin would be bound to an unknown god and all that drama. I just wish that would get dissolved in the second book.
A lot of gods and goddesses are introduced in this book. I'm familiar with them as I spent my childhood obsessed with Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse mythology. Apollo and Artemis are mentioned. Some others I won't say or this might get spoilery.
I really enjoyed reading about the murder case. It was easy for me to figure out who the killers were but I just didn't know which god / goddess they served. But it was interesting to follow along their line of thinking all the same. The way Justin thinks is different. He's always observing and thinking about people's actions in his head. I also really should've known who Justin's mysterious god is! I'm so into mythology but I never gave it much thought -___-
Gameboard of the Gods is really different from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series but I love it! I would've never known the author was Richelle Mead. It had different aspects and strong points that were enjoyable.