Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ARC Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Dutton Adult
Series: Age of X #1
Pages: 464 Pages (Hardcover)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 4, 2013
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 had pretty high expectations for this one. Mead is a really good writer and I love everything I read from her so far.  THIS actually did exceed my expectations. Gameboard of the Gods is rather different from Mead's usual paranormal adult and young adult books. I was taken aback how much Mead has honed her craft since her first Vampire Academy book. Don't get me wrong, I think they are good, but this is seriously good stuff. Even while reading Gameboard I took note of it, but once I finished and all came together it was undeniable. In my opinion this is one of Mead's best works.

Mead mixed sci-fi, dystopia, mythology and mystery to make up a fast paced intricate plot, that kept me guessing and hoping at once. It's a Mead book so its fast and kick-ass, just what I like about her. But at the same time, there is depth to it and it made me think for a bit after. The first half or so has quite a bit of technical terms in it, being a geek I really enjoyed them though.

The character building is superb, I think Mead has always been good at this probably my favorite part of her writing. I happily would read her books even if they would be totally character based. To my amazement she manages to improve with each piece she write on this aspect. And in Gameboard she came up with faceted intriguing and captivating characters. The two MC's Mae and Justin are flawed, likable and extremely different, at least on the surface. They have palpable chemistry and I loved seeing how their relationship evolved just as much as the two characters. The support characters though were extremely well written as well and I think they highlighted the different aspects of the MC's superbly. As example Justin's relationship with Tessa on the one end highlights how protected and naive she is (Justine being the opposite) but it also shows that Justin has a generous and sweet side to him.

The world building is incredible! Mead created a post-apocalyptic world made up with pieces of the  world we know today, old school mythology and great sci-fi. It's so well done that it is totally believable and more importantly it's fresh and exciting and unique. I just must say, I loved the ravens!

Mead's prose was always beautiful and really great, and she does deliver another well written book. While this is really different than her previous books, it still is recognizably her style.  Her descriptions of the characters feelings and their relationship with others left an impression on me, that stayed with me for days and made me think about it. Which in means that Gameboard of the Gods will probably made it into my favorite books and definitely is one of my favorite releases in 2013 so far.

My only minor criticism- the lusting for each other but cant have each other romance. It's kinda Mead's MO i guess and to be honest she does it so well, that I didn't mind too much.

Fabulous action scenes, well crafted mystery, fascinating world building and likable interesting character left me wanting more! I'm looking forward where Mead will take this exciting and fabulous new series.

ARC was provided by Publishers through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

(click on the name for more reviews of this geek)


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