Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the Gods  (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton
Publication date: June 4th
Number of pages: 464
Format: E-format via Netgalley
Preorder: Amazon | The Book Depository (Free Shipping)

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 originally reviewed this when I receieved an arc for it, but a few months ago, I decided to buy the book and give it another shot thinking that maybe I was a little hasty with when I first read it.
I'm glad I did because I ended up liking it a lot more than I first did. Funny how those things can happen, right?

We're quickly introduced to Mae, who after the death of a friend (and maybe more than that?), one of the members of the miltary's most elite, gets sent to pick up someone who has been exiled because they need the experience and his talents for a case that only he can solve.  Mae doesn't know who he is or what it's concerning, doesn't know what he looks like either, so when she meets Justin at a party who saves her from a group of thugs, the two of them hit it off instantly...

Justin... I loved him. He isn't your normal hero, but then again, Richelle never does things the easy way, and so he has a complicated past, invisible friends and a prophecy if it ever comes to pass, it would spell no good things for him, and he would do anything he can to stop that from coming true.
But sometimes... not everything will go the way you wish or want it to... Justin knows this first hand.

Mae, I came to like her. She was strong with also a complicated past with a complicated family life she doesn't like to speak of. I felt she and Justin connected because of their common interests, their lonliness and their sad souls. I bet they never expected to meet again after their first encounter, but sometimes things are meant to be whether or not you want them to be.  I really adored the relationship between them.  It's not an easy one, and I have a feeling it's gonna be one that is a work-in-progress for the series.  They may have had some moments, but I wouldn't say they have a romance in this book. It's more like a beginning, but it can only envolve and progress from here on out.

The world-building was fascinating. The first time Richelle has done dystopia/sci fi, and I think I like it. It's certainly different, but I can't wait to see how the series folds and pans out in the next book, because the end certain sets things up nicely, especially where it comes Justin+Mae, plus Justin's little prophecy  he needs to be concerned with.

If you haven't given this a shot, then go ahead, you may end up being surprised.

Rating: 4/5

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