Publisher: Dutton Adult
Source: eARC from NetGalley and the publisher for review
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 Xseries, 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.This is going to be a hard review. This book is filled with mystery, the paranormal, fights, political intrigue and even magic. However, what it has little of is plot. Because of that the other aspects of the book often seemed to get muddled and although not confusing, but not clear either. At the same time I kept reading having to know more about this world and the secrets our characters were either keeping or had to find out about themselves.
What was unusual about this book was the world building and character building. In this book it reigned supreme. It was well done and well written, but I can see a lot of people become either anxious or even bored with some aspects of this drawn out build. I do enjoy a good world building so I was able to be captivated by what was presented. It was a world turned upside down and tried to get rid of vices and what some deemed as "dangerous". As with anything that is taken to extremes, zealots reign on both sides of the equation. What you try to get rid of you just create in another fashion. It was an interesting take.
In the end I give this book 3 stars. The writing was wonderful, but I did get frustrated at times wanting the grand mystery supporting the characters solved (it does in the end... no cliffies). Plus, now that the world is established I'm looking forward to the second book in this series. I believe this series has the potential to blow me away. I do recommend this book to those that enjoy a good world building and a unique take on mythology and excellent writing.