Gameboard of the Gods
(Age of X #1)
(Age of X #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia/Adult
Synopsis: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.
My Thoughts: So I pretty much had to read this book because it's Richelle Mead. After reading her VA series, how could I not. But I will let you know that this isn't a YA book, it's very adult. There is sex and a lot of sexual scenes and references throughout the book, so it's not appropriate for a younger teen. So why am I reviewing it here when we normally stick to YA? Well, like I said, it's Richelle Mead.
This book is told from a couple different PoV's. Justin, who's a servitor, meaning he investigates religions and makes sure they aren't becoming too powerful. But he's been exiled and we don't know why. What we do know is that he hears voices in his head. Which really confused me for the longest time because the voices were only ever referred to as the ravens and their names, Horatio and Magnus. So for the longest time I was wondering if he just had two giant ravens that followed him around and talked to him telepathically. Regardless, the RUNA needs Justins help, so his exile ends, for the time being.
Then there is Mae, a praetorian, basically a super soldier. She gets in a fight at a funeral and beats someone up, which gets her punished and landed with Justin as his bodyguard. There is some serious sexual tension between the two of them. Tons! Sometimes it was a bit funny to see them struggle not to rip off each others clothes. Other times I was mad at Richelle for stopping things!
Lastly is Tessa, who is a provincial girl. She's a teenager who was born outside of the RUNA, who justin brings back with him on a student visa. She has a lot of adjusting to do since life is very different between the two. But she is a very likeable character with her naivety.
There is a lot going on in this book. Justin and Mae have to solve a bunch of murders that have been happening. All of the signs point to a religious cult doing the murders. But they have to figure out which cult is doing it. Not so easy when just about every god has a following and there are hundreds of gods. So they have to find a pattern before it's too late. They only have a month.
Overall this is a really good read. It was a bit slow at times for me though. I think it was because I had a lot preventing me from reading it when I first started it, but it took me about a week longer than it should have to get through it. Like I said, it is an adult novel, so it's quite a bit longer than your average YA. Plus it's almost 470 pages, so no short adult novel either. Regardless of the length, it is good. Richelle Mead does a great job with her world building and give enough of a background that you know how things came to be the way they are. It could have possibly used a bit more of a history though. I loved that the capital was in Vancouver and all of Canada seemed to be included in the RUNA. You would think that in a dystopian, the government would be bad, but they weren't all bad and I agreed with a lot of their rules. Basically there were extreme gun laws and you had to register your religion. So it was a very peaceful place to live.
Would I recommend this read? Yes, I would. Just not to younger teens ;) Richelle Mead has another series for me to follow now! I'm not sure how she can write this much, but it's a good thing!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy!