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Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
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Gameboard of the Gods

by Richelle Mead

Series: Age of X (1)

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GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS begins a new adult series for Mead. It takes place in a dystopian future. Mae Koskinen is a praetorian soldier - the best of the best. She is also a member of a high class social group though she has cast them aside to be a soldier.

Justin March is an exiled serivitor currently living in Panama. He was exiled because he wrote something in a report that indicated that he believes in the gods that his society has outlawed. Religion and the worship of any god is partially blamed for a devastating plague that wiped out huge numbers of people. Justin is from a lower class who clawed and struggled using his wit, charm, and ability to discern patterns to reach his high position.

He is called back from exile and assigned Mae to guard him when a series of murders takes place that seem to have religious overtones.

Unbeknownst to his superiors, Justin has made part of a bargain with a mysterious god though he is clinging to a loophole to keep from swearing to the god. Unbeknownst to her, Mae is under siege by another god who wants to take her over. Even though Justin is attracted to her, making love to her will complete his bargain with his mysterious god which leads him to be cruel to rebuff her. That really doesn't help their working relationship!

As they investigate, they learn more and more secrets about hidden cults, mysterious gods, and what it means for their government. I enjoyed this story which had wonderful characters and strong relationships between them.

Fans of fantasy will enjoy this one too. ( )
  kmartin802 | Aug 28, 2016 |
2.5

Sadly this book didn't hit the spot for me. I'm a huge fan of Richelle Mead, and I just couldn't get into this book as much as her other works. It took me right at a week to push myself through this book.

My biggest problem is I couldn't connect with the characters. Mae is hardened, and never lets anyone in. She doesn't read between the lines, everything is cut and dry for her. She's rigid, and just kind of blah. (If that makes any sense.) I liked Justin a bit more. He has a sense of humor, but his arrogance annoyed the hell out of me. He refuses to give in to what's directly in front of him. He also plays with people's emotions entirely too much. The one character I loved was Tessa. She's a sweet girl that's thrown into a new world. She adjusts well, and acts like any teenager would. She's also incredibly intelligent, and she's not given enough credit for how much she's able to pick up.

I liked the idea of the story. It was just very drawn out. You only get little snippets of information. To me, they are just kind of thrown in there. The last quarter of the book was pretty fast paced. The other thing I didn't like was the lack of information on the religious groups. You get that they are worshiping gods & goddesses, but you don't learn much more about them. Just a small bit about them, and then they move on. I would have liked to know these deities that the people in the provinces thought were great.

I don't know that I'll continue with this series. I may one day just to see where the story goes, but it's not at the top of my TBR shelf. I will say, if you are a fan of futuristic societies, this one will intrigue you. It was interesting to see a world without gods, and the effects that has on everybody. ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
I was lucky enough to attend a YA Penguin event a few months ago, and Gameboard of the Gods was one of their showcase books. I don't usually read YA novels, however when I found out that this was actually classified as 'adult' or 'new adult' I thought I would give it a try.

As much as I tried to love it, I just couldn't. It was entertaining enough, but the story lacked structure and the characters any substance.

Probably my biggest disappointment was with the dystopian world Mead created. In most of the dystopian novels I have read (1984, Brave New World, even Delirium (YA)) you get a sense of what occurred before a great decline and some of the reasons why the dystopian elements are implemented. However, with Gameboard of the Gods it seems the reader just has to accept that this is the way the world is now, without any explanation. I want to know what happened to lead to this Decline and the ban on religion.

It seemed to me that so little time was spent on the actual 'point' of the novel (the solving of mysterious serial murders) and so much time spent describing the characters getting high or drunk. Yes, I get that Justin is a womanising egomaniac who has a problem with addiction, but do I have to hear about how much he drinks in every chapter? Also, I felt like this substance abuse was glamourised (like we are back at University trying to out chug each other) and not in the serious manner that adult addiction should be treated.

It's a good idea. Perhaps the next book will address the world building issues better, and maybe Justin will stop acting like a first class a-hole! ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
This book had great potential, but did not quite reach it. ( )
  mtunquist | Nov 29, 2015 |
This book had great potential, but did not quite reach it. ( )
  mtunquist | Nov 29, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 052595368X, Hardcover)

Richelle Mead, the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines YA series—whose books have sold more than one million copies in hardcover—debuts on the Dutton list with Gameboard of the Gods, the first novel in her Age of X series.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:11 -0400)

"Richelle Mead, the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines YA series--whose books have sold more than one million copies in hardcover--debuts on the Dutton list with Gameboard of the Gods, the first novel in her Age of X series. 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"--… (more)

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