Series: Age of X #1
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalleyRelease Date: June 4, 2013
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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 mega successes: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.
I was really excited about this book when I first heard about it, though I haven't read anything by Richelle Mead before, I've heard so many awesome things about her writing, and I thought this was a perfect series for me to get into since it was just starting out. There is a lot going on in this book that it definitely takes some time to get through it (at least it did for me). The story is told from three perspectives, that of Justin, Mae, and a teenage girl living with Justin, named Tessa (she really intrigued me).
I found I had some trouble really getting into the book in the beginning, I was confused about the world and I did not like the main characters. Justin was full of himself, he is an alcoholic, womanizer and addicted to drugs and to get him through the day, and really doesn't seem to care about anyone else. Mae, I liked a little more in the beginning she is strong, being a member of the military, but there is still something off-putting about her. What I did find was that as I learned more about these characters, I began to trust them more and actually start liking them (Mae more so than Justin). I really loved the slow build up to find out everything that she dealt with and why she acts the way she does, but I understood her a lot more by the end of the book.
I did like that as time went on, Justin did learn that it's not always about himself. I found he grew as the novel progressed, mind you it was a very slow kind of growth, but he begins to care for others around him. I found that Tessa had a large influence on his character and really helped him through things. She was an interesting character and I hope to see more of her in the rest of the books.
The part of the book that really kept me reading was the mystery of these deaths. This was introduced in the beginning and then I felt like the story shifted for a little bit to give readers a chance to get to know the characters better, but once we got back on that subject I was hooked. I really loved the mythical history that Mead adds in to this book and it made me want to read up more on some of the gods that are mentioned. Some of the ideas that came out were intriguing, and after the ending that Mead leaves readers with, I really want to know what happens next.
I'm glad I didn't give up on this book when I was thinking about it because in the end I really enjoyed it and I hope to see these characters grow more as the series continue. I will say this book is not for everyone, the characters take time to warm up to.