Gameboard of the Gods – Richelle Mead

Summary:
The truth is, when you banish the gods from the world, they eventually come back-with a vengeance.
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March is a former investigator of religious groups who was sent into exile after a failed job, a fate that has left the brilliant servitor bitter and free to indulge his addictive personality. Suddenly, Justin is sent home to the Republic of United North America (RUNA) with a peculiar assignment-to solve a string of ritualistic murders steeped in seemingly unexplainable phenomena.
Justin’s unexpected return comes with an even bigger shock: His new partner and bodyguard, Mae, is a praetorian, one of the elite and deadly supersoldiers of the RUNA. Her inexplicably perfect beauty and aristocratic upbringing pique Justin’s avid curiosity-and his desire-though her true nature holds more danger than anyone realizes.
As their investigation unfolds, Justin and Mae find themselves in the path of terrible danger. Mysterious enemies and powers greater than they can imagine have begun to assemble in the shadows, preparing to reclaim a world where humans are merely gamepieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first novel of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, delivers all the elements that have made her bestselling Vampire Academy series a breakout success: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and breathless action and suspense.

Review:
Richelle Mead became an auto-buy author for me the minute I fell in love with Dimitri from Vampire Academy. When I heard she was coming out with the Age of X series I was intrigued. I looked into it and became unsure. They didn’t really seem like my kind of books. After reading Gameboard of the Gods, I completely a thousand percent take it back. This series may end up becoming one of my favorites.
Gameboard of the Gods was a fantastic book, for many reasons. It had an amazing story line, one I’d never read before. It was a seriously unique book. It was a mix between mythological, futuristic, romantic, adventurous. Gameboard of the Gods had a little bit of everything. Which is, I think, why I liked it so much. It took me a little longer than usual to finish this book. Partially because it’s a long book, and partially because I just moved and that took up a chunk of my reading time. When I wasn’t reading, all I wanted to do was finish this book. There were a couple slow parts that were interesting but dragged at points. The suspense was probably the worst for me, it almost killed me. I just wanted to know where the story was headed. It didn’t really have a huge cliffhanger, but it definitely ended leaving me wanting more. I don’t think the title for the second book in the series has even been release, let alone a date that it will be coming out. Which is infuriating because I just want to know what’s going to happen next. Isn’t that every readers worst nightmare?
Now, onto the characters, which is always my favorite part. Gameboard of the Gods mainly follows Justin March and his life, but it also jumps around a few other important characters. Justin March was a very interesting main character. He has so many secrets that all eventually come to light. I think Justin tries to have his head on straight and his heart in the right place, but he’s only human. In the beginning we see him indulging in everything that’s bad for him. Gambling, drinking, doing anything and everything he can to deal with being in exile. We get to see more of who he really is when we meet our next important character. He shows who he really is when he’s around Tessa and her family. Justin has a lot of quirks, one of them being the voices in his head. I’m going to try to explain the best I can without giving anything away. The voices are a pest to him mostly, but end up helping him significantly at times. His voices are probably some of the funnest parts of the book, but they also give us quite a bit of information without giving too much away. As a whole, I liked Justin. He does the best he can to do what he thinks is right and I think that’s very admirable.
Mae, the praetorian, is loyal to her government. She does what she’s supposed to, when she’s supposed to do it. When we first meet Mae she’s just lost the love of her life. She tries to keep herself collected and together, but snaps at one point. The consequences of her brief breakdown are what leads her to be Justin’s bodyguard. The relationship that forms between the two of them is very complicated and describing it without giving any of the story away is pretty hard. Mae tends to bring out the asshole in Justin because it’s what he thinks is the easiest way to handle the situation. Mae tries her hardest to be emotionless and in control of everything, but usually ends up in over her head. I like Mae for the most part, there a definitely some points in the story where she isn’t my favorite. She is sometimes indecisive and never asks for any help with whats going on with her, which is always something that irks me. If she just asked for help everything would be so much easier on her! Overall, I really liked Mae, she stands up for what she believes in, and she does everything she can for those she cares about, even if she won’t admit she cares about them.
Next is Tessa. Tessa is the daughter of someone who helped Justin when he needed it. So when he is asked to come back to the RUNA one of his conditions is that he is allowed to bring Tessa so she can have a better life. Tessa doesn’t really have any options at home, other than marrying. In the RUNA she can go to school, live in a whole different society with a whole different lifestyle. When Tessa moves to the RUNA she’s kind of awkward at first, which is understandable. I think Tessa handles this life changing event relatively well. She’s considered an outsider at school and is talked about and treated differently by almost everyone. She makes a couple of friends that really end up helping her adapt to her new life. I liked Tessa, she has all these changes thrown at her and she just keeps moving forward, going with the flow, making the best out of whats given to her.
There are a few other characters that play a part in this story, but the three I mentioned are the most important. I liked most of the other characters, except the obvious antagonists because they’re meant to be portrayed as assholes. I loved Gameboard of the Gods so much. I can’t wait for the second to come out and see where Richelle Mead is going to take these characters. I suggest this book to anyone that loves romance, or action, or futuristic settings, or anything mythological because Gameboard of the Gods has all this and more. Something that should be kept in mind is that this is in fact an adult series, not young adult. There are some parts that are a little inappropriate for the younger readers.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

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