Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ARC Book Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Title: Gameboard of the Gods
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Date of Publication: June 4, 2013
Source: publisher via Net Galley
Genre: adult mythology, paranormal, romance
Links to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From Goodreads:
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.

My Thoughts:

This was a hard book to read and I found it was even harder to review.  Now, please throw your torches away; I didn't say it was bad.  I just said it was a hard book to follow.  
It felt all over the place, even though you do get some world building in it, the story kinda tells it as you go and personally, I felt lost a little bit.  I found myself going back, checking on what certain terms meant, and so on. 
You know how some fantasy books have terms and definitions in the beginning so you have a little heads up.  I think this book should definitely invest in one of those nifty little things.
So for the world building it was a love hate relationship for me.  I would have liked more world building but what we did get was descriptive and definitely painted a strange new alternate world.  
The character development made up for the lack of world building for me though.  I fell in love with Mae.  She is a complex woman that doesn't follow any set rules for how she needs to be.  I love that she is a fighter.  I really have this amazing respect for strong women who can defend their own and just about everyone else too.  Mae is that woman!  For me, it seemed like I really was drawn to Mae, while the rest of the world feared her.  Maybe that is what did it for me too; the vulnerability that she keeps deep inside.  
Justin March, on the other hand, was such a douche.  Yes, he has this bad boy attitude, yes he is very smart, yes he has other promising qualities but......I just could not like him.  
He had his moments, though, that I did say "maybe" for him but in the end I wasn't really impressed with him as the main male lead.  But I think that wasn't  because he was badly written; he was actually written really well to incite such intense distaste that I had for him.  
This is of course a romance story and it is front and center.  There is also a murder mystery but it doesn't really seem to be the full focus of the novel.  It seems like they glaze over it and then boom they solve it.  There are details but I really felt lost in it all.  
I did like the interesting concept of a rule over religions.  That definitely captured my attention and was original.  
Overall, Gameboard of the Gods has a Greek feel to it with terms like plebians, patricians, and the strictness of it all.  But that isn't the only gods that are possible in this book.  
That is what saved it for me for this book. The mythology and power of the different gods.  Also the beliefs of the Runa that they could control and destroy these entities makes for a great read.  I love mythology and this was an interesting take on it for an adult read.  
I give it 3 out of 5 hearts!

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