Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Age of X #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars!!!
Release Date: June 4, 2013
The Overview: 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.
Anything Richelle Mead does is golden, and this book is another example of why she is my favorite author! From the prologue all the way to the last page, I was completely entertained by the story, the world, and the character development. Set as a futuristic urban fantasy, which is original in itself, the novel draws from worldwide mythology, making it one of the most unique books I’ve read in a while. Top that off with crime-solving detective work and just a touch of romance, and you have yourself a killer novel! I always appreciate Mead for her originality and creativity, and I think she might have outdone herself here.
A few weeks ago I criticized an author for switching perspectives and having too many things going on at once for me to feel invested in the story and the characters. Gameboard of the Gods is a shining example of how to weave multiple storylines without losing any momentum. Each perspective was intertwined with the main plot and they were introduced in a way that allowed me time to develop a sense for each person and their inner demons. Every protagonist directly added to the building of the plot, which is the best way to keep readers from becoming distracted when the perspective switches.
I thought the character development was one of the strongest elements of the story. I always marvel about how she can make flawed characters so likable. Maybe it’s because they come across as real human beings, rather than ideal figments of the author’s mind. Right from the beginning, we know a bit about what drives these characters and the inner conflicts they face. The prologue where we meet Mae was incredibly powerful; my only wish is that Mead would’ve represented the physical manifestations of her flaws a bit more throughout the book. In any case, I won’t be forgetting these characters any time soon.
Overall, the storyline was fantastic – plenty of intelligent plot decisions, the perfect amount of complexity, and a snowballing momentum that will keep you up all night. It was truly a well-conceived book, and I am doubly excited to see where she takes it next!
Other books you might like:
- Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead (my favorite of her works)
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
- Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
- Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
- Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison