Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Age of X, Book 1

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I did not know at all that Richelle Mead was releasing a new series, so when I discovered the existence of this first volume, I rushed to ask for it. Did I read the summary? Not at all! I was so curious to have the opportunity to read a new book of this author I really appreciate.

Mae is an extraordinary young woman who lives in a world where everyone is fighting to survive. She is part of the army and can fight like no others. She is part of a special unit that handles dangerous missions, using their extraordinary talents because of the treatment they take. We discover our heroine at the beginning of the book who is suspended after a fight against a member of another unit. Her punishment is far from what she expected … In fact, she had to be part of a strange mission. She must find a member exiled from their homeland and deliver a letter. But this delivery does not stop there and she will be forced to team up with this man, a genius who loves to read and understand people. This ability is amazing when it comes to track down the false religions that are popping up all over the country. Our two heroes will therefore have to work together to discover the origin of some murders, an investigation that also leads them far beyond than each of them would have thought.

I must say that I was very surprised by this novel as it is far from what I had originally imagined. I think the Richelle Mead writing style is very different from what I had the chance to read before. Her other novels are usually very simple and lighter to read while this one is complex and original. We discover a different world from what we are used to meet and a world where there is an important army and each religion is controlled so they can’t become important. Each person has also a chip that is scanned each time they go somewhere, to determine who is a citizen of RUNA. This is a protected state and any life outside is quite difficult. It is very interesting to see how everything is governed and how events happen. We discover Mae and Justin, two completely different people. And while all the women swoon to Justin, who, it must be said, takes advantage of each of them. Mae is the only one to resist and counter his charms. Of course, the appearance also helps a lot with people, although unlike Justin, this is not something important to her. They will try to discover each others throughout the novel, gradually revealing their past and their hidden secrets. I was really curious about their lives and the choices they made to get there and each answer comes in time.

I enjoyed this story, we didn’t really understand what happened before the end of the book and it is true that we have many questions about the gods and the religions set. It’s really interesting to have a book on this subject, especially turned on this way. This novel opens up many fields for the future, especially with the introduction of many of the most interesting characters. I’m curious to learn more now and I would love to see how Justin will continue to evolve with Mae, given the strange relationship they both have created. A good first volume!

4

mellianefini

16 thoughts on “Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

  1. I love Richelle Mead as well! Her books are on my ‘auto-buy’ list 🙂

    I wonder if I would have loved Gameboard of the Gods more if I didn’t know as much as I do about the mythology? Because you are right, the writing is really good, and the way she spins her tale is excellent.

    Great review! Happy reading 🙂

  2. Nice review Melliane, and it is always fun to find a new book from a favourite author! I have some of her books on my shelves, and still have to start reading them. But someday …

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