Gameboard of the Gods
Official Stuff –
Author – Richelle Mead
Pages – 464
Series – Age of X
Publisher – Dutton Adult
Expected Release Date – June 4th 2013
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.
My Rating – 3 Stars
*I received an advanced digital copy of this novel from Netgalley on behalf of Dutton Adult*
In the future, the world has been torn apart by religious extremists and now religious is strictly regulated. A virus was released that wiped out half the Earth’s population and what was left reformed into new countries. RUNA from what I can understand is a combination of America and Canada. EA takes up, I believe, Asia. Inside these countries are castes or patrician land grants that were given to people of a specific group. (Asian, Nordic, Celtic, etc) That was all a bit confusing in the book.
Introduce Mae. She’s a praetorian; a soldier with an implant that makes her a super soldier and badass as hell. She’s basically a government killing machine. Mae’s former boyfriend (also a super soldier) has died and at his funeral, a member of his team picks a fight, blaming Mae for his death. Let’s just say Mae wipes the floor with her. This lands her on suspension and she is forced to go a special assignment.
Which brings us to Justin. He is living in Panama in exile. He was a servitor for RUNA, which is someone that investigates religions and determines if they illegally run cults. The RUNA government needs him back for a special investigation. Justin is a gorgeous, witty womanizer and something of a Sherlock type character. Though he’s described as brilliant and able to pick up small details he misses some mighty big clues.
Mae and Justin have one month to discover who has been symbolically murdering patricians. Now this sounds like it would be interesting and a fast paced murder mystery but it’s not. It skips over a lot of the actually investigating. I’ve only just finished the book and I’ve already forgotten what takes place in the middle of the book. It’s not very memorable. It’s about 150 pages too long and it drags. The character Tessa, though a “prodigy” she does give Justin some clues but I honestly felt she was a completely pointless character.
There are some definite interesting parts, mostly towards the end when it starts to pick up. The talk of gods coming back to reclaim the earth after they’ve been banned is cool. The characters have pretty extensive back stories, which was nice. You can see why they are the way they are. A lot of things where terrible confusing, like how the countries are set up. It was also a little disappointing that someone supposedly as good as his job as Justin would miss some glaringly obvious clues.
The rest of the series promises some mythology with a bit of supernatural mixed in. I really did like the characters Mae and Justin, so I’m invested in the story. I’m also hoping that the series gets better because I know Ms. Mead can do better.