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 X series, 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.
Having read Richelle Mead's other series, I was not expecting this book by a long shot. The idea is wonderful; a post apocalyptic world controlled by a fierce government and strict laws. A world where citizens must have chips implanted into their bodies to track them, and pregnancy is punishable by law if not first approved through the hierarchy of rule. Where a race of humans, implanted with a chip that controls their neurotransmitters, are transformed into deadly killing machines. It is a terrifying futuristic world, yet every scenerio proposed by Mead is highly plausible in our world as it is today. The possibility of this someday becoming our world is in the back of the reader's mind, mentally creating an immediate sense of connection to the story. My biggest problem with the world was the class system in place. It brought me back to my Theology class and the Hindu caste system. In a world as modern as the one that Mead creates, racism at this magnitude is unrealistic.
I found myself not really connecting with the characters as well as I have in previous books by the author. Written in a dual POV, I could not find a connection with Mae or Justin. They never seemed entirely real to me. The dual POV didn't flow as well as it should, having to read an event happening again from another perspective a couple of pages later was frustrating at times. The sexual tension between the two main characters was palpable throughout the entire book, so much so that I felt it. Although the plot itself was original and creative, and the world was crafted wonderfully, the flow of the book felt off to me. Richelle Mead went out on a line here with this one, and I hope it will pay off in future Age of X books. Will I continue to read this series? Absolutely! Was it the author's best work? Not by a long shot...
"Mae removed a gun from her purse and laid it on a nearby table. Then she took out a smallergun that had been at her waist, hidden by the knee-length jacket she'd put on in the plane. Lastly, she pulled out a knife from her boot. Really, asked Justin. Who keeps a knife in their boot? No one ever expects the knife, she said..."-Richelle Mead
Tags: urban fantasy, book review, richelle mead, age of x, vampire academy, bloodlines, mythology, like covenant series, like percy jackson series, paranormal, adult, young adult book review, ya