Thursday, June 6, 2013

Richelle Meads' "Gameboard of the Gods"

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.

I was so anxious to read Richelle Meads' "Gameboard of the Gods" that when I was approved for a digital ARC, I was beyond thrilled. I have read Richelle's Vampire Academy, Bloodlines, Storm Born, and Succubus books, and this was one of my least favorites books of hers. I feel guilty giving this a 3 star rating, because 3 stars seems low, when in fact 3 stars means "liked it" which is a perfectly adequate rating. I've been reading some of the other reviews to see if anyone felt the same way I did and I was relieved to find that other people felt the same way. (My favorite review on Goodreads is by Becky {Somewhere Between The Pages} - she says everything I feel and I'm a little jealous my reviews aren't quite as eloquent yet).

I found the first 1/3 to 1/2 of this book really confusing. It jumps into Mae and Justin's lives sort of harshly, and some important things aren't mentioned until later in the book (I'm going to try a reread again at a later date because I think I might enjoy it more now that I know what's going on).

The main characters show similarities to her characters from other books (Mae is very much like Sydney, with a little extra kick-a%%, and Justin is rather similar to Adrian), and yet they just aren't as likable somehow. It might be because of the awkward jump into their lives, but even after finishing the book I don't really care what happens to Mae, and I'm only a little interested in what happens to Justin. 

I have a slightly more detailed review on Goodreads, but it's sort of spoiler-y so I cut out the spoiler parts for the blog.

This is a LONG book and there's a lot of stuff that doesn't seem important, at least on the first read through. It might be important later, but now, it's just extra stuff, adding to the confusion of the book's basis - a castal system with people of different castes, and a bunch of genetic mutations, and a lot of main characters. I think that there was just too much in this book to make it easy to follow. Different characters and points of view (it's 3rd person omniscient) and there's just so much. Too much. I will probably try a reread when the series is complete.

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