Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Narrator: Emily Shaffer
Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins
Date Read: June 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
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.
Publisher: Dutton, Penguin Audio
Series: Age of X #1
Also by this author: Vampire Academy, Spirit Bound, The Immortal Crown, Vampire Academy, Vampire Academy br> br>
Also in this series: The Immortal Crown
Read for Review/Listened for Fun (Edelweiss/Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.50 (Not part of the overall rating)
NOTE: I feel the need to state this up front: When I tried Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead a year ago it was a DNF for me. I am fairly certain it was a combo of mood and this is a little outside my reading zone (fantasy is always hit/miss). A friend suggested I try it on audio and that made a world of difference to me. I was drawn into the story and didn’t get to bogged down in the areas that tripped me up before.
First Thought when Finished:Gameboard of Gods by Richelle Mead was a fascinating mixture of fantasy, mythology, and kick ass UF.
Story Thoughts: If you like stories based on mythology (not just Greek but at this point Norse too–going to guess more later) then I think you will enjoy Gameboard of the Gods. There are a few pacing issues for the first half and I think the world building could have been a little stronger BUT the story is there. The unique twist that Richelle Mead gave this genre makes me excited to listen to the next book: The Immortal Crown. The story had a strong second half that picked up the pace, broadened the mystery (which I thought was well done), and gave the characters more depth. It was definitely worth a read!
Character Thoughts: Richelle has always had the unique ability to take a character which you normally wouldn’t root for (Rose in VA, Adrian in Bloodlines, Roman from the Succubus series, and Eugenie from Dark Swan) and making them work. Same works here with Justin. Seriously on paper there is not much that makes him the kind of guy you root for: serious player, has a bit of a drinking problem, thinks he is always right, and can cut to the quick with his tongue. Yet, you find yourself rooting for him anyway. Mae is pretty kick ass and I think we have just reached the tip of the iceberg of who she is. She is a lot like Rose and Eugenie in that she is far from perfect, a bit edgy, and does things that are a bit outside the box. These two characters with all their imperfections work really well together!
Narrated By Emily Shaffer / Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins
Emily knocked it out of the mother-freaking park! I am not sure I could have made it through the beginning half of the book without her brilliant narration. Her pacing was good, nuances good, and I even liked her voice for Justin! I will be continuing this series in Audio.
Final Thoughts: I am glad I decided to give Gameboard of the Gods another whirl!