Title: Gameboard of the Gods
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopian
Published: June 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.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first instalment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such mega successes: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.
Justin is in exile for failing to do his job properly and has been stranded outside RUNA until now. He’s been welcomed back – with his old job, a pay raise and all sorts of perks. All this – IF he can figure out why a string of gruesome murders are happening. They appear to be ritualistic, with no suspect and no way of tracking who did it.
Mae has been assigned to Justin as punishment and is far from thrilled with the assignment. She travelled to bring him home and ended up with more then she bargained for. Justin isn’t the easiest person to get along with and likes to test Mae’s patience.
You don’t get a lot of backstory on the characters or the events right at the beginning of the story. As everything unfolds through the book; bits and pieces of how things began, who is who and why they are how they are. When I first started the book I was a bit confused as to what was going on. I felt like I’d picked up a book in the middle; but as I read everything started to make sense and I couldn’t put the book down!
Justin and Mae travel around RUNA tracking a killer and trying to prove that there is nothing supernatural involved that it’s all a hoax. They manage to get into all sorts of trouble – which of course always add to the story! The pair have great tension and of course there are a few surprises that pop up during the book.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. It was a really fun, unique paranormal and had some great dystopian elements. It would appeal to anyone who enjoys either genre. For readers who liked the Vampire Diaries and the Bloodlines series then this is definitely one they’d enjoy. Would I read more by this author? Most definitely. I’m curious what the next book will be about!