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Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Gameboard of the GodsAs a fan of the¬†Vampire Academy¬†series, I had to give¬†Gameboard of the Gods, the first of Richelle Mead’s latest book series ‘Age of X’, a try.

Gameboard of the Gods¬†by Richelle Mead takes place in a distant, technological future, where¬†the world was nearly devastated by religious extremists; exiled protagonist Justin March¬†is offered a chance of redemption¬†when he and Mae¬†Koskinen, fearless soldier of the nation’s military, cross paths and together attempt to solve a string of religious and ritualistic murders.

For those of you that have read Mead’s¬†Vampire Academy series,¬†Gameboard of the Gods¬†is more mature, more complex and offers a perspective and style of narrative that is much different to that of Rose and Sydney’s in¬†VA and¬†Bloodlines.¬†Gameboard of the Gods¬†is different to her other books, and pleasantly so. Mead shows her talent as a writer with well-executed world-building that involves¬†nuanced layers of systems, ideology¬†and history. The exploration of the incongruence of religion/spirituality and science is explored, as well as undertones of prejudice, as explored through Tessa’s experiences as a foreigner.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of mythology (two ravens!), and how this becomes a significant plot point as you progress through the novel. Though this may feel like a book that inclines towards a technological-rational perspective at first, worldviews and ideologies are confronted and challenged, with brings an interesting and compelling shift of mood in the book.

Though¬†Gameboard of the Gods¬†undeniably conveys itself as the first of a series, rather than a standalone, I enjoyed this book – unexpectedly too – as an¬†entertaining, fun but compelling read.¬†Gameboard of the Gods¬†may not be a book to take seriously – because there is room for critique – but it’s a fun read. Perfect for satisfying that jouissance.

Rating: 4/5

Book Information
Book Name: Gameboard of the Gods
Book Series: Age of X #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Pages: 448