Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

July 27, 2014 4 stars, Book Review, Science Fiction 26 ★★★★

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle MeadGameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Series: Age of X #1
Published by Dutton on June 4, 2013
Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
My Reviews in this series: The Immortal Crown

*This book was provided by the Purchased for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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 honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting into with Gameboard of the Gods. I really like Vampire Academy and was interested to see what the author would do with the adult genre.

Epic world building:

I really enjoyed the depth of world building. The anti-religion aspect I personally found really fantastic. Setting up a world without religion and where being involved in an unlicensed religion is illegal is pretty gutsy, making religion the reason for the apocalyptic decline, along with genetic engineering is even more gutsy yet she manages to pull it off. There is also exploration of recreational drug use which was put in a semi positive light. I love it when an author pushes the boundaries and explores the taboo so I found the whole world and concept pretty delightful.

New characters and an interesting way of telling the story:

The characters are fresh and interesting. You may want to reach through pages and smack ’em up side the head at times but there’s never a dull moment with this bunch. The story is a little slow to build, and honestly is an accumulation of a bunch of little adventures. Which, to me was a nice change of pace. You really get to know the characters through their actions, and the way they interact. They are also much deeper than the surface and more elaborate than stereotypes.

Sum it up:

I really enjoyed Gameboard of the Gods, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in the series. There wasn’t anything in this one that really annoyed me, and although I could set the book down I definitely looked forward to picking up where I left off. I would have loved it to be a little more gripping but I feel that there is a lot of promise for the rest of the series to be a bit more thrilling!


Gamer girl extraordinaire, law student, mother of twin boys and one lil girl. I can often be found taking care of my family, working on home renovation projects, reading, gaming, and all the while text warring with Tabitha.

26 Responses to “Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead”

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I LOVED this book. It was so freaking clever, and MAE. GAWD, I love Mae. And I also liked the world-building. A lot of people were frustrated with it, and was like . . . why? SO. Anyway, I’m glad you liked it 😉 AND I hope you like the next book too. Great review, Tina!
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Half a King by Joe AbercrombieMy Profile

  2. Danya @ Fine Print

    I’m so happy you liked this! I picked it up recently (b/c I’m also a VA fan) and will hopefully be reading it soon. The religion aspect does sound gutsy – and really interesting. I’ve heard that Gameboard of the Gods also has dual POV narration, which usually results in automatic enjoyment for me. Always happy to hear positive buzz for books on my TBR pile!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie BrennanMy Profile

  3. Mogsy

    Oh I am so looking forward to read this book this summer! I’m hoping to grab the audiobook from the library…but now Nathan’s comment has gotten me a bit worried, lol. But I’ve been wanting to read this one since I heard about it, when buzz about the second book started up, which wasn’t that long ago (guess I’ve been living under a rock!) I haven’t read anything by this author, I just know she had huge success with her Vampire Academy books, and then I hear about this series about mythology and gods and um, yes, I knew I had o read it.
    Mogsy recently posted…Sunday Musings: To grok is divineMy Profile

    • Tina

      Isn’t it great when that happens? I love it! I love it when I go shopping with friends and they insist I try something on that I think is hideous on the hanger and then love when I put it on! A book is kinda the same way. I can’t wait to read the second one, but hopefully I am not expecting too much!
      Tina recently posted…Review: Full Fathom Five by Max GladstoneMy Profile

  4. Asma A.J

    I really love Mead’s writing, especially in her YA series (Vampire Academy and Bloodlines), and I can’t wait to pick this up! Excited about the premise!