If you didn’t know, Richelle Mead is one of my favourite authors, so when I got accepted to review this ARC, I did a little dance around my room…YAY! Thank you Penguin Dutton Adult publishing house for giving me this ARC copy. *That has in no way affected my honest review—Richelle just happens to be an awesome writer*
Gameboard of the Gods completely lived up to my expectations, it was simply amazing. The world Mead has built is so extensive and intricate, with every page turn revealing new, exciting aspects. Due to this, the world-building is laid on pretty thick and it wasn’t something I could skim over or half-read, it’s something that was needed to know to understand the overall plot. That is expected in this genre, because it’s the first book, but be warned–there’s a lot of it. Gameboard of the Gods is vastly different to anything Mead has written before, with this delving more into the Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy realms.
It wasn’t just the world that was captivating, the characters were also. Justin uses vices like drinking, drugs and woman, and Richelle did a very good job of still making making me actually still like his character. He’s incredibly smart, and is used to being able to watch people and read their body language, which caused Justin and Mae’s working relationship to chafe because of her hard exterior. He also has two ravens making sarcastic comments inside his head, which made for funny entertainment and was incredibly creative.
Mae grew up in fairly wealthy surroundings, she was destined to be married off and give up her own athletic dreams, but contrary to what was expected, she joined the military and became lethal and agile with heightened reflexes and speed. She’s very tough, with impenetrable emotional armour, as she refuses to let anyone get close, which made her character grow throughout the book. She’s certainly a ‘Hardcore Heroine’.
Gameboard of the Gods is in third person, and as well as following Mae and Justin, we also follow Tessa. After having a couple of exciting chapters in Mae and Justin’s point of view, I was worried Tessa would bore me . This was not the case, I got to understand how the RUNA was perceived in a different, intimidating light in contrast to Justin and Mae’s admiration. Tessa is 16 and from Panama, which has different views on women and their future, and is less technology advanced than the RUNA, so despite that it was a jarring change, she also had more freedom.
There are romantic elements to Gameboard of the Gods, which I thought were nicely added and well-written, I’m anticipating how that’s going to continue in the next book.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and highly recommend it!