Title: Gameboard of the Gods
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication Date: June 2013
Genre: Adult Fiction/Sci-Fi
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.
Mae, a member of the most elite military team there is, is assigned to guard Dr. Justin March, a once exiled professional when he is welcomed home to solve a series of unexplained murders. Set in this futuristic society, where everyone stays within their caste system, and secrets are hiding everywhere, can Justin and Mae find the killer before they strike again? Without killing each other first?
I am a huge Richelle Mead fan so I was literally, jumping up and down, up and down, up and down, when I was approved to read this ARC. I mean, I love Vampire Academy. I love Succubus series. I thought it was a sure bet.
Sadly, I was mistaken.
The world building is interesting. There’s a lot going on and while this new society’s rules and flaws are intriguing, it’s not enough to make up for, what I feel, is the big piece missing in this book.
Any book I read, I want to at least have some sympathy for the main character. But Mae isn’t the woman for me. She’s too cold, almost totally unfeeling. As the book goes on, and her story is revealed, it is understanding why she is the way she is. But I still can’t get past the sad fact that I don’t like her. She’s almost, I’m sorry to say, uninteresting. She’s flawless, beautiful, a killing machine, and emotionally detached and withdrawn. Even during her emotional outbursts, I failed to feel the real human behind them.
Justin March is no better. He has the most personality of anyone in the book, yet he’s over the top. His vices and self indulgence is too much for him to be sympathetic. I’m not saying every hero has to be shy or humble or even likeable, but there has to be something in him that attracts the main character (and reader) and why you root for them. There’s a small moment in the beginning of the book when all of this is possible. You can see them together. You can see how they would be attracted to each other.
And just as quickly, it’s gone. Through misunderstanding and stubbornness, their attraction is flung away for almost the entire rest of the book.
And frankly, by the end, I didn’t care if they got together or not. I just couldn’t feel the chemistry.
Tessa, the young teenager that Justin brings into this new country as his protegee, has such a minor story that I wasn’t sure why she was around at all. I’m sure Mead has plans for her in the upcoming series but in this one, she reminded me of a someone’s little sister who lurks in the background, just enough to be annoying.
I will probably pick up book two because I am such a fan of Richelle, and because I know sometimes it takes a while for a series to find it’s stride.
So I hope future books in this series will make up for this one.
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