Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Dutton Adult, 432 pages
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.
Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.
Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.
This is a great series and here's why you should read it:
1. World-building and plot. It's hard to classify this because it's part dystopian (two main countries, one that is anti-religious and filled with technology and freedom and the other more backwards with religion intertwined with the government), part sci-fi (super soldiers with implants), with a ton of mythology (gods and goddesses). It's rich, detailed and intricate, and Richelle Mead has brilliantly weaved all of it together. The plot revolves around gods and goddesses who have chosen people to represent them in an upcoming war. Fascinating stuff.
2. Flawed characters. Justin, the religious investigator, a womanizing borderline alcoholic who also dabbles in drugs. He has a lot of issues, including having a god who wants him to swear loyalty to him. Think Adrian from VA (although he's darker and no snark). Mae, the super soldier who feels a connection with Justin, but he keeps pushing her away and she doesn't know why. Such tension between these two, but at the same time they work so well as a team. What Richelle Mead puts these two through…gah!
This impressive series just keeps getting better. Highly recommend.
Posted by: Pam