Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

gameboard-of-the-gods-coveer

The basics

Title: Gameboard of the Gods

Author:

Series: Age of X #1

- Gameboard of the Gods (2013)
- The Immortal Crown (2014)
- The Eye of Andromeda (2015)


Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.
Ula, man. She’s freakin’ amazing, and wrote this in order to help save the world.

in short

Mae is a praetorian, an elite soldier in the RUNA, and after she loses her composure at a funeral, she is punished with a bodyguarding gig. Her new ‘client’ is Justin, a cocky servitor. After a steamy night they get very snappy at each other but they have to stay together. Their job is to find the killer of a series of weird and seemingly supernatural murders in post-apocalyptic world. While looking for the murderer, Mae and Justin both had many other issues. Mae battled with her inner darkness, Swedish mafia and Justin’s attractiveness, while Justin had inner-powers issues and was sort of lusting over Mae. There’s also a big involvement of the Gods that want to claim both Mae and Justin while both humans try to elude that faith. The story ends with Mae defeating the entity that tried to claim her and being reassigned to Justin after the first assignment was over – after the murderers were finally caught.

what went down

  • Mae lost it at a funeral of a fellow praetorian after she was goaded into a fight. She wounded another solider pretty badly and had to face the consequences. She was directed to escort two agents to the province of Panama to extract an exiled RUNA citizen, Justin.
  • After she delivered the message for Justin to meet the agents in the nearby hotel, she met a good looking man, saved him from the thugs and went home with him. They slept together and she left quickly after that. After she was gone, the man received his summons – she slept with Justin unknowingly because they both lied about who they are.
  • When in hotel, they were both surprised about meeting each other and learning about their true identities. Justin got offered a chance to return to RUNA because they needed him to help solve mysterious murders. He accepted after he negotiated himself a raise, new apartment for himself and his sister, and a student visa for his friend’s daughter from Panama. Mae was made his body guard.
  • Back in Vancouver, the capital of RUNA, they set off to research the murders. Justin required help from an old friend Leo who helped him solve the mystery of a weird security camera video. Mae got visited my Swedish mafia and asked to join them like many times before. She got a lock of blond hair from the guy that came see her.
  • Justin had a lot of regular work to do besides hunt for the possible murderers, so he went about different churches, inspected them and closed them down or granted then another year of practice. There was also a fight after Justin accused an Apollo preacher of faking miracles.
  • Justin and Mae went to Nippon to search for a murderer further and took Leo with them. They finally had a break-through: somebody was killing off castals with high genetic scores. They suspected genetic manipulation with in vitro impregnations about 28 years ago. Meanwhile Tessa had a few troubles in school on her first day, but she made a friend in Poppy, a rebellious girl living nearby.
  • Tessa went to a godless church with a boy from her class, Dennis. In this ‘legalized’ church they have lectures instead of sermons and they talk about important topics like contraception and regulated procreation. Afterwards she was invited to a concert and she accepted.
  • After another talk with Leo, Justin’s suspicions about genetic mutations and modifications were confirmed, but the video still hasn’t yielded any information that could help catch the murderer. Mae on the other hand received the results on the lock of hair Swedish mafia gave her. It matched her genes to a point. The mafia was somewhat extorting her to get her on their side.
  • After they finally managed to almost-find a woman – Nadia – that could help solve the murders, Mae and Justin got captured and forced to fight in a duel to death. Mae volunteered for their side and had to go into a knife fight. She won, nearly killing the man, when Callista, a woman they were also looking for, interrupted the fight. After she saved Mae and Julian, she took them to her place, where Mae overheard she’s got special powers herself.
  • After the meeting, Justin told Mae about his deal with one of the Gods and the ravens in his head. She thought he’s mentally challenged and left. Tessa went to a concert with friends, broke into senate’s gardens and was arrested by two praetorians that were Mae’s friends. She got off with a warning. Mae was visited by the mafia man again – Emil. Only then she realized he’s not mafia at all. He talked about a goddess and how Mae should embrace her birthright.
  • After that they all travelled to Nordic caste to look at the murder there. They found little new. Mae’s mother invited them to lunch and there’s a row by the table. In Mae’s room, Justin found a pendant. It belonged to Mae. Another one like that was worn by one of the victims. After that it’s revealed by Mae’s mother that Mae, who was conceived in a lab, had genetic modifications.
  • After an almost steamy evening, where Justin hurt Mae just to get out of the God’s deal, he went to gamble. There he met a woman willing to go down, and he met her in a basement toilet. But she ended up attacking him and he barely managed to hide in a room. One of the ravens decided to help him and separated himself from Justin’s mind to alert Mae.
  • Meanwhile Tessa was out on a walk when she met a Nordic boy, asking her to help him. He had some information about the Nordic murder case but Tessa was unable to call both Justin and Mae. She left with the guy to visit his father. She learned a lot about a cult making sure people got a high-scored castal child in exchange for a plebeian sacrifice.
  • The raven showed Mae where to find Justin and she saved him. She pursued the woman to the nearby park and shot her after the woman took a hostage. Afterwards Mae started to doubt everything she knew about life so far. After the fight Tessa showed them the interview with the man she recorded earlier. Soon they got a hint the murderers might me a Celtic caste worshiping The Morrigan.
  • Justin, Mae, Leo and his husband Dominic set out to that Celtic caste to look around just before the next full moon – supposed time of the next murder. They searched a grain warehouse. They found an altar room and Mae realized she’s been there before.

how did it end?

After the breakthrough in the warehouse, Mae and Leo have been caught. Mae was put upon the altar to be sacrificed to The Morrigan by her ‘true’ believers. Dominic went all crazy on the people holding Mae and Leo hostage and Justin went out to call the police. Mae came around fast and started ruining the altar room. She killed the highest servant, undid The Morrigan’s power in the world and saved her friends. Later on, she had her blood retested and found out she’s also a ‘designer’ baby, a manipulated DNA baby, the same as the victims were. In the end Mae was assigned to Justin until further notice.

anything else

RUNA – Republic of United North America
Praetorians – elite soldiers of RUNA
EA – a sister union to RUNA
Servitor – a person who inspects religious groups and grants them permission to operate for another year or closes them down
Castals (also Patricians) – people from castes
Castes – somewhat independent non-RUNA communities
Nordic, Nippon etc. grant – world’s castes
Gemman (also Plebeian) – a citizen of RUNA
Decline – a time when a virus caused a decline of population; after the cure was found the rebuilding of the world began
Ego – a personalized computer/phone…
Ree – a cough syrup that’s a drug to Praetorians
Implant – an implant Praetorians have to enhance their power and speed, heal, it prevents intoxication etc.
Scarlets, Indigos, Azures etc. – cohorts within the Praetorians’ ranks

Other recaps for this series:

Comments:

Leave a reply

Name*
Email*
Website