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.
©2013 Richelle Mead (P)2013 Penguin Audio
The story was very confusing. I usually love Richelle Mead's books and I am used to her "info dumping" so to speak, but I feel like she just throws you into this new world and I didn't feel I got any sufficient answers til midway through the book. Also I felt no strong emotional connection to any of the characters, which was disappointing, because it is that aspect that draws me most to her books.
Emily Shaffer is what I disliked most about reading this book. Now, she's not terrible, but she also narrated part of the Vampire Academy series and all of the Bloodlines series. Now this. It's too much. It was fine previously when she was working with a spin-off, but reading this, all I could think about was- oh that's the voice of so and so, oh wait, no this is a new series. But considering this is a more mature novel, I was hoping for more mature narration. Sad face.
A little more organization in the revelations and instruction in this interesting new world. It was a fascinating listen. But there were times when I was confused and had to go back and relisten to sections.
It's very different genre-wise. A bit heavier.
The characters were not distinct. And there wasn't enough emotion to her performance. Her tone was flat and she sounded immature and young no matter who she was voicing.
At this point in the book I don't think I'm connected enough to the characters to get overly thoughtful about either option. But I hope there are more books. Because the concept is good and I hope it gets better. The end of the this book made me hopeful.
Not bad, but I'm accustomed to Narrator Emily Shaffer's voice performing as teenage characters where as in this book the characters are in their mid to late twenties. The character of Mae (in my opinion) should sound a bit older and more mature.
I enjoyed this book. The world is well thought out and the different countries are very distinct. The whole society of the RUNA was very interesting with the patrician classes and the plebian classes and the cultural differences between the two as well as the genetic. The whole murder storyline was well thought out and executed. It was closed out at the end of the book but left enough open for following books. The evolution of the belief in Gods that came to both Mae and Justin seemed pretty organic and possible. I can't wait to see what the next books do with the interactions between Justin and Mae. The whole neurotransmitter implant that the praetorians have is an interesting concept and I wonder what else they can do. Emily Shaffer did a good job with the narration and differentiating between the characters but sometimes I had flashbacks to the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead which she also narrates.
complex, mythic, fascinating
American Gods - not for the interplay or even the writing style, but for the fantastic way of bringing ancient gods into the present
I've listened to other books by the narrator and she's great for YA fic. I loved her in the Vampire Academy series. This book wanted a richer, more mature voice. The narrator who did the Succubus series would have been great - better still to pair her with James Marsters!
I appreciate the tension between faith/no faith, religion/no religion and what can be explained by science and logic and what's simply beyond those things.
This series is a departure from Mead's other books. I'm a huge fan, particularly of the Succubus series, and this one took some adjusting. Once I listened more closely and figured out the role of the ravens (I think this would have happened sooner had I read it in print), I was hooked. If you've tried it before and couldn't get drawn in, but you love mythology and Mead's other works, give it a chance and pay special attention during the first three chapters.
I loved being back inside of a Mead world. Even though her stories are other worldly, I always feel like I can insert myself into the story; the world has a realness that draw you in...Gameboard of the Gods did not disappoint!
The voice work done by Emily Shaffer was fantastic. Every time she changed point of view in the story, her inflections and tone changed appropriately, so it was easy to differentiate what character's mind the reader is in before the text itself informs us. The different scenes also carried different tones, with action read louder and at at a slightly faster pace that added a tense atmosphere to the events. The story itself was great, and the dialogue between the leads, Mae and Justin, provided the same humor and feeling as ones between TV characters like Booth and Brennan (Bones) or Castle and Beckett (Castle). All of it was made better by the narration.
I loved the Utopian/Dystopian world of the RUNA (Republic of United North America), and the supernatural elements laced throughout the story, but it's the interaction of the characters, especially the leads, Mae and Justin, that makes the story great, and not just good.
Mae Koskinen. The changes in her character over the story are reflected perfectly in the voice, as are her emotions in both action, romance, and normal scenes.
I have yet to read the book, but the audio format makes me unsure if the written version could possibly be as good. The biggest downside was that it is part of a series, and as such there are many story lines left open for future books. That said, the main story arc does come to a proper conclusion, and builds the foundation for the rest of the series.
While the story started off a bit slow, it grew in intensity and character development. The narrator was excellent. I'm looking forward to the next in this series!
I tried this new series because I loved the VA/Bloodlines books, but I felt like I was dropped into a world that wasn't explained or defined by the author. Also, Emily Shaffer is a fantastic reader, but these new characters very clearly have the voices that she used for VA/Bloodlines. I lost the thread of the story because I kept hearing Eddie, Rose, & Dimitri. I feel like this book needs a different narrator to even give it a chance.
No. I think the main problem is that Mead fails to describe her new world before face-planting the Reader into the plot.
Only if she can learn some new voices. The VA/Bloodlines characters are very distinctive, and should not be re-used in new books by the same author. It makes things confusing.
To be honest... I quit. I have no idea what was going on, so I quit. If I were editor, I'd tell Mead to go back to the beginning and tell me wtf RUNA is.
I'm returning this book.
I love Richelle Mead so it was disappointing to me that I didn't like this book. This book was hard to follow. Too many weird names, ranks, places, titles, so on. It was not "horrible" but I just didn't find it enjoyable because I got lost often. You would be in a scene and then realize it was actually a flash back. It didn't flow. And the ravens...what? Just weird. The whole thing was odd.
"love this book!"
too difficult to choose
excellently read from start to finish brought the characters to life brilliantly
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