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Gameboard of the Gods: Age of X, Book 1 | [Richelle Mead]

Gameboard of the Gods: Age of X, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's 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.

©2013 Richelle Mead (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (253 )
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4.2 (230 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jayelle Borgella Queens Village, New York United States 07-23-13
    Jayelle Borgella Queens Village, New York United States 07-23-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting!"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Loxahatchee, FL, United States 05-29-14
    Debra Loxahatchee, FL, United States 05-29-14 Member Since 2009

    I live in Florida, I'm Cerified Hypnotherapist, Recover Coach & Trainer, NLP, Theta Healing and Energy Healing. I'm all so a Process Server in Palm Beach County.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rachel Mead “Outstanding author”"

    My daughter is the one who started with the series. Rachel Mead is an excellent author. She definitely has me hooked to all of her series. All of her books are very well written with an excellent storyline and keeps you waiting for the next.
    Emily Schaeffer the narrator brings the books to life. She is one of the best narrators I have heard!

    I really hope that you can keep Emily as your narrator in all of your series she is truly excellent!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Fredericksburg, PA, United States 07-25-13
    Elizabeth Fredericksburg, PA, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    If you’ve listened to books by Richelle Mead before, how does this one compare?

    It's very different genre-wise. A bit heavier.


    What didn’t you like about Emily Shaffer’s performance?

    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.


    Could you see Gameboard of the Gods being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger United States 06-16-14
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger United States 06-16-14

    AKA The Geeky Blogger

    HELPFUL VOTES
    190
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    230
    142
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    "Great 2nd Half"

    Read for Review/Listened for Fun (Edelweiss/Audible)
    Overall Rating: 4.00
    Story Rating: 3.75
    Character Rating: 4.25

    Audio Rating: 4.50 (Not part of the overall rating)

    NOTE: I feel the need to state this up front: When I tried Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead a year ago it was a DNF for me. I am fairly certain it was a combo of mood and this is a little outside my reading zone (fantasy is always hit/miss). A friend suggested I try it on audio and that made a world of difference to me. I was drawn into the story and didn't get to bogged down in the areas that tripped me up before.

    First Thought when Finished:Gameboard of Gods by Richelle Mead was a fascinating mixture of fantasy, mythology, and kick ass UF.

    Story Thoughts: If you like stories based on mythology (not just Greek but at this point Norse too--going to guess more later) then I think you will enjoy Gameboard of the Gods. There are a few pacing issues for the first half and I think the world building could have been a little stronger BUT the story is there. The unique twist that Richelle Mead gave this genre makes me excited to listen to the next book: The Immortal Crown. The story had a strong second half that picked up the pace, broadened the mystery (which I thought was well done), and gave the characters more depth. It was definitely worth a read!

    Character Thoughts: Richelle has always had the unique ability to take a character which you normally wouldn't root for (Rose in VA, Adrian in Bloodlines, Roman from the Succubus series, and Eugenie from Dark Swan) and making them work. Same works here with Justin. Seriously on paper there is not much that makes him the kind of guy you root for: serious player, has a bit of a drinking problem, thinks he is always right, and can cut to the quick with his tongue. Yet, you find yourself rooting for him anyway. Mae is pretty kick ass and I think we have just reached the tip of the iceberg of who she is. She is a lot like Rose and Eugenie in that she is far from perfect, a bit edgy, and does things that are a bit outside the box. These two characters with all their imperfections work really well together!

    Audio Thoughts:

    Narrated By Emily Shaffer / Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins


    Emily knocked it out of the mother-freaking park! I am not sure I could have made it through the beginning half of the book without her brilliant narration. Her pacing was good, nuances good, and I even liked her voice for Justin! I will be continuing this series in Audio.

    Final Thoughts: I am glad I decided to give Gameboard of the Gods another whirl!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alina Nycole WV, USA 04-30-14
    Alina Nycole WV, USA 04-30-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I love Richelle's imagination; I've read every series she's written except the Georgia books, and I guess it's just a matter of time before I break down and get those too. Her writing style is familiar and comforting as well. I've come across few writers who manage a good balance between writing well and sounding natural.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Once again, I'd have to say the creativity that went into laying out this brave new world. I love history, and the idea of a new, more 'enlightened' world clashing with Gods older than humanity itself is brilliant in my mind.


    What three words best describe Emily Shaffer’s performance?

    young, familiar


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh yes. I'm on my third listen currently.


    Any additional comments?

    My one regret for this book is the narrator choice. I enjoy listening to Emily Shaffer, but I can't help but compare the characters in this book to those in VA and Bloodlines when listening to her. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled when I found out the VA narrator was doing Bloodlines, but Sydney is still young enough for Emily's voice to match, and VA went through so many that she can't really be counted as 'the voice of VA'. She's a great narrator, but I feel that her voice is too young for the characters she portrays in Gameboard of the Gods.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Portland, OR 02-15-14
    Monica Portland, OR 02-15-14 Member Since 2010

    thefirespiral

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story, Needs A Different Narrator"
    If you could sum up Gameboard of the Gods in three words, what would they be?

    complex, mythic, fascinating


    What other book might you compare Gameboard of the Gods to and why?

    American Gods - not for the interplay or even the writing style, but for the fantastic way of bringing ancient gods into the present


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    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!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Penticton, BC, Canada 10-08-13
    Tina Penticton, BC, Canada 10-08-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mead's best since Succubus 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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Michigan 06-06-13
    Kelly Michigan 06-06-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating New World"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pippafowl Cincinnati, United States Minor Outlying Islands 07-25-13
    pippafowl Cincinnati, United States Minor Outlying Islands 07-25-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Tried really hard to love it..."
    What was most disappointing about Richelle Mead’s story?

    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.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie Kenmore, WA, United States 08-01-14
    Vickie Kenmore, WA, United States 08-01-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging Listen"
    Did Emily Shaffer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Voices, accents, and characterization were decent, however her intonation was distracting. She made things sound way too urgent, like a parody of what narration should be. However, it wasn't so terrible that I had to stop listening or keep me from listening to book 2. Once I got used to her, I became very engaged in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    A surprising read, I love futuristic paranormal and the world building was great. Strikes a great balance between technology and paranormal. I loved the characters, giving us just enough to really enjoy them. They are flawed without apology and own who they are. Highly recommend this read, despite less than stellar voice performance, that shouldn't turn anyone off from this read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Janine
    BRACKNELL, United Kingdom
    6/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, amazing, excellent, must-read..."

    A lovable rogue, a beautiful goddess of a super woman, a dystopian future where religion has been outlawed (well, in 'north america', anyway).

    And along comes some pesky gods to bugger it all up.

    The rogue is forced to face demons, the goddess discovers her mortality, while all the while gods are trying to immortalise them both.

    It's fast paced and you'll quickly become invested in the characters and the story. I'm gutted that it's a loonnnggg wait till book 2.

    Absolutely loved this story!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Usher
    5/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A refreshing story amidst supernatural teen books"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I love a good teen vampire book and have read a fair few, but this book is such a refreshing change in story and characters that was hooked fairly quickly. Having read Meads other books, I really enjoyed the overall story and pace of the book but was difficult to understand the world the story is set in as there are little clues and you have to piece together or come up with your own take on who's who and what.


    What does Emily Shaffer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Excellently read with different voices for characters made it easy to understand who was talking. Sometimes it's nice to just listen to the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Being 19 hours long you really couldn't listen to it all, but I did have it one every time I had a spare half hour and got through the book quickly.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    7/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I need to know what happens next!!!!"

    Very enjoyable book. Would really recommend! Really wish we could have book 2 as soon as possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • amy
    United Kingdom
    10/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "love this book!"
    Where does Gameboard of the Gods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    too difficult to choose


    Have you listened to any of Emily Shaffer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    excellently read from start to finish brought the characters to life brilliantly


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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