Reviews for Gameboard of the Gods

Book News Reviews
Living in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims, Justin March, a man from a near-future world decimated by religious extremists, is invited to join an elite branch of the military by genetically enhanced soldier Mae, with whom he confronts formidable enemies to solve a string of ritual murders.

Booklist Reviews 2013 May #2
Mead, author of popular urban-fantasy series for adults and young adults, introduces a new character in this series for adult readers. Justin March used to investigate questionable religious groups; now down-and-out and living in exile, he's shocked when a member of the Republic of North America's police force, the Praetorians, enlists his aid in tracking down a serial killer. Set in a near-future society in which religious extremism has nearly destroyed the world, this fast-paced and suspenseful book features a pair of protagonists whose whose ideological dissimilarities provide lots of opportunities to explore their growing relationship. Justin, who was at the top of his field before he self-destructed, is a very well-designed character, with plenty of depth and enough dark psychological corridors to keep us glued to the page, and his Praetorian partner, the beautiful and troubled Mae, has her own set of internal struggles. The author's fans should note that the book is quite a bit different from her usual urban-fantasy fare: this is straight-up sf, with a well-realized near-future world and technologies. A promising first book in a projected series. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
Mead's latest series centers around a bleak future in which organized religion is controlled by the government following the global incursion of a deadly disease. Dr. Justin March has been exiled to Panama, a lawless territory by comparison to his home country of the Republic of United North America, which is headquartered in Canada. March was booted from his job as a servitor to the government and forced to live mostly by his wits and the protection offered by local thugs. But March has always yearned to return to his homeland and resume his former life, so when a delegation from RUNA Internal Security pops up offering him a chance to return if he can solve a mysterious string of homicides, he jumps at it. March bargains to have his also-banished sister, her young son and the brilliant teenage daughter of a local family who has been kind to him also return to RUNA, but he's not prepared for the constant supervision provided by a gorgeous, but deadly, female soldier, one of the nation's most elite killers. The two share a recent history that gets in the way of their professional relationship. There's also a little bit more to the story, since March has had premonitions that the woman may figure prominently in his immediate future. As March and Mae, his bodyguard, travel in an effort to solve the case, the clock ticks down, and March realizes that if he doesn't succeed, he'll be sent back to Panama. Mead's first book in this series is a huge, messy story that tends to be more confusing than illuminating. The author fails to offer much insight, leaving readers to puzzle it all out; many times, the effort simply isn't worth it. While Mead's many fans may rejoice in the appearance of her new series, this complicated and often unsatisfying tale raises many more questions than it answers. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 January #1

Adult stuff from the author of the New York Times best-selling "Vampire Academy" YA series; top-tier soldier Mae Koskinen taps on-the-margins Justin March to help solve ritualistic murders.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #1

YA writer Mead (the Vampire Academy series) tries her hand at adult paranormal fiction with mixed results in the first Age of X episode. On a future Earth, the rigidly secular Republic of United North America (RUNA) government now rules the continent. As an elite praetorian solider, gorgeous Mae Koskinen is proud to defend RUNA's citizens from "unchecked religion." Then Mae sleeps with Dr. Justin March, former expert "priest killer" for the Ministry of Internal Security. RUNA needs March's help to hunt down the religious group responsible for a series of bloody murders and assigns Mae to be his bodyguard. Hardened soldier Mae predictably hates having showed any vulnerability to her charge. Meanwhile, Justin worries that sleeping with her again will fulfill a secret prophecy, forcing him to swear loyalty to some unknown god. Most of the story seems to be setting the stage for later books, leaving characters and the murder investigation to languish. Mead will have to sharpen her plotting to make this series successful. Agent: Lauren Abramo, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (June)

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VOYA Reviews 2013 August
The first entry in Mead's new adult series, Age of X, is a supernatural dystopian set in RUNA, the Republic of United North America, the only "civilized" country since a deadly disease decimated the world. Formerly exiled, servitor Justin and super-soldier Mae are paired together to solve a series of ritualistic murders that point towards a religious group. Justin's job as a servitor is to know all of the legal religious groups and their so-called gods. Not only does he need to stop the next murder, but also prove that they occurred mundanely, not supernaturally There is no doubt that Mead's teenaged fans are going to want to read this series. It has intriguing characters that are slowly fleshed out as their stories are told. Tessa, a secondary teen character, is Justin's prodigy who has some side scenes and helps with the worldbuilding. The murder storyline is interesting and is not too detailed for teen readers. The gods and goddesses subplot, which will be the major storyline of the series, has been seen in other series, but is still engaging here and well worth the investment in the book. Gameboard of the Gods is written by a young adult author and will have crossover appeal, although it belongs in the adult collection of the library as sex, drinking, and drugs are constant companions in it.--Kristin Fletcher-Spear 3Q 4P S A/YA Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.