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Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X) Hardcover – June 4, 2013

320 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Age of X Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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. --David Pitt


"After years of YA, the author has finally returned to her adult roots with an ambitious (and sexy!) sci-fi outing." -

“This brilliant book is a miracle. Think American Gods with the romantic heart of Vampire Academy. What's the point of world-building if you aren't building something and someone to love? I'm in love with every character in this book. How do I know? When I got to the last page I turned to the first and started again, thinking this is why I read.”–Margaret Stohl, New York Times bestselling author of Icons

“Vivid world-building, whip-fast pacing, and a layered plot combine to make Gameboard of the Gods a riveting read!”– Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of The Arrivals

"The book is fast paced and suspenseful...A promising first book in a projected series." – Booklist

“Provocative and dark—Gameboard of the Gods is epic in scale and impossible to put down.”– Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels & author of Unbreakable

"Why you should read it: ....It's dark, it's fantastical, and the chemistry is just wow!"  – Happy Ever After

Praise for Richelle Mead and her novels

"An engaging read, with an unusually tangible, believable, living story world, featuring a protagonist of unexpected depth and sympathy."
--Jim Butcher, New York Times bestselling author of the Dresden Files, on Succubus Blues

"Writing this book tempts me to believe in angels...or deals with the devil. Succubus Blues is original, exciting, seductive stuff, filled with characters I'd sell my soul to meet."
--Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series

"The most exciting yet...Mead's storytelling improves with each installment as she keeps readers on the edge of their seats while adding a few unexpected twists."
--Associated Press on Blood Promise, the fourth installment in the Vampire Academy series

"Mead's absorbing, debut YA novel...blends intricately detailed fantasy with a contemporary setting, teen-relevant issues, and a diverse...cast of supporting characters."
--Booklist on Vampire Academy


Product Details

  • Series: Age of X (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; 1St Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052595368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953685
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richelle Mead is an international bestselling author of fantasy books for both adults and teens. Her Georgina Kincaid series follows a reluctant succubus, while her Dark Swan series features a shamanic mercenary caught up in fairy affairs. Over on the young adult side, Richelle writes the much-acclaimed Vampire Academy series and its spin-off, Bloodlines, about a secret society keeping the vampire world hidden from humans.

Richelle's books have been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and received honors from the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into over two dozen languages, as well as transformed into graphic novels. A lifelong reader, Richelle loves mythology and wacky humor. When not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, buying dresses, and watching bad reality TV. More at:

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#53 in Books > Teens
#53 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By FaCS teacher on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike other reviews I have just read, I thought the main characters were fascinating. I admit, some of what goes on is subtle - the author doesn't beat you over the head with it (thankfully!).
I read far into the night, at times feeling almost frantic to figure out some of the things - the author makes you work by not just handing you everything at once. They are explained - Richelle Mead is not a sloppy or careless author. She just writes on a challenging level, not a simplistic one. It is a complicated world.
While I saw some of what the gods must be fairly early, it would not have been realistic for the characters to have figured it out earlier, not with the premise of the culture being anti-religious after the social "Decline". It is a world where there is a lot of room for future plots, in the conflicts between the Civilized and the Provinces, and even places labelled as barbaric. Between the very controlled, and the chaotic.
So I am writing this because I jumped online to find more of her writing, and saw some reviews saying 'disappointing' that I really disagree with. Perhaps it is because I have read nothing else by the author, so I am not coming into it looking for YA fiction.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MC on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Richelle Mead is one of my favorite authors. I was a bit hesitant to read this because I didn't think anything could be compared to my favorite series Bloodlines. I'm so glad that I did read game board though. What a refreshingly original storyline. I found myself thinking about it a lot even after I was done reading the book. The concepts Richelle Mead introduces had me analyzing my own beliefs about religion and society. This book has everything that makes Mead's other series so fun to read: fast-paced, great action, sexual tension, and a story line grounded on historical research. What I like about game board better than VA and Bloodlines is that it is an adult series, so hooray for more steaminess! Pick this book up and read will not be disappointed.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By NovelGrounds on June 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Like all works from Richelle Mead this did not leave us lacking in any aspect. Well in my opinion at least. I know I read some reviews that people were unhappy about "this" or "that" but I know that of all the tens of books I have read by Richelle there has not been ONE that I thought deserved less that a 4 star review. This book didn't either hence by 5 star rating. Please give it a chance.

It is a definite change of pace from other works I have read by this author, but it was a wonderful new world to dive into. I will concur that it took me the first few pages to grasp an understanding of this new society/world, but after that I was hooked. The worlds that Richelle Mead creates pull you in and you get lost in them. She can create a new world like only some authors can. This world gave us Just enough facts to get you hooked and intersted. I cannot wait to see where we travel next or what part of the world we get to explore. As with VA I think it will be little by little and leave us always on toes waiting for the next book.

The moment I met Justin I was DEFINITELY done for. One thing you can always count on with her books is that guy you just fall in love with from the start. He is not the typical drop dead perfect guy, he is real, with real flaws and a fantastic personality. That brings me to my next point about this book.

All the characters were real. They had problems we could relate to and their personalities were those that we could recognize and relate to. You meet the characters through the book and are slowly give their back stories. In doing this you gradually peel away the layers of the people and get to know them on a level that helps you better understand their actions in the story.

The STORY! This kept me gripped through the whole book.
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42 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm Dreams on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
On a future dystopian version of Earth, religious sect inspector Dr. Justin March and super-soldier Mae Koskinen are trying to catch a serial killer before he strikes again. The plot of the book centers not only on the murder case but on a personal history of both characters and makes a very detailed introduction to the Age of X series.

Gameboard of the Gods is narrated by three characters.
Dr. Justin March: exiled government employ, expert on religious sects, good on reading people, drug addict and womanizer. I know I should be seduced by Justin's bad boy charm but almost-always drunk or drugged males who ogle every woman in their path are just not my thing. The only part of Justin I liked are the voices he hears: ravens Horatio and Magnus. With their sarcasm and wit, Horatio and Magnus won me over but sadly as plot becomes more complex their comments are more and more rare.
Mae Koskinen: a technologically enhanced soldier and a patrician (member of high class society). Since I am a fan of kick-ass heroines and have love for blondes that goes way back to my Barbie adoring childhood years, you would have thought I would love Mae but she and I just didn't 'click'.
Third, unexpected narrator is Tessa, Justin's prodigy whose only purpose in novel is to make you swoon how Justin has parental instincts deep down and help Vampire Academy lovers have some younger character to relate to. Although Tessa was written perfectly well and I did like her, I could not help thinking that without her Gameboard of the Gods would be 100 pages shorter and nothing would be missing. In fact, I think that book would be more intense and plot more focused.
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