Stacia (the 2010 club)'s Reviews > Gameboard of the Gods

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
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's review
Jun 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: adult, science-fiction, urban-fantasy, hybrid-multiple-genre, futuristic
Read in June, 2013

2.5 stars. I swear, I am not pulling one of those out-of-touch fan moments like when a person would want to know why The Casual Vacancy didn't read like Harry Potter part deux. I swear it. If there's one thing I've always admired about Richelle Mead, it's that she doesn't sit on her success and write the same formulaic characters and worlds over and over like so many other popular authors today tend to do when they find something that works for them. It's admirable to see any author pushing themselves in order to make sure that their "new" series doesn't read just like their "old" series.

That said, I'm going to give fair warning : if you are expecting a book which will read similar to any previous Mead series, you will be in for a rude awakening. It was easy to pick out some Mead-isms because I knew what to look for, but if I hadn't known ahead of time that I was reading a RM book, I never would have guessed. The writing style and world building was completely alien from anything I've read of hers in the past.

Positive to this new style : It's more polished. The info dumps are spread out (possibly even sparse in a couple of areas). You can see more of a confidence in writing this time around and less shakiness as the ideas are sketched out.

Negative to this new style : It's very sterile. There was a big disconnect when it came to emotion. I honestly don't think it's the switch to third person perspective either. There's definitely something about this world which screams impersonal from the start.

However...Richelle Mead did not lose me as a fan here, even though I wasn't completely sold on this particular book. Her title of my favorite author is still secure. I have faith that she will take me someplace good, even though I'm not sure where we're headed right now. If anyone is a master at building a good story arc, it's this woman.

My biggest issue with Gameboard of the Gods was that it focused more on government, military, power plays, information finding, etc. which is pretty much everything I don't like to read about in books. My complaints are similar to how I felt while reading Mind Fuck. I want more of the alternate genre goodness, not the tedious politics and protocol. I desired that more of the sci-fi and fantasy sides of the story would shine through. We didn't hear much about the gods and true/false worship of the gods until past the halfway point of the book. The "crows" that were with Justin (the male lead) were not explained fully until after the halfway point as well.

I was sooooooooooo damn confused about these two voices speaking to Justin in his head. It bugged me and BUGGED ME that this character was having a conversation with two other beings and I didn't know what was really going on until late in the game because the earliest explanation was so shoddy!

Mae (the female lead) comes across as cold from the start, so it was hard to warm up to her. I think I sort of get her now after seeing some of her back story.

Funny enough, my favorite character was Justin's younger protege. She was a cute kid and I loved every scene she was in.

I don't know...there was so much about this book which felt like a chore to read and it PAINS me to have to give the super-talented Ms. Mead a rating this low because I've never done it before, and that's after having read around 20 works of hers up to this point. But I won't coddle an author just because I've loved everything they've written in the past.

While I wait to find out if book 2 is going to be pass or fail, I'll just go back to my faith in Mead's ability to pull off a sensational story arc that grows better with each book. Given the way Gameboard ended, I'm not giving up hope that the series will become sensational in time. I'm definitely going to stick around and give the series another chance before throwing in the towel.

Even though I'm going to tell all Richelle Mead virgins to try a different series instead of this one if they're new to the author (unless you're into edgier sci-fi and corporate/military games, then this might actually be the right jumping off point for you), I'm *still waving the fangirl banner unashamedly*

This book provided from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 73) (73 new)

message 1: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy Sounds awesome!

Stacia (the 2010 club) Mead could rewrite a phone book and I'd read it. Even my less favorite books of hers were still worth the read.

message 3: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy I downloaded Her Georgina Kincaid book the other day when it was on sale. I can't wait to start that series :) I've only read VA by her.

message 4: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Mead has never had many spectacular book covers, despite how good her books are (I'm mostly thinking about Vampire Academy).

Melanie why does she always get the shitty cover!

Stacia (the 2010 club) I don't mind this one that much. It's not great and doesn't really fit the summary, but it's far nicer than her other series covers.

message 7: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley I feel so lame to say this but I've always loved her covers, lol!

Stacia (the 2010 club) Nothing wrong with that. We all have different things that draw us. :)

message 9: by Minie (new) - added it

Minie How are you so on top of all books?!? I barely have the time to read my faves.. Good thing I saw your comment on the bloodline series that she's coming out with another.. I LOVE ALL RICHELLE MEADE'S. books! And I thought I was on top of things regarding all her releases..

Thanks for mentioning it!

Stacia (the 2010 club) I'm really not. There are so many series which I'm not caught up on! I have a bad habit of starting series and not finishing them.

But I have to read all things Richelle Mead.

message 11: by thesebooksiread (new)

thesebooksiread I hadn't heard about this one! yay! I can't wait! I love all things MEAD :)

Stacia (the 2010 club) Soon, too! The arcs are already out.

message 13: by Noémy (new) - added it

Noémy I want it!can't wait to see how she does 3rd person POV

Stacia (the 2010 club) I haven't had a chance to read my copy yet but I'm excited to get there.

3rd person makes me nervous for an author who always writes in 1st. *cross fingers* that it works out.

message 15: by Noémy (new) - added it

Noémy you have a copy !!?? i just posted a line on the book's page about 2 seconds ago saying how jealous I was of people who got an arc of GotG already lol. I'm both excited and anxious to read it for the same reason : i know it also has multiple POVs as well so we'll see. Definitely looking forward to reading your thoughts when reviews are out

Stacia (the 2010 club) Don't feel too bad. The egalley is formatted horribly. I'll still be reading it, but I'm surprised at how many column and break errors there are.

message 17: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori Yeah this is one of the worst formatting jobs I have ever seen, even in an ARC.

message 18: by Vanessa (new) - added it

Vanessa Oh wow I didn't know she had a book coming out this year, I loved VA so I'm curious to see what you think of this one. It seems very different and sounds interesting.

Melanie Hmm mine wasn't formatted that bad.

Are you liking it so far?

message 20: by Joanna (new) - added it

Joanna is it like any of Richelle's book? or is this one different from the others??

message 21: by Ridh (new) - added it

Ridh I love Ms. Mead! I haven't read this one, I can't wait to hear what you think though!

Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤  Lucky!!Enjoy Stacia :)

message 23: by Jen (new)

Jen I love Richelle Mead's work..Hope you enjoy Stacia!

message 24: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Can't wait to see your review for this one!

Stacia (the 2010 club) I'm finished but the review is still a work in progress. It will probably go up in an hour or two.

This book disappointed me, I'm sad to say. I will still read on in the series, but it was my least favorite book of hers to date.

message 26: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Espinoza No way. I can't believe you're giving a Mead book such a low rating. I want to hug you. I can guess how much it killed you to do it. Love that you're honest even when it comes to your favorite.

Stacia (the 2010 club) It did hurt a little but I appreciate the hug offer!

ChattyKat I feel better now that I didn't like it either... this was my first Richelle Mead book. I do have plans to try some of her earlier series. I've always heard good things about her as an author.

message 29: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jun 03, 2013 11:08PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) This is definitely way off from what she normally writes, which is usually fabulous. Usually, she writes in a very offbeat, snarky first person perspective and her books are chock full of humor and steam (well the adult stuff is, the sexual tension's a little more subdued with her YA but it's still good).

I would say give either her Georgina Kincaid or Vampire Academy series a try. Those are both a lot of fun. Dark Swan has good parts, but isn't on the same level of goodness as the other two series.

Khanh (the meanie) Oh wow. It's always surprising to have to rate an author you absolutely love (RM is on my auto-buy list, too) so low. I've been looking forward to read this too, I still will, but it should be interesting going into this with reservations having read your review.

I felt the same way with Maria V. Snyder's Sea Glass and Healing series...didn't enjoy it, but I absolutely loved the author's previous works, and it was really hard to admit to myself that nope, this didn't do it for me.

ChattyKat I'll put those on my to read pile... which is getting longer by the day! I think Gameboard of the Gods has potential but I need to see where that series is headed before I give it another go.

Stacia (the 2010 club) ChattyKat wrote: "I'll put those on my to read pile... which is getting longer by the day! I think Gameboard of the Gods has potential but I need to see where that series is headed before I give it another go."

I don't blame you.

Khanh wrote: "Oh wow. It's always surprising to have to rate an author you absolutely love (RM is on my auto-buy list, too) so low. I've been looking forward to read this too, I still will, but it should be inte..."

You might like it if you are interested in something that's less Urban Fantasy than her other offerings.

Jules (Never enough time to read) Great review, your review and a few others have more or less swayed me on not picking up this book until others in the series are already published. Especially since I have yet to read some of her other adult titles :) xx

message 34: by Basuhi (new)

Basuhi That doesn't sound good and I was excited for this one.
It doesn't look like Mead at all ?!
Nice review, Stacia. But I guess I won't be reading it any time soon.

Ash Wednesday What is the world coming in to?! You're giving RM 2-stars now? Nothing makes sense anymore!

Which makes me wonder if I'll enjoy this seeing as VA wasn't my cuppa. Which reminds me I was thinking of Georgina Kincaid to add in my June TBR when I added Charley Davidson. Because you know, they sound SO similar o.O

Khanh (the meanie) They are similar! It's the snarkiness. Which was why the spinoff to VA was so strange to me at first because Sydney was such a different narrator compared to Rose or Georgina. And man do I love Charley :)

Ash Wednesday Oh they are? Lol, and I thought I had a spaz-attack mixing them up :) So I guess I might as well stick with Charley for June.

message 38: by Evgeny (new)

Evgeny Is might be just me, but you seems to read only fairly bad (2 star average rating) books lately.

♥Rachel♥ I will come back to read this after I've finished. Eeeek! 2 stars.

Stacia (the 2010 club) Ash, I've only read book 1 of Charley Davidson and thought it was just okay, so I can't compare the two. It's one of those series that people keep pushing me to try out again, so I probably will at some point and see if it gets better.

But I will say that GK is still a must read. Seth is a one in a million character. There really aren't many good beta males out there.

I prefer VA to Bloodlines but I think it was right for Mead to write Sydney as a different character type from Rose - she uses her brains instead of her brawn and that's a good thing. Some of my friends prefer Bloodlines though, so you might like that series better.

message 41: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jun 04, 2013 01:31PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) Evgeny wrote: "Is might be just me, but you seems to read only fairly bad (2 star average rating) books lately."

I just happened to get 2 books in a row that were 2 stars. Neither one was expected because one was from a favorite author and the other was a subject I like to read about, so it was just total coincidence. Other than that, I've had a few good ones lately (even a 5 star short story).

There's just no way to always predict what will and won't work, unfortunately. :(

message 42: by Lisa Jayne (new)

Lisa Jayne Great review ❤

♥Rachel♥ I agree, this was completely different from her other series. It took a lot of my patience in the beginning, but I ended up liking it in the end. Wonderful review, Stacia. :)

message 44: by Roxx (new)

Roxx I'm intrigued. I adored the Dark Swan series, I really like her alternative worlds. Good review, I'm still sold.

Stacia (the 2010 club) Thanks. :) I'm actually happy to see that some people are liking it, even if I was on the fence. I don't want Mead out there with only negative reviews because then people might think she sucks and she's a fabulous writer!

Heidi I know I struggled hard core with this in the beginning but by the end I really liked it. It took me a freaking week to read it, which is unheard of!

Stacia (the 2010 club) I do think that it picked up at the end, enough so that I will check out book 2.

message 48: by Hershey (new) - added it

Hershey Great review. I paused this book but I don't think I'm getting back to it any time soon.

Stacia (the 2010 club) Thanks Hershey. I can see why it might be one to get stuck on.

message 50: by Searock (new)

Searock Great review, Ace.

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