Jun 5, 2013

Mini-Review: Gameboard of the Gods; Outcast

Title: Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Source: eARC from NetGalley
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.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.
I've heard nothing but great things about Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series, and while this new Adult series of hers sounds nothing like her YA series, I think it's natural for me to expect a lot from Gameboard of the Gods. Unfortunately, this convolution of plot ideas has left me disappointed.

It started out well, I suppose, what with immediate action thanks to Mae, the heroine of the story in every sense of the word, already kicking ass within the first few pages. But when the plot really set in, the whole thing just went downhill. The first reason for that was the romance, which felt unnecessary and actually distracted from the suspense and slowed down the pace. It wasn't quite insta-love so much as insta-lust, and I don't know what this says about the characters, but if their ages weren't specified, I would've thought them to be teens.

Another problem I had with this book was the lack of world-building. Up until the end of the third quarter, I didn't fully understand how this futuristic world worked, and even now I can't tell you how exactly it came to be. But anyway, the last ten percent of the book certainly set up well for the sequel which I will watch out for.

MY FAVORITE PART was when Mae and Justin finally got to the bottom of the murders.


Title: Outcast
Author: Adrienne Kress
Release Date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Diversion Books
Source: eARC from NetGalley
After six years of “angels” coming out of the sky and taking people from her town, 16-year-old Riley Carver has just about had it living with the constant fear. When one decides to terrorize her in her own backyard, it’s the final straw. She takes her mother’s shotgun and shoots the thing. So it’s dead. Or... not? In place of the creature she shot, is a guy. A really hot guy. A really hot alive and breathing guy. Oh, and he’s totally naked.
Not sure what to do, she drags his unconscious body to the tool shed and ties him up. After all, he’s an angel and they have tricks. When he regains consciousness she’s all set to interrogate him about why the angels come to her town, and how to get back her best friend (and almost boyfriend) Chris, who was taken the year before. But it turns out the naked guy in her shed is just as confused about everything as she is.
He thinks it’s 1956.
Set in the deep south, OUTCAST is a story of love, trust, and coming of age. It’s also a story about the supernatural, a girl with a strange sense of humor who’s got wicked aim, a greaser from the 50’s, and an army of misfits coming together for one purpose: To kick some serious angel ass.
Ah, this book. I shall remember all the feels it gave me until the next time I read it, because Outcast is one of those books I'll never get tired of. And thinking about it now, it's really similar to Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, not because of the angel aspect that both books have, but because of the addictive quality that will make me remember the stories for a long time.

Riley's voice was captivatingly entertaining. Hers was the brand of sarcasm and wit that I've always enjoyed, and she felt like a real teenager with insecurities and a hidden want for attention. Meanwhile, to say that I loved Gabe would be an understatement. He had the typical bad boy thing going on, condescending and womanizing, but then he also enjoyed putting up Christmas decorations and singing old songs.

I admit, what kept me turning the pages was my curiosity and concern for what would happen with Gabe rather than the angels and whatnot, but that doesn't mean it wasn't good. The mystery was nice, actually, and the story took a lot of totally unforeseeable turns—the most predictable of which might have been the ending. It was bittersweet—well, more bitter than sweet, as I could tell with my tears—but inevitable and realistic.

MY FAVORITE PARTS were the last lines. *cue tears again*


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