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.
I will start off by saying the main reason I picked this book up was because it was Richelle Mead and I have recently been obsessed with reading anything with her name on it! This was my first time reading an adult novel by her and I will say I am very impressed. It is hard for me not only to get into adult novels but to stick with them and come out saying I enjoyed them. This book is filled with great characters, plots and twists. There is a great deal of action and ass kicking and even some steamy kissing. I mean it is Richelle Mead so what else would you have expected?
One thing I was expecting more of a presence from the gods/mythology and felt a bit empty by its lacking presence. I will say that if I was not expecting it to be mythology heavy (I mean Gameboard of the Gods) I would have appreciated the presence that they did have. There are connections to the gods in the plot as well as the characters’ lives so it’s not like its nonexistent, I just wanted MORE. Mythology is one of my favorite topics to read about (Classics Retold?) and I hope there will be bigger plots surrounding the gods in the sequels.
I knew going into the book that it wasn’t a paranormal romance but none the less I totally enjoyed the romance between Justin and Mae! I felt that they had great chemistry that while not totally believable at first, had me swooning in the end. There is a bit of game playing going on between them so I hope they wrap it up soon because when they get together it is steamy!
The book is told in a 3rd person, which is a shift from her writing style in the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. It took a few chapters to get into it because I recognized Richelle’s signature writing style but it was boldly different in its POV.
This is kind of random but I couldn’t help but be reminded of Legend by Marie Lu when reading this. The books are different in their own ways but they both have a similar feel. Both feature a strong heroine connected to the military who gets involved with a semi-sketchy character and hijinks ensue. There’s also a POV shift between the two characters and the whole dystopian aspect…OK I’ll stop because these books are not the same but if you liked one I think you will like the other. SO THERE I am recommending this book to fans of Richelle Mead and Legend.