Read for Review/Listened for Fun (Edelweiss/Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.50 (Not part of the overall rating)
NOTE: I feel the need to state this up front: When I tried Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead a year ago it was a DNF for me. I am fairly certain it was a combo of mood and this is a little outside my reading zone (fantasy is always hit/miss). A friend suggested I try it on audio and that made a world of difference to me. I was drawn into the story and didn't get to bogged down in the areas that tripped me up before.
First Thought when Finished:Gameboard of Gods by Richelle Mead was a fascinating mixture of fantasy, mythology, and kick ass UF.
Story Thoughts: If you like stories based on mythology (not just Greek but at this point Norse too--going to guess more later) then I think you will enjoy Gameboard of the Gods. There are a few pacing issues for the first half and I think the world building could have been a little stronger BUT the story is there. The unique twist that Richelle Mead gave this genre makes me excited to listen to the next book: The Immortal Crown. The story had a strong second half that picked up the pace, broadened the mystery (which I thought was well done), and gave the characters more depth. It was definitely worth a read!
Character Thoughts: Richelle has always had the unique ability to take a character which you normally wouldn't root for (Rose in VA, Adrian in Bloodlines, Roman from the Succubus series, and Eugenie from Dark Swan) and making them work. Same works here with Justin. Seriously on paper there is not much that makes him the kind of guy you root for: serious player, has a bit of a drinking problem, thinks he is always right, and can cut to the quick with his tongue. Yet, you find yourself rooting for him anyway. Mae is pretty kick ass and I think we have just reached the tip of the iceberg of who she is. She is a lot like Rose and Eugenie in that she is far from perfect, a bit edgy, and does things that are a bit outside the box. These two characters with all their imperfections work really well together!
Narrated By Emily Shaffer / Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins
Emily knocked it out of the mother-freaking park! I am not sure I could have made it through the beginning half of the book without her brilliant narration. Her pacing was good, nuances good, and I even liked her voice for Justin! I will be continuing this series in Audio.
Final Thoughts: I am glad I decided to give Gameboard of the Gods another whirl!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Not bad, but I'm accustomed to Narrator Emily Shaffer's voice performing as teenage characters where as in this book the characters are in their mid to late twenties. The character of Mae (in my opinion) should sound a bit older and more mature.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
I tried this new series because I loved the VA/Bloodlines books, but I felt like I was dropped into a world that wasn't explained or defined by the author. Also, Emily Shaffer is a fantastic reader, but these new characters very clearly have the voices that she used for VA/Bloodlines. I lost the thread of the story because I kept hearing Eddie, Rose, & Dimitri. I feel like this book needs a different narrator to even give it a chance.
Has Gameboard of the Gods turned you off from other books in this genre?
No. I think the main problem is that Mead fails to describe her new world before face-planting the Reader into the plot.
Would you be willing to try another one of Emily Shaffer’s performances?
Only if she can learn some new voices. The VA/Bloodlines characters are very distinctive, and should not be re-used in new books by the same author. It makes things confusing.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Gameboard of the Gods?
To be honest... I quit. I have no idea what was going on, so I quit. If I were editor, I'd tell Mead to go back to the beginning and tell me wtf RUNA is.
Any additional comments?
I'm returning this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
My daughter is the one who started with the series. Rachel Mead is an excellent author. She definitely has me hooked to all of her series. All of her books are very well written with an excellent storyline and keeps you waiting for the next.
Emily Schaeffer the narrator brings the books to life. She is one of the best narrators I have heard!
I really hope that you can keep Emily as your narrator in all of your series she is truly excellent!!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What was most disappointing about Richelle Mead’s story?
The story was very confusing. I usually love Richelle Mead's books and I am used to her "info dumping" so to speak, but I feel like she just throws you into this new world and I didn't feel I got any sufficient answers til midway through the book. Also I felt no strong emotional connection to any of the characters, which was disappointing, because it is that aspect that draws me most to her books.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Emily Shaffer is what I disliked most about reading this book. Now, she's not terrible, but she also narrated part of the Vampire Academy series and all of the Bloodlines series. Now this. It's too much. It was fine previously when she was working with a spin-off, but reading this, all I could think about was- oh that's the voice of so and so, oh wait, no this is a new series. But considering this is a more mature novel, I was hoping for more mature narration. Sad face.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful