Completed: May 24, 2014
Publishing Info: May 29th 2014 by Dutton Adult
Source: egalley approved via publisher via Edelweiss // Thank you!!
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Speculative (Adult)
POV: Alternating Third Person (Justin/Mae/Tessa)
Find It Online: Goodreads // Amazon // B&N
Related Reviews: Gameboard of the Gods (AoX1) // Vampire Academy Series
“Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.
Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.
Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.” — From Goodreads
I really enjoyed THE IMMORTAL CROWN! I’ll admit that I had a bit of a hard time during parts of the first book, GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but I wasn’t always sure exactly what the overall feel was supposed to be since the only experience with Richelle Mead’s books that I had was all vampire-based. It took me a while to fall into the feel of this new series, but that was a definite advantage heading into THE IMMORTAL CROWN — I already felt connected to both the setting and the characters.
I haven’t been into mythology-based books lately because many of the retellings I’ve been picking up just haven’t been fitting my personal tastes or I didn’t feel they were adapted well. I had a very brief moment in the beginning of THE IMMORTAL CROWN where I was really unsure about where the gods would take this book and series, but as soon as that doubt creeped in, an instance popped up — a supernatural instance at that — and totally grabbed my attention, throwing my doubts right out the window.
I feel like everything in this book really stepped it up a notch — the plot thickened, the characters grew on me even more, and many more surprising moments caught me off-guard, a few really flooring me (like the ENDING whaaaat!!!), really heightening my enjoyment of the book and the series overall that much more. I was enjoying The Age of X just fine, but the ending of this book especially really reeled me into the series and not just the book, making sure I would come back for more (and oh, did it ever).
The relationships in this book really made it for me, and not just romantic relationships. Justin and Mae have a great partnership, both feeding off of romantic/affectionate feelings, but also just working together really well as a professional team. I just adore Justin’s relationship with Tessa as a sort of mentor and guardian and even though he isn’t always the most responsible person, he always makes sure she’s safe and he really cares for her a lot. I also love how the relationships with the gods are really amped up in this book and start to come into play a lot more. It definitely piqued my interest and I cannot wait to see where this goes in the next book.
I think this series is growing the further I get into it and I’m anticipating a really great third book in this series! The more I get to know about the characters, the plot, the mythology, and the relationships, the more I just want of them all! I already can’t wait to continue on in the series, ESPECIALLY with where it left off!
THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS
“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Justin March // Character Obsessions: Religions, Arcadian agenda, Mae.
Justin cracks me up and fascinates me all at the same time. I love his charm and how he uses it — not even for women, but to really assess his “marks” and use what he knows about them to steer them towards his agenda. His thought process is fascinating and it was especially interesting to see how once his personal feelings for Mae (and his family) start to become more thickly involved, how that really affects Justin’s personal game, both mentally and emotionally.
Mae Koskinen // Character Obsessions: Rescue missions, exploring gods, Justin.
I love how Justin really started to break down Mae’s walls and how the reader was able to really pick up on more of her personal life even more in this book. Mae is fascinating to me — the praetorian aspect of it almost reminds me of Reboot by Amy Tintera… She has an almost cold and calculating air about her but she really starts to tap into her emotional side once she finds someone to help bring that out in her.
Kept Me Hooked On: Mythology. I haven’t been loving a lot of mythology lately. Heck, I wasn’t even convinced in the first 5% of this book… But I really like the way it’s been integrated in this series and I’m totally hooked now. I think I appreciate mythology much more when it meshes well with a more realistic aspect so it doesn’t seem to “out there” for me and I’m really enjoying where Richelle Mead is taking this series!
Left Me Wanting More: Banter. In a way, I liked that the romance was starting to become more emotional than physical, but I also liked the more volatile relationship that Mae and Justin had. I love banter and I missed that a little bit in this book!
I really enjoyed this book and really started to get into the series! I’m definitely looking forward to future books in The Age of X and I’m really starting to get into this the more I read.
(Click the cover to see my review!)