Richelle Mead has proven herself to be a fantastically creative author time and again writing impossible love stories, dynamic characters, and sweepingly epic stories. But GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS, which promised to deliver Mead’s trademark excellence, fell so completely flat and tedious that I can hardly believe it’s the same author.
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DANCE OF SHADOWS immediately sucked me in with the beautiful cover and mysterious blurb. I was hoping for a combination of Black Swan and Center Stage with paranormal elements. What I got was an interesting premise that could have been a great story, but unfortunately fell flat with poor pacing, bland characters and laughable dialogue.
Love in a post-apocalyptic world is a concept that draws me in, and the description of TOMORROW LAND conjured up the thrills and dangers of ENCLAVE and AFTERTIME. Unfortunately, in TOMORROW LAND, that seed of an interesting story was buried under a clunky narrative device, melodramatic plotting, and characters that never rose above caricature. Though young readers may enjoy the concept without realizing that anything is missing, the decadent attitudes portrayed by Mancusi’s future teens aren’t particularly YA appropriate. Perhaps smiting all the sexually active people was supposed to redeem this fact (as per horror movie rules), but that device had me rolling my eyes.