After reading Gameboard of the Gods I had a few people ask me how it was because they adored this series and didn’t want to be let down. Having read both can I say that you’re guaranteed to like the other if you enjoy this series?
Honestly, I’m not sure.
This isn’t like Souless and Etiquette & Espionage where one is “adult” fantasy and the other is “young adult” fantasy and they’re both in the same universe and written in so much the same style that it’s easy to make direct comparisons. In fact, had I not known that these were written by the same author, I’m not entire sure that I would have guessed. And honestly, I actually preferred Game Board of the Gods, as imperfect as it was and even though it didn’t quite come together for me as well as this book did.
That book had at least an interesting set up and was trying for something novel with the use of all these different pantheons and had an interesting mystery to boot. It didn’t quite work, but I’m intrigued enough that I really do want to see the sequel and I do hope that it only gets better.
On the other hand, this book is fluff. Fun fluff to be sure, and a great summer time read, but stil, it’s fluff.. It was enjoyable, sure, but did it really do anything all that new or all that interesting with the vampire mythology? Not so much. It’s the kind of book that I could easily see being turned into another show on the CW. I don’t mean that as a slam, but just a statement on how a good example of the form it is. It’s just the more young adult fiction I read, the more I take to be impressed. I want authors to challenge conventions and do something different. High school drama – for that’s ultimately the core of this book – is only interesting for so long. To grab my interest in the long term I need more. Although the Beautiful Creatures series was also uneven, it kept me so long because once setting was established, it largely kept us out of class and wove plots with characters and fun magic. Here, at least half the drama surrounded lunch room gossip. Just not the same.
I can easily see why this book would have a lot of followers and maybe if I’m in a lull with nothing to read I might see myself picking up the next. But at the end of the day it’s just kinda there for me.
Verdict: Borrow it