Book two in the Age of X series
By Richelle Mead
Available now from Dutton (Penguin Random House)
Age of X, the newest adult series from Richelle Mead, takes place in a future United States where religion has been outlawed, but now the gods are coming back with a vengeance. Both heroes, Justin March and Mae Koskinen, are Elect, which basically means they can serve as vessels for gods on Earth. Justin is all but claimed, and Mae is up for grabs. However, both of them are indepencent people who would rather follow their own agendas. In this case, it's taking a trip to neighboring country Arcadia.
I absolutely love the world Mead is shaping in the Age of X. Her use of mythology is clever, and often allows the reader to be about one step ahead of the characters. THE IMMORTAL CROWN explores a new country, a future Canada taken over by a fundamentalist religion. Women are treated particularly badly, which the Gemman (US) ambassadors, since all their bodyguards are female, including Mae.
The romantic tension between Justin and Mae continues, although I hate the continued push and pull as Justin tries to push Mae away without telling her the truth. GAMEBOARD OF THEIR GODS set up the conundrum of their relationship - if Justin has sex with Mae, then he has to serve the god that's been helping him out. And it's getting harder and harder for them not to consummate their relationship, especially since Mae doesn't know why he keeps turning into a jerk when they get close to getting it on.
Meanwhile, Justin's ward Tessa gets her own storyline in which she becomes the intern to a reporter. Honestly, I think Tessa gets the best storyline plotwise. The Arcadia plotline has some interesting character development, but it gets wrapped up fast and ends up not being all that important despite the build up at the beginning of THE IMMORTAL CROWN.
THE IMMORTAL CROWN is a decent second book. It continues to set up the series, the characters grow as people, and there is some action. Best of all, there is a major twist at the end with some seriously sinister implications. (Unfortunately, I hate one half of the twist - it is a bit of plot drama Mead draws on too often in her adult books.) I'll definitely be back for book three to see what happens next in the Age of X.