Review of The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

The Immortal Crown (Age of X, #2)The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2)
By: Richelle Mead
Release Date: May 29th 2014
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Source: Hardcover

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For my review of Gameboard of the Gods look here.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
Since Age of X is an adult series the books are slower paced than my typical young adult books but regardless, The Immortal Crown was so, so good. I am suffering a book hangover since I’ve finished and am struggling with figuring out what to highlight in this review.

I absolutely love the world that Mead has created. It feels 100% real to me. It is fairly complex and though I remember feeling vaguely confused in the first book, Gameboard of the Gods, things came much faster to me in this installment. Even though I did not reread the first book I could recall the setting, story line and characters with ease.

Mead has created a very in depth, detailed infrastructure to her society and world. I love all the details and where in the first book it felt a bit overwhelming, in this one I loved each additional bit I learned about the society. In The Immortal Crown we venture into Arcadia, which is mentioned in book one but not explored. I was appalled with this society yet intrigued with watching our characters function in it.

I have always enjoyed the relationship between Justin and Mae but in this book I was behind them so much more. I was captivated with each moment they spent together. Though Justin was harder to stomach in the first book (possibly due to my lack of understanding him or his significant growth in this installment) I found myself really loving his character.

Tessa was present once again but I wasn’t as enthralled with her story line. I felt that Tessa’s sections were less about her personal growth and more advancement and background for the overall story-arc. This could be why these sections dragged a bit more for me. Really though, I just wanted to get back to Mae and Justin.

Final Thoughts:
The Immortal Crown built upon the complex world provided in Gameboard of the Gods and delved even deeper. I felt that this sequel was actually stronger than the first book and has set things up for an amazing third book.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m SO glad you loved this too. This is one of the only new UF series out right now that I actually like, and sadly, there aren’t many of us yet. But Mae and Justin are so awesome, I’m sure that will change once the word gets out 😉 And yeah, I wasn’t really impressed with Tess in this installment either. And I’m sure that with you being so much more behind Justin and Mae in this book, the ending gutted you like it did me. How are we going to survive until next YEAR?! Great review!

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    • says

      I really love the dialog and chemistry between Justin and Mae. So well done. I love the slow burn so this is perfect. And YES that ending killed me.

  2. says

    I agree that with less world building to be had we get a lot of progression and that the plot moved forward a lot more, but we get so much information about Arcadia too, and without feeling info-dump-y!
    I’m in love with this series and I’m so hoping that Mae and Justin will get together for good already, damn it!!

    • says

      I loved that every detail from book one seemed to be used in this second book. I think R. Mead is a master of building her books up and making them better as the series progresses. I’ve not read the VA series (other than book 1) but I’ve heard they get better with every one. I’m sure I’ll be reading them since I love this so much.

  3. says

    Okay, so–if I didn’t really enjoy the first book, would I still like this, Kristen? It’s the only Richelle Mead book I haven’t liked to SOME degree, though it may have been because I felt let down in general. Someone told me this one is better than the first one, though.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • says

      I think you would Wendy. I guess it depends on what you didn’t like about the first book. This one is still slow paced but less info-dumpy and there are better character interactions I think. Tess’ chapters were a bit meh but Mae and Justin felt strong to me. If you read it let me know what you think.

  4. says

    I’ve been reading really positive reviews for this one so I’m really excited! I liked the first one but I’m definitely ready to get deeper into the world that she’s created. Amazing review Kristen!

  5. says

    Amazing review Kristen. <3 I'm glad you mostly loved this book 😀 I do love the cover, hih. But I have yet to read any books by this author. Someday, though 😀

  6. says

    Hmm….I may have to pick up this series after all. I loved her Dark Swan series, which is also adult, but for some reason, I wasn’t very interested in this one. Maybe it had to do with all the disappointing reviews for the first book?

    • says

      I’ve not read her Dark Swan series but now I want to. I appreciate an author that allows her books to grow and build upon the first. I love that this series seems to get better with every installment. Ready for book 3 now. I actually gave the first book 4 stars. If you can deal with the slow pacing you will probably like it.

  7. says

    This looks like an amazing series! I also love it when the series gets stronger and more in depth as it goes on. Too many times only the first book is strong and the rest fall short. So thank you for sharing this!

  8. says

    Oo, I’m really excited after this review 😀 I was a bit nervous that it would be slower than the first due to second book syndrome, so it’s good to know that isn’t the case!

  9. says

    YES. I was moderately confused by the first book but this one really just sucked me in. The first 5% I was like “Uh oh. I’m not going to enjoy this one” and then things immediately started taking off!! I love what’s developing between Justin and Mae. Their chemistry and banter is fantastic! I agree — I’m not as into Tessa’s scenes this book. They didn’t seem to be as big a part of the story line so they were a bit slow for me. Looks like we’re sharing the same thoughts on this one!

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