Gambit by C.L. Denault – Review

Cover- Gambit

Rating: 5.0/5.0


In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.

Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.

Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?

Gambit is one of the best YA books that I have read in thus far in 2015! In my opinion, it is absolutely on par with Throne of Glass and An Ember in the Ashes, both of which seem to have religious followings in the YA book community. I am super glad that I was presented with the opportunity to read and review this by NetGalley and the publisher, Reuts. Before stumbling across the lovely cover of Gambit, I had never heard anything about from blogs or the bibliocentric community of Instagram users and after reading the book, I’m not sure why. I was literally drawn into this book by the end of the first chapter and I pretty much didn’t put it down until I was finished- It was that awesome!

I absolutely fell in love with Willow and Reece, who initially start out with very negative feelings towards one another. Reece is a high ranking security officer from the Core city (formerly London), looking for a traitor and a missing heiress in the outlying Villages when he arrives in McKaireth. Reece is definitely a tough guy who’s used to being taken with all seriousness and when he meets Willow Kent, she immediately flaunts his authority. Willow is a tough cookie, used to working in her family’s tavern and avoiding the lecherous hands of the miners that frequent it, but she’s never met anyone like Reece before. The dynamic between these two blossoms like daffodils after a fiercely cold winter- it’s beautiful, refreshing and it’s just a hint of all the awesomeness to come.

Unlike most dystopian novels where the government is still the central power, the largest industries rule society in Gambit. The missing heiress mentioned above is a central point of conflict between the two largest industry families- the Tiernams and the Roanokes. If she isn’t found a war will start between the industries and the villages will suffer greatly. C.L. Denault has done a marvelous job creating a unique society where the most powerful individuals are genetic anomalies- the exact opposite of the X-Men, but sort of like the characters in Marie Lu’s the Young Elites. Science and technology play very significant roles in the plot of the story, which I think is great since I’m kind of a science nerd (I have a degree in Biology).

Without a doubt, Gambit deserves the highest praise and should be gracing bookshelves everywhere!! Go check it out and give it some love! Did I mention that the cover is uber cool?


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