Gambit by C.L. Denault

gambitTitle: Gambit (The Prodigy Chronicles #1)
Author: C.L. Denault
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
Release Day: March 31st 2015
ARC kindly provided from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
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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?

4 stars!

“A gambit. It’s a sacrifice play made at the beginning of a chess game.”

I have two reviewing modes, 1) review immediately because FEELS and 2) review a month later because FEELS. In both cases, I’m either too overwhelmed with feels that I need to talk to someone (that someone being you, the person reading this, how lucky do you actually feel right now) or I’m too overwhelmed with feels that I need to process the epicness. And there was a lot of epicness here.

Gambit was such a unique book and I love it when authors come up with new ideas to write and amaze the readers, this is also the author’s debut novel and way to go CLD, this is how you debut!

I don’t like comparing books to other books no matter how similar they are but for this review and in order to make a point I’ll have to borrow a few choice words from the X-Men universe. So, Willow’s story is set in a dystorian world were people have “mutations” for lack of a better word although it has more to do with DNA and stuff, but let’s use a familiar term, like the X-Men universe, that give them powers. Some have Xavier-like powers, tracking other’s with powers, everyone’s powers are unique and they develop after a certain age, not always being successful, it might actually be fatal for the person. Willow is a tavern’s daughter until the day a Core officer appears, looking for something. Willow and Reece hate each other from the get go and it’s hilarious and so fun to read, he’s cold and professional, literally won’t tolerate her behavior, and she is always on his case.

There isn’t much to spoil, it does say in the blurb that her identity is in question so I might as well talk about it since it actually happens pretty early. Willow was switched as a baby from the Core city and given to her foster family and someone placed another baby in her place; now that the fraud is exposed just before an arranged marriage took place, the Roanoke family are searching for their biological daughter.

There’s a a great world building and a lot of story showing instead of story telling which is lacking in a lot of successful novels so this was so refreshing to read and actually have to be patient until things were revealed instead of falling face first into the story and a sea of brand new information. The story takes the readers to an amazing journey that I enjoyed immensely.

There is a romance somewhere between the dystopian world – that is kickass and actually has a more medieval feel to it but with technology and is taking place in London, we even get a glimpse of the Big Ben – between Willow and someone I won’t spoil. But the story made me work for it, I was actually waiting to see how the romance was going to come into the picture, she already has an arranged marriage waiting for her, but she does have a life back home and an almost boyfriend, Asp, which was adorable and so freaking cute! But also, her new life is pretty exciting at the same time, and there is a person I didn’t see being into her… all I’m saying is, well played book!

Secondary characters and the rest are just as fascinating, the Ritters were something else, I need more of those creatures please! Every character was awesome to be honest, this was too good!

The writing is amazing, the world building is extraordinaire and the characters have flaws and they are badass, witty and sassy and they are multi-dimensional, I’m honestly scared to read the sequel, I don’t know how it can get any better but I’m looking forward to being pleasantly surprised!

Kei

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