Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review for Gambit by C.L. Denault - 5 out of 5 stars!


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?


I loved this! I loved pretty much everything about it, and I am definitely reading the next book! This review contains slight spoilers, but most of the spoilers are things that take place fairly early on in the book.

Gambit is told in Willow's POV, and she is definitely feisty; she's a brat sometimes, but I still really liked her, and I liked her fiery-ness. Normally I would be put off by her attitude, but Denault did an excellent job of allowing me, as the reader, to understand where Willow is coming from. Gambit is set in the future, but there are elements of times of the past; it's sort of a steampunk type of thing, but not quite fully. There are areas in Gambit's world where people don't have technology and are closed off from ordinary "pleasures" in life, and have to really struggle to survive, while other areas in this world have new and advanced technology, and in the technologically advanced areas is where those of higher status live. Willow lives far from those areas; she lives in a small village, where she helps run her family's tavern. I loved how supportive Willow's family is, and how honest her parents were with her. People in the Gambit world also go through something called "the surge", which if the person survives, there is a possibility that the person could develop a power of sorts; such as telekinesis, extra strength, better sight, etc., and if a person is found to have an ability they are taken to The Core, so their ability can be put to use, or those people could be bred to create more people with that particular skill, and these people are taken even against his or her will by soldiers from The Core.

Willow and her family hear news of The Core from the messenger that an important family of The Core has discovered that their child has been switched at a young age with a child that isn't theirs, so The Core is in search of the missing child and any who have aided in this deception. Soldiers from The Core show up at the tavern in search of a suspected traitor involved with the kidnapping. Reece is the soldier in charge of searching the village, and he's a bit of an iceman in his search. All of this activity has Willow on edge, and to top it off her surge happens, and she discovers she has a power. Willow doesn't want to leave her family, so she tries to hide it, but Reece is very cunning, and sees right through all of Willow's attempts, and he also suspects Willow to be the missing child. Once it is found out that Willow is indeed the missing child, she is no longer in charge of her life. She has to leave behind her family, friends, and all that she knows, and reunite with her family in The Core, where she is to be married off to a man from another prominent family because Willow's power and his power will supposedly produce exceptional offspring. So, she is basically held prisoner and forced to go along with Reece because anyone who gets in his way will suffer the consequences, and Willow doesn't want anyone harmed. And so begins the journey across the lands to The Core.

Gambit has a bit of a dystopian feel, and I happen to love dystopian books, so that was great for me, and I enjoy books that have action and adventure in them, and Gambit has some great fight scenes, and I enjoyed the groups traveling time to The Core. Reece was a fun character because he had lots of different levels to his personality, and I could sympathize with Willow about which Reece was the real Reece, and how everything isn't just black or white, but there are shades of gray as well. Willow trying to find a way to deal with her ability was interesting, and I like how the ability isn't a simple thing; it sort of brings out a side of Willow that she doesn't necessarily like, but needs to figure out a way to deal with it. Willow is a strong female character, who isn't perfect, and that's okay. I'm looking forward to seeing how much she grows throughout this series. Gambit also has, of course, some romance, but that wasn't really the focal point as of yet, but I really enjoyed it, and I'm definitely looking forward to more in the next book; it'll be interesting to see where its going to go. Gambit doesn't really end in a cliffhanger, but the story is far from finished there is still a lot that needs to happen, and I can see this series becoming really epic, and really it already kind of is.

Gambit was really excellent, so I definitely recommend it!


  1. Excellent review! I've heard lots of good things about this one. It sounds great. I'm glad you loved it!! :D

    1. It was great! Definitely an interesting read! Thanks, Erin!