Gambit by C.L. Denault
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gambit was one of those books that I was on the shelf about reading when I saw it on Netgalley. I was not sure if I would be able to read it because I am typically am not a fan of dystopian novels. I decided to give it a chance in exchange for a review and I am definitely happy that I read it. Gambit was awesome! It is the story of Willow Kent that was raised by her parents in one of the outlying areas which seems like it may be formerly Scotland. Willow is a 16 year old girl with a close family and many friends. They own a tavern that is always very packed. In this world, there are messengers that risk their lives to go to an area known as the Core which appears to previously be London. The messengers ride a very long distance by bicycle risking their lives to get news for the outlying areas. There are patrols that move around looking for what is known as prodigies, people with magical gifts that they are required to report to the Core. This concept is dark to me but, it is a dystopian novel. The Core has labs where they study these people where they try to harness these gifts for their own uses.
Willow has secrets that are going to change her entire life and that of her family. She has gifts that the Core want to know about and through their very heavy-handed tactics, they discover and literally rip her from her life. Willow has to determine who she can trust and how to live in this new world that is more like our world but with more advanced technology. The people she meets, Aspen, Duncan, Kane, Joshua, Reece, Gem, Morry and Fenn all play a huge part in how Willow's story moves and it is up to her to harness her gifts and try to take back control of her life. Gambit is an action-packed thrill to read. The characters are well-drawn. The story is interesting and there is also some mystery in it. I have to say I am seriously worried about this arranged marriage and how things will unfold with that, especially given the nature of the relationship between the two families. But, it is politics at its best and worst. I am really looking forward to the next book in this very exciting series!