Review: Gambit by C.L. Denault

Posted February 24, 2016 by Sophia
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Review: Gambit by C.L. Denault

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Review: Gambit by C.L. DenaultGambit by C.L. Denault
The Prodigy Chronicles #1
Published by REUTS Publications LLC on March 31, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher


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?


A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review.

Okay, time to get my little reviewing gears oiled up again….

It’s temporary. I’ll be back in April, I still exist for Novel Newcomers, funny little posts about the apocalypse (it is breaking, though) and whatnot, and Waiting on Wednesday posts over at In Wonderland. I’M STILL ALIVE, OKAY?

But I still have to get one or two reviews out the door before a couple people come after me with poisonous cookies (just the priority deadlines… I’m late with Netgalley and I’ve “banned” myself).

Moving on.

Gambit is one of those books that are slow, but the slow feel of the book fits with the plot decently. Willow Kent, the main character, lives in a world where people with extraordinary powers live good lives in the Core (analogize it to the Capitol in the Hunger Games, if you will) and those without live in poverty. She doesn’t really know much about her childhood aside from the fact she got left with a family and adopted by them at a really young age, and it remains that way until a Core officer discovers she is really a lost heiress and strives to bring her back to her original family.

Nearly half the book is located in a small village where Willow grows up in – trading items is a thing, messengers traveling from the Core and back exist, and it’s basically back to the old fashioned world where wearing a swimming suit is bad for ladies (because perverts). The characters in the villages have the weirdest character names I’ve ever seen, like Patchie and Temsik – Temsik doesn’t bother me as much as Patchie does. As for the Core… I’m not too sure about that one yet.

Every once in a while a name I’ve heard of actually pops up, like Willow, for instance. Willow has a fire in her that I like for some reason – she’s fierce, stubborn, and there’s definitely some humor in her snark, especially towards Commander Reece (she’s like a ball trying to bounce at the wall that won’t budge).

The other half of the book is dedicated to a small portion of the Core where Willow was supposed to have grown up in. Although it’s only one particular area and then some more, Denault gives enough information that gives a good idea on what the rest of the Core is really like. Blinds don’t exist and it’s the coolest technology ever. I personally think Willow will do perfectly fine harnessing the reins of the Core from the way she negotiates.

The first of the Prodigy Chronicles is a slow first book as Willow transitions from village life to Core life, but Denault is fantastic at not boring the readers with her writing – Gambit has a lightheartedness to it that I really enjoyed and it seems to promise of better things and more action further in the sequels.

Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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