by C.L. Denault


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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942111238
Publisher: REUTS Publications
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Pages: 556
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.24(d)

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Gambit 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Gambit" is set in the dystopian future where Earth has been reduced to technologically advanced cities called the "Cores" and the devolved towns called the "Outlands." The Outlands are akin to living in the medieval era, while the Core is more like the future oft imagined. In the Core, companies have all the power and run the Core (and subsequently the Outlands) with an iron fist. Employment and ability to progress is determined by genetic evolution. Humans (through genetic manipulation) have developed new abilities, not unlike X-men type powers, which they receive after intensive transformations soon after 16 years of age. Some people undergo a two transformations and thus end up with two skills. Matches/marriages and jobs are made based on the skills (or lack thereof). Willow has grown up in the Outlands with a family who owns a tavern. She knows that she was left with them as an infant along with an expensive dagger but not why. All that changes when Reece, a commander from the Core, visits her village and recognizes who she really is. Reece is a ruthless bully, killing and beating indiscriminately (as is his right by law as a commander outside of the Core). He imprisons Willow and forces her to go with him, bargaining small freedoms for her compliance. She is told to appreciate his efforts/that she wouldn't have made it without him. Eventually, they return to the Core and she meets her parents/learns about the new rules and expectations. Here, she and Reece fall in love between attacks by rebels who want to kill the industries and/or steal genetic materials from the higher ups. The beginning of the book had me absolutely captivated. It was fascinating hearing about her village and the world. After she is basically kidnapped by Reece, the book slows a lot until they get to the city- then it picks back up the pace and the rest is much faster. I almost put it down in the inbetween but was glad I didn't. I have big mixed feelings about the relationship between Reece and Willow. In this world, we know that most people get married after they turn 16. Willow is 16, but Reece is 23. Willow is not a super-mature 16-year-old. She has some big moments of immaturity- this makes the age difference quite a bit creepier. Also, it seems like she probably has Stockholm Syndrome, since their relationship and tolerance of the other only advances when she bargains cooperation with him for tiny freedoms (e.g. not having both her arms and legs bound or being able to contact her family). If you can ignore all that, Reece gets a lot sweeter and less evil as the book goes on and it seems more plausible. If you think about the way he was at the beginning, it's clear there is some power plays and cruelty going on in this relationship. Not to mention that he can kill anyone who kisses her or touches her, but he takes advantage of his ability to do so. Overall, I found it a bit icky for lack of a better term, and I was really hoping for a romantic relationship with anyone else to cover this one up and bury it. Maybe Tem to come back into the picture... but no. I'll be curious to see what happens with this in the future. As a minor annoyance, her "inner tiger" was a bit weird and came out at odd times (like when they were making out). This kind of reminded me of the 50 shades inner goddess, so if you liked that, this probably wouldn't bother you. The mystery of the why she was hidden as a baby (which we still don't know entirely) in addition to t
Shanrock19 More than 1 year ago
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. 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 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, and these people are taken even against his or her will by soldiers from The Core. There's news from The Core that an important family of The Core has discovered that their child has been switched at a young age, 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. So, she is basically held prisoner and forced to go along with Reece because 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. Willow trying to find a way to deal with her ability was interesting, and I like how the ability isn't a simple thing.. Willow is a strong female character, who isn't perfect, and that's okay. Gambit also has romance, but that wasn't really the focal point as of yet, but I really enjoyed it, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it progresses. Gambit doesn't really end in a cliffhanger, but the story is far from finished. Epic-ness!
annmarie2011 More than 1 year ago
The moment I saw the cover of Gambit by C.L.Denault I was intrigued it’s a stunning cover and it’s unique after that I read the description and I knew that this was a book I really wanted to read. The whole book screams read me and I prayed that the books lived up to what I had in my mind. The book is set in the future in a stunningly built world that is both beautiful and dark with a lot of political gameplay. The author builds up this world and was clear when explaining the running of this world and its people. There is also a lot of amazing tech and human changes and its kind of scary to think about the power the government has over the people. I was stunned at the work and brilliance that was put into not only creating this one of a kind story but the time that was put into each environment that readers got to see. To say the book surprised me would be an understatement I had hoped that it would be a good book but this went far beyond what I had hoped for. The whole book was easy to read its rich detail and character building all went toward making this an astoundingly brilliant book. I felt that the author covered all the things I wanted in a book and never over detailed things to death she seems to know the right amount of information and action to give the reader. It was a refreshing change to read a book that did not remind me of any other book. I have to say once I finished the book I wanted more I wished I had the next book so I could see what happened next and I know the wait is going to kill me. This is one of those books that will linger long after you have read it. This is a must read book because if you don’t read it you really are missing out.
KisaWhipkey More than 1 year ago
One part Pixar’s Brave, one part X-Men, one part Pride and Prejudice, and one part My Fair Lady,Gambit is a magical debut from a brilliant new author.
KPalm More than 1 year ago
A well written story of Willow, a girl who discovers she's not who she thought she was and her life gets flipped upside down. The world, a future Earth, in GAMBIT is fascinating. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and where the journey would take me. The characters really made this book for me. Willow, even through her tantrums, which I thought were over the top and a bit annoying, is cool, she doesn't like to take any crap. Reece... there's more to you, sir, and I want to know what it is. Joshua... I'm not sure about you, you're too nice. Tem... I miss you terribly. At the end of the book, Willow really starts to embrace who she is and I will be ready to read the sequel.
KaylaV More than 1 year ago
Enthralling, edge-of-your-seat YA science fiction novel. All too often, the YA novel lacks substance, lacks a purpose. Gambit is memorable, thought-provoking, and the kind of book we need our kids to read. It inspires travel and trying new things, learning, growing, and MORE READING. The character development of Reece is most astonishing. Can't wait for more from this author.
Aisazia More than 1 year ago
Gambit is a story full of mystery and intrigue with hints of science based superpowers and political tension. I dove into Gambit not quite knowing what I was getting myself into and found myself more than pleasantly surprised. As I read I became more involved with the world and characters that I had no problem reading through this story as quickly as I could turn the page. At first I had been confused with the accents and where/when this story took place but I quickly understood as I read on. I believe it takes place in the United Kingdom in the distant future but the part that threw me off was the beginning which read more to me as a historical because the lack of technology, only as Willow moves to the Core does the technology become futuristic.  I liked all the characters, they are well written and complex. While I like Willow, I didn't agree with all her decisions and/or her feelings. I definitely could relate to her situation and why she felt the way she did at times. Other times it was tougher for me understand, such as her romantic feelings or her anger. I liked that she challenged the authority but sometimes I wished she did it in a more clever manner or at least learned from her mistakes. Otherwise, I liked her as a heroine and am sympathetic to the things that come at her. The writing in Gambit is mesmerizing, Denault has a writing style that grips you and doesn't let go until you complete this emotional roller coaster. Even if you take a break, you can dive right back in without a problem. She has a way with words that tangle with your emotions and you can feel as if you're there with the character or at least imagine them vividly in your head.  I would consider the story's pacing a fast, steady, and intriguing journey because I always wanted to know what would happen to Willow. However, when I hit the climax, I didn't know I was there. I feel that it could have been written with more stakes at risk. I didn't know what the big climax would be, the big battle was against mostly an unknown force. Just a mass group of bodies without a face. All of a sudden it was like, boom, here's the climax, but there wasn't enough foreshadowing or stakes at risk for me to care. I did like Willow's first bold move at the end to get what she wanted and respect her for that. Although I did notice a cliche or two in the story-telling, I found that Ms. Denault expertly wove the story together in a manner that is refreshing and entertaining. Something that did irk me was the lack of Willow's interest in seeing her friends that she lost during the transition to the Core, she didn't fight to find them or see to their well-being personally, instead she took someone's word for it and that's not enough for me. I would have liked to see her take more initiative for that like she fought to see her family. Personally I was not a fan of the relationship between Willow and her love interest in the story so far. It was too hot and cold for me and I didn't appreciate the wishy-washyness of Willow's feelings. While it's probably good for the story for pacing, I'd prefer if she just hated him and didn't like the complexity of it. Also the age difference definitely put me off, but I could see Willow change and grow into a more intelligent and mature woman as she goes on in the story. The conclusion didn't quite leave me as satisfied. It was open ended and didn't quite share what would happen in the next book. While I certainly want to read the sequel, a reader who is indifferent to the story at the end may not be as interested to pick it up. There was no cliff hanger that had me craving to read the sequel right this moment if I had the option.  This story is well written and if you like stories with super powers, political tension/marriages, and strong character development then you can't go wrong with this story. 4.4 out of 5 rating for me! (A copy was provided for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)