received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Willow Kent is 16 years old and the daughter of local tavern owners in a moner's town. Until one day she is found to be far more important than she thought she was. When Commander Reece comes from the advanced land called the core, Willow's life is turned topsy turvey as she is forced to leave behind all she has ever known and embrace a future she doesn't want.
I'll be honest, I was ready to give this book 3.5 stars. I really debated it considering that the beginning and middle really dragged for me. I was also frustrated with Willow's impulsive angry nature as well as her brash vocabularly, but I suppose it's a part of her lowly upbringing so I can't complain. So, why did I give it 4 stars? Well, listen here:
The character growth and depth in Gambit are amazing. And, it never felt too rushed. you slowly grow to understand Morry, Willow, and Reece. And really, none of them are necessarily "the good guy." They've all killed and used their power and authority to get what they want. Most importantly, you learn that people come in shades of grey. Nothing a person does is just black and white.
Reece, by far, is the most complicated character in this book. You will absolutely hate him at first, but then grow to a grudging respect, and maybe even learn to love him. He is not one of those love interests that bends to the protagonist's will, giving into everything she wants. In fact, he fights Willow on everything and uses force to get things done. Yet, you also get to see a tender side to him, showing he is not all gentic mutation, but human too.
I can also confidently say that Gambit was extremely well thought out in terms of world building. You've got your outlander area that isn't necessarily terrible, but it is a hard living. the image of an old western is the likeness that has been painted in my mind. The core, strikes me as a true urban setting, but far more advanced in terms of technology.
Overall, a solid 4 and great debut for C.L denault. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!