Review copy provided by the author via Xpresso Book Tours – thanks!
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).
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.