Gambit has been on my to be read list for what seems like ages, and last Saturday I found the time to sit down and read it. Everything else stopped. I only lifted my head several hours later when I’d finished.
Cary’s story drew me in completely. I haven’t lost myself this much in a book for ages. I never wanted it to end, and whereas it has a satisfactory ending (for now) I nearly cried when it finished. I want more!
I want more of Willow.
I want more of Asp (Something about him makes me smile but also worry)
I want more of Tem (Bless, please don’t forget him)
And I NEED more of Reece!!!
Reece is the sort of man that you can’t help but develop strong feelings for—ones of hate, admiration, confusion, or even pure unadulterated lust. No guessing which category I fall into. I loved Reece from the moment he stepped through the doorway of the tavern. The way Cary revealed his character, bit by bit, was wonderfully done. And I think there is a lot more of him to come—he’s hiding something and I can’t wait to find out what.
There were a few times when I wanted to shake Willow. Some of her decisions were crazy, but she’s only sixteen, so that’s what I’d expect.
I also developed a fond liking of the Ritters. They sound so vile, but they purr! How can anyone hate a creature that purrs and is completely devoted to its owner? Please, please let me have one.
Seriously though, Cary has developed a full set of well-developed and different characters. They came alive on the page for me. The world building was intricate and at times jaw-dropping. Her descriptions were vivid and beautifully written.
I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be out. I NEED to find out what’s in store for Willow, and Reece.
Gambit is a must read for fans of Divergent or Hunger Games. I’m even going to stick my neck out and say IT’S BETTER than either of them!
I was lucky enough to interview Cary and ask her a few questions about Gambit, Willow and Reece. And in case my review didn't give it away, YES, I am a huge fan of Reece.
What inspired you to write Gambit?
I was watching an episode of Alphas on the Syfy channel one day and thinking about what life would be like for people with extraordinary abilities. They always seem to be in hiding, unable or unwilling to reveal their true identities. So I wondered what would happen if they became celebrities instead—a powerful, influential group of people that grew too numerous to control. What if the governments of the world decided to wipe them out, sparking a global war that devastated our planet? I pictured the aftermath of such a war—with the extraordinary humans in charge, oppressing the normal population—and let my imagination take over from there.
What were the challenges in bringing it to life?
At first, there weren’t many. Getting the story out of my head and into written form was incredibly exciting. I wasn’t on social media or part of a writing community at the time, so the only distractions were my family responsibilities and my INFJ Café blog. I finished the first draft in six months, and those were the most thrilling months of my life! The real challenges were learning to revise my own work (which I did many times), seeking feedback on the manuscript, and trying to decide the best route for publishing.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’ve tried sticking to an outline, and it’s almost impossible. I prefer building the world as I go along and having the freedom to follow inspiration as it strikes.
Which actress/actor would you like to see playing Willow/Reece or any other characters from Gambit?
Chloe Grace Moretz occasionally comes to mind when I think of Willow. Chloe is such a lovely mix of youth and maturity. If she could pull off a hot temper and a Scottish accent, she might be a good fit. And Chris Hemsworth radiates a sensitivity and depth of passion that would be perfect for Joshua. I’m afraid the rest of the cast is still a mystery to me.
As you well know, Cary, I’m a bit of a Reece fan. If I asked him out on a date where should I take him and what should I talk about? (Presuming he agreed)
Oh, he would agree. He doesn’t have much of a social life and would love to have a special lady take him out on the town. Be prepared to talk about yourself, as he’s trained in gathering information and will make sure you’re the main topic of conversation. He has cultured tastes, so you can’t go wrong with an upscale restaurant, theatre, or museum. A walk along the beach at Ravenscar afterward would appeal to his senses and lower his guard enough for you to find out a little more about him. All in all, it could turn out to be quite a romantic evening. Just make sure he leaves the Ritters at home. ;)
Can you give us any hints about what happens in the next book in the series?
If all goes well, readers of the next book will learn more about how the prodigies came into power, bits and pieces of the truth behind Reece’s argument with Joshua, and what the Council has in store for Kane. They’ll also meet Thess in greater capacity and find out just how Morry Roanoke reacts to those who threaten her reputation. And Willow is certain to find her way into more trouble—or, more likely, it will end up finding her.
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?
C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing stories and posting on The INFJ Café are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
Her debut novel, Gambit, is the first in a Young Adult dystopian series.