Book Review: Gambit by C.L. Denault


“Willow, this….tension… between us is unsustainable.” His warm hand, still at my waist, slid to small of my back. “It will destroy us both. We need to call off the tigers.”

“Easier said than done, ” I muttered. “Mine doesn’t like you very much.” “Well, that’s a shame. Because despite the conflict, mine is becoming quite fond of you.”

I demand a hardback copy of the Gambit by C.L. Denault! Holy Shit! This book is crazy, I was so judgmental that it took me days before I started to read Gambit. I like how the touch of black to the cover and the dagger is appealing to me but the wings of a butterfly? Really? I shouldn’t judge the book, as the old saying says And then here I am, vowing to read the second book! Its fucking great, After reading for like a few chapters, like 80% on the book, I checked again the cover of the book and despite the butterfly wings, I loved the book — and it turns out that I will love the cover, the cover has meaning on the book and you’ll love it, and you wanted the cover to stay as it is. I have a huge urge of asking the author to change the cover but NO it was fine and elegant as it is.

The story is great! Like, shit,”Why did I even judge this book in the first place?”, it revolves with our main character, Willow Kent, whose life is about to change, like a normal dystopian novels, it’s a cliché in a way but you wouldn’t get tired of it because this novel is a game, a game of chess where our characters play with their tongues and manipulate people into their own liking. I find this book interesting with the little amount of Tem, our protagonist childhood friend who propose his love to Willow on the day that her life’s about to change and Reece, a Core Officer whose obliged to the responsibilities of old London which is called Core in this book. This book is fascinating, it introduce how the world outside the Core, it was rough and it needs survival instinct to play safe with people who surrounds you. And it introduce us to what Core can do with technology. The book is set in future and gives out the vibes of a dystopian. I love how the author mixed technology with fantasy with some bound limitations, how she mixes personality of our protagonist and I definitely love how she manage to think and come up with some well manage thoughts of the characters and I really really liked it when Willow and Reece debate on some things about their life, its good. I was like reading and imagining two intelligent and cocky people debating life then their perspective then the rules then everything that’s get their way or what seems their emotions feel.

It’s amazing that C.L. Denault gives justice to the fantasy aspect of her book and I’m really looking forward more of that on the second installment. I will definitely follow this author’s novel. Gambit, from the title, is a move, where everyone takes risking decision, and it is entirely what our protagonist is. A tigress, a fierce and bold lady, an intelligent and gorgeous woman whose life is about to change. The combination of elegance and luxury and the uncontrolled emotions of Willow is really good, the longing of the past and the advancement to the future is the same, it has a touch of balanced nature of the novel and it seems I’m in love with it! Otherwise, I wouldn’t finish this book less than a day!

The author gave us the on and off relationship of our characters, I won’t mention names to be ship with our character since, you might be spoiled but I am wishing and shipping them to the end! Like, wow! This guys needed to be in love for doing such an argument! I find it interesting because both of them has a sense and they are fighting for what they think is right or what is abide to the rules. And then the author is telling me that a Core Commander cannot marry?! Like, how dare you, play with my feelings! I felt shocked, I don’t want that. And there’s Morry, Willow’s biological mother whose attitude is beyond my grasp! I hate her, I don’t feel her —  I can’t feel her, I wish I could, but I don’t. I like Fenn’s than her, Fenn is Willow’s Father. He’s really good. If Fenn’s really said the right thing then maybe, A little hope, Morry is just hiding the mother she is, what kind mother she is when her daughter is in danger and all she worries is her reputation? Like, what the fuck, are you kidding me? Talking back to her father, Fenn’s really good on welcoming Willow, I like him, he tries hard to accept her but I don’t know if I should also give my full trust with him, I have this side that I think of it that it is only a facade for Willow to see but there’s also side of me that trusts him, that he is sincere of Willow being there. I don’t know, this author is so good at hiding things and twisting everything you could ever think, I did predict Willow, for who she is but everything? I didn’t. I was so focus on reading that I didn’t thought that I just read a 556 pages long book, well, according to goodreads, and caught up with everything that I need more!

This book is a mixture of brilliance and intelligence that can make any readers hooked up with its few pages, and indulge with its amazing world plus the author’s not good but one of the best writing style I’ve ever read and it will bring you to the world that you wouldn’t imagine that you’ll love and hate it both at the same time. I assure you guys! Don’t judge this book by its cover because this one is definitely one of the best reads of my year!

Thank you C.L. Denault for writing such a good book, I can’t think of any word to describe how magnificent and marvelous how this book started and to think that this book is your first debut novel, you did really a good job on writing this one and I am here waiting for the second installment! And where can I get a hardback copy of this book? This book needed to display on my shelf! I love this. I fucking love your book!

My ratings: 5 stars! If I could rate more than 5, I could rate this book to infinity!


7520394C.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 stay home with her children (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.

Writing and blogging are two of her passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi and horror flicks. When she’s not hanging out with her family, 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.

She enjoys connecting with people (especially those from other planets, dimensions, and the future). To find her, just visit her website or The INFJ Café. Or use a Stargate. Whichever is easiest.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Gambit by C.L. Denault

  1. OH MY GOD THIS REVIEW IS PERFECT. It took me weeks to type up mine because I literally had so much to say! There is so much material that the author can use for her sequel and I can’t wait to read the final output! Seriously, I am in love with this book and I am so happy that you enjoyed as much as I did. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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