Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review: Gambit

Title: Gambit
Author: C. L. Denault
Series: The Prodigy Chronicles
Volume: 1
Genre: Post-apocalyptic

A Quick Introduction: In a world where power is in your genes, Willow Kent has always expected to hide her ability for fear of being taken from her family to one of the Core cities. Then, just as she is coming into her power, revelations about her parentage turn her world upside-down. Suddenly she finds herself adrift in an unfamiliar city, with a family she's never known, with a new destiny and set of expectations upon her.

Out of Ten: 3/10

Review at a Glance: This fairly formulaic post-apocalyptic novel had a rather disturbing romance which destroyed any enjoyment I might have had.

Review: I've discovered the number one way to take a "well it was okay..." rating down to a "please let's never do that again" rating for me! The secret ingredient is to at a disturbingly unbalanced relationship! Especially when you season it with actual physical violence! Yep!

Okay, I'll stop with the sarcastic exclamations now. Basically, this book started off fine. A bit formulaic, but fine. I can do formulaic! I've been known to actually enjoy formulaic if I'm in the mood and the writing's good. The book opens with Willow on the verge of developing her gift (which come in around sixteen). Though the novel says that there is a scientific reason for all the gifts, it is, for all intents and purpose, essentially magical in nature.Willow was a fairly typical heroine, but none the less one that I was getting comfortable reading. She's quick-tempered, confident, and has ambitions far beyond working the tavern run by her family.

The setting was fairly typical of this sort of post-apocalyptic novel- the privileged living in glittering cities, the ungifted generally living in poverty outside. I am curious about how the wars that led to this world happened... were they civil wars between prodigies and normal humans?

So writing was fine, the story was fine, I was just beginning to enjoy myself, when it happen. It being the relationship which I was trying through shear force of will to ignore the signs of until I could not deny that it was happening anymore. And then my enjoyment rapidly decline until the point I was considering just not finishing the book. Because this relationship handled a power-imbalance between two characters very poorly, and basically romanticized a pretty worrying dynamic.

Overall, this book really wasn't for me. Relationship dynamics are something that can really make or break a book for me... and this one fell on the "break" side of that line rather spectacularly.

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