by Maddy Edwards
(The Gauntlet #1)
Publication Date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Samantha Berry lives in a world devastated by war. A fragile peace has allowed hopes for rebuilding to blossom, but they rest on the shoulders of those who run the Gauntlet, the lethal trail to the stronghold of the man whose strange creatures started the war many years ago. The stronghold lies deep in Torrent's Valley, protected by deadly weapons that defeat every attempt to penetrate it, and it holds information crucial to the survival of Samantha's world.
Samantha wants to go to Harknell School, where Gauntlet Runners are trained. The only trouble is, she's the wrong gender. Determined not to let a little thing like that stand in her way, she disguises herself, calls herself "Sam," and risks everything to learn the skills she needs.
Fraught with unimagined dangers, Harknell shows Sam a whole new world and forces her to keep a cool head as she fights to maintain her place and become a Runner. Along the way, she'll make lifelong friends, watch loyalties crumble, and learn what it is to love.
In this scorching world that no one saw coming... until it arrived.
I like that at the beginning they don't specify the gender of the main character. I thought the main character was a boy at the beginning. I didn't like that almost immediately after her gender was revealed, it is emphasized how much weaker females are than males. However, the author proves that point incorrect throughout the rest of the book.
Sam(antha) is stuck in Salt Landing with her cousin's family who treat her like crap. Her mother left her with her cousin when she went to look for her brother, after he left for Harknell Hall to try to run the Gauntlet. Six years later, Sam goes herself, to try to train to run the Gauntlet and find her brother, even though only males are allowed at Harknell Hall.
I was impressed by this book! It sucked me in immediately, and I would have finished it in one night, if I didn't have to make myself go to bed at a (somewhat) decent hour so that I could go to work early the next day. Adulting sucks!
I will say that I figured out one of the twists at the end, but all of the other twists and turns thorughout the book, and especially the ending, I could have NEVER guessed any of that was going to happen!
The author did an excellent job at world building and character development. Her character development was also very well timed, leaving some characters' mysteries a secret until the most powerful moment to reveal them.
I absolutely ♥ed Sam! She was fearless and was hardly ever afraid of being found out as a girl, except in obvious situations. I think it would have taken away from the story if she was constantly worrying about it.
This book was awesome! I'm just super upset that I don't have the next book in the series to keep reading! I can't wait to see what happens next!
I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.