Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 204 pages
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing
Release date: May 15, 2011
Series: Cargon #1
Source: Review e-copy from the writer
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
Lives are won, lost and traded on the three-tiered Cargon boards.
Eve, a serving-girl, has watched the elite from the outside, seen the dramatic shifts based on the results of the Game. With a growing need to reach beyond her station, she can no longer accept her position on the edges. Wagering her own life, she wins and emerges in a strange new world. New rules and old acquaintances tangle to make Eve’s life less comfortable than her position would suggest.
One pawn moved, but an entire world shaken – Eve will change the world.
Personally, I think there’s something quite special about this book. I really enjoyed it, and since I devoured it in less than one day, I think that’s pretty meaningful. At first, I was hesitant to read it because it only had 15 ratings on Goodreads, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.
The writing of the book seemed a little rough at times and the editing also seemed to lack. I was able to overlook this since the story was so engaging. It tells the story of a young servant girl named Eve, who lives in a dystopian world that has reverted back to historical times. No electricity and the separation of the aristocracy from the servants gives us the impression of going back to the middle-ages. Society is divided into two major groups: the elite, who are wealthy and control society, and the servants, who are raised to follow the elites’ every order. A very strict line separates the two groups and it would be unthinkable for a servant to join the ranks of the elite, let alone gain an important status among them. However, Eve has unknowingly challenged someone in playing Cargon, a game that reminds me somewhat of chess and a game which can change society so drastically with just a few wrong moves (or good ones). As Eve gains a place among the elite, her world changes dramatically as she finds a way to adjust to her new position.
Throughout the book, we see Eve grow from an immature and naïve servant girl into an intelligent and strong-willed woman. Her fresh outlook on life has given her a real advantage in her new station but I think it’s her dedication to her studies that has helped her take on a leadership role. Any young girl would want to be Eve in this type of society and I think any girl would be envious of the relationship she has with Adam, one of the elites. That alone makes her a great YA protagonist. The romance and the affection between the two characters is quite enjoyable and very well developed. You can tell the relationship was really important to the author since it shows in the way she wrote every affectionate scene. However, one small thing that bothered me is the fact that the two characters are named Adam and Eve. I understand that they’re a part of something new and they might symbolize a new beginning, but the story didn’t need the biblical reference to communicate this.
I was surprised by how much this story caught my attention. The society and its hierarchy is very detailed and I think the world beyond the society we’ve been introduced to was left out for a reason. I’m anticipating the rest of the story since I wasn’t really fond of the ending. It left me wondering too much about Eve and Adam’s future together, and whether or not society will cause a rift between the two. This original dystopian/historical trilogy will surely please many YA fans of the genre. It does have some similarities with other YA series but I think it’s authentic enough to hold its own. Like I mentioned earlier, the writing does seem a bit unrefined but CARGON: HONOUR & PRIVILEGE shows a lot of promise as the first book of this trilogy. It saddens me that not many people are aware of it…