This is the third book in the brilliant Noughts & Crosses series. It follows Callie Rose, the daughter of Sephy and Callum, as she grows up and discovers her disturbing past. She meets her Uncle Jude, who is still consumed with rage and wants to use her for his own revenge. We meet Sephy again, but this time she’s older and some what damaged by her past and finds it difficult to love again. We follow her through the different relationships with love interests and with Callie and find the answers to the cliffhanger of Knife Edge.
The same format is used with characters alternating with each chapter and, as with the books preceding this one, the story sweeps you along and it’s difficult not to get caught up in the lives of Sephy, Callie and the rest of the family.
It reveals the difficultly growing up as a mixed race child and how prejudice from both sides leaves Callie with a feeling of not belonging anywhere. As Callie grows up and finds out that the ones closest to her have been lying she grows bitter and decides to follow Jude in his vendetta, even though her heart really isn’t in it. This section of the story reaches a dramatic climax and the end for some of the characters.
This is a cleverly crafted novel, and although it does not have the same impact as Noughts and Crosses, it’s still a very tense and dramatic story that absorbs you and keeps you reading. The ending of the book is bittersweet.
Originally the final instalment of a trilogy, Checkmate answers some of the questions that hovered after reading Knife Edge. The letter from Callum is explained in more detail and the relationships between the characters come to a satisfying conclusion.
However, this novel didn’t remain as the ending for this series and earlier this month a fourth book was released. I’m reluctant to read Double Cross as Checkmate was a perfect end to a thought-provoking and emotionally charged series which I thought was absolutely superb and cannot recommend enough. I’m not sure where Double Cross will take me, but I will find out as it’s next on my list to read.
Rating: 4 Stars
Checkmate by Malorie Blackman
(Noughts & Crosses #3)
Young Adult / Alternate History / Romance
Corgi Children’s (7 Sept 2006)
Paperback: 511 pages