Friday, February 26, 2010


Can the future ever erase the past? Rose has a Cross mother and a Nought father in a society where the pale-skinned Noughts are treated as inferiors and those with dual heritage face a life-long battle against deep-rooted prejudices. Sephy, her mother, has told Rose virtually nothing about her father, but as Rose grows up she becomes determined to find out more about her parentage. As Rose takes her first steps away from Sephy and into her father’s world, she finds herself drawn inexorably into danger.

Here's Malorie Blackman's last installment in her trilogy, the first volume being Noughts & Crosses and the second Knife Edge.

Well, I must say I enjoyed reading these books very much. In Checkmate, the story relates Callie's childhood, switching from the present to the past. It's actually concentrated on merely a few hours in the present, and most of Callie's life in between.

The book, just like all the others,has many point of views, Callie's and Sephy's mainly, but also Jude, Jasmine and Meggy. I found that it was a very interesting thing to spin the POV's around, letting the reader have a clear view of how every character was feeling and reacting. It also avoided getting the reader bored with one character.

I found Sephy annoying, though. She was being a terrible mother, making all those ridiculous mistakes and making the situation even worse. Nonetheless, I think that this kind of attitude was needed to make things unravel the way they did. The story wouldn't have held the same impact if everything had solved out too early.

What I liked about Checkmate was how Callie lived through her childhood, and how her attitude changed with everything that happened. It was interesting to see the evolution of her vision on certain things as the story progressed. Sonny was ridiculous, though. I didn't really understand his issues and why he acted as he did.

The descriptions improved once again. The writing is as always concentrated on feelings and emotions. Checkmate didn't cover striking issues, or at least not as Noughts & Crosses did. It was more subject to the power of love than discrimination and racism. Rights have actually been slightly readjusted for the Noughts at the time when the story takes place, and equality is on its way for everyone.

In any case, it was an enjoyable read. A very good serie I recommend to both boys and girls. Checkmate covers the cliffhangers of Knife Edge, so fans of the two previous books absolutely need to read it! It has such a nice ending, too. Very satisfying.

Checkmate by Malorie Blackman
Rating: 9,1/10

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