Day 5! Review: Checkmate – Malorie Blackman

7th SeptemberAnnouncement
8th SeptemberNoughts and Crosses Review
9th SeptemberAn Eye for an Eye Review
10th SeptemberCallum Review
11th SeptemberKnife Edge Review
12th SeptemberCheckmate Review
13th SeptemberDouble Cross Review
14th SeptemberNought Forever Review
15th SeptemberCrossfire Review
16th SeptemberDissecting the Blurb – Endgame
??? SeptemberEndgame Review

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Trigger Warnings: Alcoholism; Cancer; Physical Abuse; Police Brutality; Pregnancy; Racism; Rape; Sexual Content; Suicide; Suicide Bombing; Terminal Illness; Toxic Relationship; Violence

Checkmate, the third book in Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses Series follows three storylines: Callie Rose’s childhood; Sephy and Callie Rose attempting to reconcile; and the nailbiting tension between Jude McGregor and Jasmine Hadley.

The two present story-lines (Sephy and Callie Rose attempting to reconcile, and the nailbiting tension between Jude McGregor and Jasmine Hadley) are given in snippets, dotted around the book. This really built up tension, as I was desperate to know what would happen next to each pair of characters. I did have a gut feeling of how one of these storylines would end, which further added to the heartbreak when my prediction came true.

The past story-line surrounded Callie Rose growing up, as well as Sephy’s life. This showed the build-up to the two present storylines, and it was heartbreaking to read Callie Rose’s transformation from a young girl to a suicide bomber. I was really happy that this past story-line was included, as, at the start of the book, it seemed like Callie Rose’s past could be omitted altogether.

Despite three plots running simultaneously, Checkmate was never confusing. I always knew which plot I was reading about, and the marker pages really helped to signify when we were shifting to a present timeline. I think that it’s the multiple plotlines that makes Checkmate my favourite Noughts and Crosses book so far (Endgame, I’ve got my eye on you!), as we’re seeing their world from so many different perspectives and viewpoints.

I really enjoyed reading from so many different viewpoints throughout Checkmate, as we were seeing different perspectives on the same event, and lots of different opinions flying around at the same time. This was especially prominent in the two present-day story-lines, where we were constantly seeing each character’s opinions on everything that might have happened. However, what I would say that I admired most about the characters is Meggie’s bravery. She didn’t have a lot left to lose – she had already lost the majority of her family, and she was forced to take quite possibly the most heart-wrenching decision in this whole series – Callie Rose, or Jude?

In my opinion, Checkmate was the hardest Noughts and Crosses book to read. The past story-line focuses on Jude training Callie Rose to become a suicide bomber for the Liberation Militia, which was really sickening to read. However, this does by no means detract from the fact that Checkmate is incredibly well-written, especially given the complexity of the three storylines running through it.

Overall, I recommend Noughts and Crosses to an audience aged 13+, as long as they feel comfortable reading about the trigger warnings listed above.

Tomorrow’s post will be my review of Double Cross.

Thank you for reading this post.


13 thoughts on “Day 5! Review: Checkmate – Malorie Blackman

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