in the gender game we have one seriously dystopian society. the world is divided in two according to gender, and neither society is all that wonderful. violet grew up in matrus, and while she has been raised to believe that matrian society is the ideal, she has also been ill-treated by it. her brother was taken at the age of 8 when it was decided that his personality traits were not ideal. a series of incidents that led to her accidentally killing fellow prisoners mean that she is marked for euthanasia.
when she is offered the devil's bargain, going to patrus as a spy and marrying a matrian spy already instilled in the patrian society she has no choice but to agree. there is nothing left for her in matrus. her contact, lee betrand seems nice enough, accommodating enough for someone who is a member of patrian society. as a woman who was matrian-born, she doesn't always act with the appropriate amount of meekness. her independent streak and cunning got her in trouble in matrus, and while they serve her well for this mission, it makes fitting into patrian society a difficult task. in order to ease her transition, lee sets her up with a guardian, viggo croft. violet's job is to get close to croft in order to successfully implicate him in the plot lee has cooked up.
but viggo is unexpectedly kind. and the more time violet and he spend time together, the more attraction sizzles between them. but soon lee is distrustful of their closeness, fearing that violet's feelings for viggo will put his plan in danger. it all comes to a head in spectacular fashion at the banquet planned for the laboratory lee works at, and to provide any more detail than that would spoil the cliffhanger ending. i'm looking forward to the sequel, the gender secret. and it better have more viggo in it. because the relationship between him and violet make the novel. the tension between them crackles off the page, and i'm sure they won't be in the best place at the start of the next novel.
**the gender game will publish on september 24, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/nightlight press in exchange for my honest review.