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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This third book in the fantastic "Noughts and Crosses" trilogy proves to be a tense and thought-provoking conclusion. If you have read and enjoyed the previous two novels in Malorie Blackman's much-acclaimed series, "Noughts and Crosses" and "Knife Edge", then there is absolutely no doubt that you will love "Checkmate" too. The story follows "Nought" (white) Callum and "Cross" (black) Sephy's mixed-race daughter Callie Rose as she grows up and discovers all about her disturbing past, while struggling to fit in in a severely prejudiced society. Blackman really manages to move the reader and sustain interest throughout the novel, and I for one continuously wished for racist attitudes to be wiped from the planet as I was reading this book. I was so engrossed in the story that I found myself finishing the novel within a day of purchasing it, which undoubtedly speaks for itself. As in "Noughts and Crosses" and "Knife Edge", the plot is disturbing and touching, and if you have read either of the afore-mentioned novels, you will not have discovered everything about Callum and Sephy's story until you have devoured the final page of the brilliant "Checkmate". I highly recommend this book for teenagers and adults alike.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2005
This book is one of the best I've ever read. It is the third in a fantastic trilogy, about racial prejudice. It's an emotional rollercoaster, telling the story of the childhood of Callie Rose, daughter of Persephone. Callie Rose is a sixteen-year-old girl, commonly deregarded by society because she has a white, or blanker, father. The plot is original and gripping, and the emotion is breathtaking. This book was long awaited after the impressive 'Noughts and Crosses'and 'Knife Edge' from earlier on in the series, which show Sephy and Callum (Callie's father) growing up, and showing the extent of the prejudice.
This really is an amazing book, and i don't want to say any more about it for fear of giving away some of the plot, but it's a stunning novel, and i really would advise it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2005
What can i say? Totally amazing- unsuspected tragedy at the end proves the final touch. Could n't have been written better. An amaziong author. To start with the story seems a bit slow and tennager-esce, but it soon picks up pace and resumes the grip to which blackman continuously drives her readers. This book shows sephy struggling ot communicate with her teenage daughter, callie rose- who is confused, doesn't read people very well and is determined and stubborn-a perfect mix of sephy and callum-she also has the grounding and deep saddness that callum owned. This book shows sephy trying to move on with her life but moving away from her daughter- meanwhile jude makes his apeearance by guiding callie away from the path her mother has rightfully laid. The main storyline is a confrontation of sephy and her daughter and jasmine and jude-both which have climaxes. It is agreat end to the trilogy and couldn't have ended another way.
There are talks of checkmate being banned due to its connections with suicidal bombing-which i believe there is no cleaer written evidence of-it is uninfluencial in that way and has no reason to be discriminated against. It is an amzing and deeply knowledgeale read. Amazingly written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2006
I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. After reading the first to i thought this might be disappointing but i was wrong!! It is without a doubt the best in the series. Sephy's just had Callie rose and is coping with being a mother... then she receives a letter written from callumn when he was in prison. The letter is full of hatred and disgust, after reading it sephy's life instantly falls apart. Callie rose asks her too many questions about her dad and every time sephy tells herself that she'll tell callie the truth "next time" but next time becomes to many and before long its too late...

Callie rose loves her mum but doesn't understand what's going on. Why does nana meggie look at her mum like that? Why doesn't mum ever hug her? ...slowly callie ross find out the truth about her past her mums past and her dads with a little help from jude. Jude tells her the truth - always - she trusts jude. As she gets older her and shephy grow apart. They stop talking and it's too late to mend.

Nana Jasmine tries to help but the prospect of it working is low...

Nana Meggie made a mistake; she said something hurtful and spiteful now nobody's life will be the same, and she can't seem to take it back...

Jude has appeared and without anyone knowing is talking to callie rose and trying successfully to turn her against her mother, any cross and into the l.m...

The most gripping book i've ever read. i loved it. Very powerful and simply beautifull. Malorie Blackman is one of the best authors of our time
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2005
Sephy is back along with Callie, Meggie, and a bunch of new characters in the third book of the Noughts and Crosses triology.
Sephy's daughter Callie Rose is growing up, half Nought, half Cross in an unfair, Cross ruling society. The older Callie gets, the more she wants to learn about her roots. A mysterious figure from the past is soon going to turn Callie's world upside down, and every time they meet, Callie is digging herself a deeper hole that only her mum can get her out of.
Soon Callie and Sephy's relationship is falling apart. Secrets, strange excuses, will they ever make up?
I thought this book was superb! It had a good variety of feeling toward the characters. Sadness love and hope play a big part in this moving and unforgettable story. I would most definitly give it 5 stars. Its' just so exciting, at times depressing, and loveable all at once. Highly recommended!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2005
This book is probably the best book I have ever read- and no, it is not about chess, as some people might have thought.
Sephy has always been distant towards her daughter Callie Rose, not because she doesn't like her but because she thinks she will hurt her as she thinks she hurts everyone she touches or loves.
Rose picks up on her mother's distant behavior and thinks she's like that for all the wrong reasons. The friction between them is helped by Callie's uncle Jude who is a terroist.
A brilliant uplifting sequel to Knife Edge. Be warned, it might make you cry!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2007
Nought's and Crosses is an enthralling novel about two childhood friends who are being driven apart by racism in the community. However, they are determined to stay together no matter what anybody thinks. This is especially hard seen as Sephy is the daughter of one of the most powerful, admirable men in the country. Struggling to stay together, cracks start to appear particularly when Callum's brother Jude gets involved with the wrong people.

The basis of this storyline is step up along the play of Romeo and Juliet, but modern making it even more exciting and easier to follow. Sephy is a cross and Callum is a nought, meaning that they have two entirely different worlds which are complete opposites. The Noughts are ruled by the Crosses being told what to do; meanwhile Sephy is free to do her own thing. By the end of the first book you will have a well accomplished image of these two unique citizens.

The genre is a mix of romance and violence with other genres entering the plot at different times. Every chapter of this novel is enjoyable keeping you involved with the remarkable storyline; it is an eye opener teaching you how much difference one action will make to others. It is a very erudite enjoyable yet grave novel.

Consistently throughout the novel it is intriguing making you want to read the book backwards once you have finished. It generally keeps up a fast pace but can get a little slow in parts.

Malorie Blackman is a new and upcoming teenage author; this astounding series of books won her many awards including the FCBG Children's book award. She tries to show her audience what life was and can be like, also how little actions can affect great numbers of people. This novel also taught me that not only second class citizens are affected by the rules in a bad way, but first class citizens, like Sephy.

I would recommend this book to 13 year olds and upwards and think it is a phenomenal read for anybody.

Malorie Blackman has outstood herself.

Definitely worth a read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful! A brilliant finale to a excellent series.

This book brought together all the issues previously covered in 'Noughts and Crosses' and 'Knife Edge'. And you do really need to read both these books to fully appreciate 'Checkmate'.

Sephy is now a young mum, caring for Callum's baby, Callie Rose. As a half nought (white), half Cross (black) child, life throws all the familiar problems at Callie Rose, in spite of the fact that time has moved on and some things have improved. Sephy still has hang-ups from her days with Callum and the tragic end to their love, and these have a devastating effect on the young child. Callum's evil brother, Jude, resurfaces, looking for revenge and even Meggie, Callum's mum, who homes Sephy and Callie Rose, has a mean streak that shows itself.

This final episode in the trilogy is a strong study of relationships and the effects of the characters' histories on their lives. It comes to a well structured, exciting climax, but leaving one or two unanswered questions.

A wonderful climax to an excellent trilogy.

Recommended for adults and older teenagers alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2006
i am 18 now and i started reading the noughts and crosses series when i was about 15 and up untill then i never had a "favourite" book...but than that all changed after i finished the last page of noughts and crosses. i think that trilogy is just amazing... every word is in the perfect place and blackman has such a hold on and is in such control of the story. obviously inverting the idea of racial history is ingenious but with so many stories conflicts and journeys in one trilogy you cannot help but keep reading. and as checkmate concludes callie roses journey it is done with perfection.. that is the only way i can describe this book PERFECT!! all three books will stay imprinted in my mind forever and even now three years from the time i began reading them, i still find myself talking about them to anyone who will listen!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 grips you and keeps you reading. The ending of the book is bittersweet.

Verdict:

Originally the final installment 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.
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