Pawn by Aimee Carter
Publication Date: November 26th 2013
Published by: Harlequinn Teen
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Date Read: 19/11/2017
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.
Pawn caught me off guard with the sheer amount of corruption, backstabbing, and manipulation there was. The book was like a chess game, where Kitty is wedged between two powerful people with opposing agendas. They think she’s just a pawn in their twisted game.
At first glance, Pawn sounds like your average dystopian, where it uses an aptitude test to determine what people become in life. Those assigned a ranking of III or below are doomed to a life of poverty and prostitution, while those with a VI or higher are given fame, fortune or a high ranking official status. But it’s so much more, as Kitty becomes Masked as the daughter of the most powerful family in the country, and that’s where the story really takes off.
It was refreshing to have the romance as a secondary focus in Pawn, letting the action and story take centre stage instead. Kitty and Benjy’s relationship started before the story begins, that way there’s no need to develop it further without making it into insta-love. Their romance is sweet and strong and even though Benjy is pretty much your cookie cutter protective boyfriend, it was great without the relationship drama. There’s no love triangle either which is a bonus.
“They had taken away my face and a name, but I’d thought there was no way they could take away who I really was.”
Pawn is one of the most exciting and refreshing dystopian’s I’ve read. Although the world building is limited, it’s the intrigue behind the twisted family agendas and Kitty’s stubborn streak that kept me reading. Without the frustrating YA elements, it was even better.
As this book is dystopian, it borrows themes from a lot of other dystopian novels, including but not limited to, The Hunger Games, The Selection, and Divergent. Now while it has some of these themes, it ends up seeming very unique and I couldn’t get enough of it.
“But if you’re careful—if you protect your pawns and they reach the other side of the board, do you know what happens then? Your pawn becomes a queen.”
Kitty is the weakest character in the book, in terms of believability. Her actions are completely stupid initially, but she grew to accept her fate. I am not criticizing the fact that she chooses to become a prostitute, I am criticizing her dubious choice of a very disturbing career.
Kitty’s character is supremely inconsistent. She is supposed to be smart, though dyslexic, which makes it difficult for her to learn written things. Given her learning disabilities and her lack of skills, it completely makes no sense to me that she plays the role of very upper-class, highly educated Lila almost flawlessly. Kitty becomes too perfect to be true, she is too damned adaptable to be real. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy reading about her. Kitty was a strong heroine. I liked that her reactions were believable. When she heard of a rebellion that, if she joined, would put her life in danger, she wasn’t about to go near that. I think that’s a realistic reaction, which made Kitty seem more real. Of course, when she found out what was at stake, she knew she had to join for everyone’s sake. She was still quite likable.
It was there to give us what we deserved so we could make the most of our natural abilities. The smartest members of society could help people in ways that IIs and IIIs couldn’t, so they earned more. It was fair, and without the test, someone who had grown up in a disadvantaged family might never have their talents recognized.
I have always had a hard time with books that are overly political, but Carter has spun a very carefully crafted plot that has more then it’s share of twists and turns to keep the readers guessing.
I really love the fact that we have an already established romance. I love watching characters fall in love in stories, but it’s really nice to be able to sink into how they already feel for one another and enjoy their moments between them without having to guess or worry about how things move along. Kitty and Benjy have a wonderfully sweet relationship that kept me committed throughout the story and thankfully there isn’t a love triangle insight.
“I’m never better off without you,” he said. “We’re in this together. I love you, and that’s never going to change, all right? I’m yours no matter what your rank is. You could be a I, and I would go Elsewhere just to find you.”
Overall, Pawn was a thrilling read, and no where near your typical dystopian. Aimee Carter managed to create a world that wasn’t a copy cat, and I could tell she put a lot of work into making the future society seem unique and complete. If you consider yourself a fan of dystopian novels, you should read this. This is not Hunger Games, but still I believe it will be one of the series that will offer us something worth reading.
I loved her, but I have a duty to my country. We all do. And I will not allow us to return to that dark time. My grandson will not go through what I did. No one ever will again
That’s it for this review! Have you read this? If so, What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR? Tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree with any of this. I’d love to know your opinion.