Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Australia on November 26, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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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. 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, but she ends up besting them all. And I loved every minute of it.
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.
Before today, I had never questioned the ranking system. It was there to give us what we deserved so we could make the most of our natural abilities. – Kitty
Instead of having the ruling family as a simple entity, Pawn places Kitty at the heart of the action. She becomes a part of the most powerful family in the country, with their fame, fortune, and power…and lies, backstabbing, secret agendas and assassinations for the sake of power. I was wowed by the sheer amount of manipulation, with the prime minister Daxton and grandmother Augusta wanting to use Kitty for their own agenda, while Lila’s mother Celia pushing her for revenge. It was fascinating watching Kitty maneuver through the dangerous waters, never letting anyone push her around, even with her life in constant danger.
Having Kitty ranked as a III simply because she ran out of time wasn’t really believable, as she demonstrates her strength, courage, and intelligence throughout the book. In only eleven days, she picks up Lila’s accent and behaviour and is ready to assume her life. Despite this gripe, Kitty was an easy character to get behind, with her rebellious streak standing up to those who are trying to push her around, and making sure her boyfriend was always protected.
It was refreshing to have the romance as a secondary focus in Pawn, letting the action and story take center 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 an insta-love affair. 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 – retaining your focus on the constant entropy that is Pawn.
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 – Kitty
Where there’s conspiracies and a rebellion brewing in the background, there’ll be shocking revelations, deaths, and secrets revealed. Aimee Carter doesn’t hold back on this one, as the constant twists and turns are filled throughout the book. Like a Chess game, you don’t know what the author’s next move would be and the direction of Pawn was completely unpredictable.
Pawn is one of the most exciting and refreshing dystopians I’ve read this year. 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 and I can’t wait for Captive to come out.
Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. Pawn will be released November 26, 2013.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5