Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

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Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter
Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Publication date: November 26th 2013
by Harlequin Teen


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.
-A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen for review-

For the 82323234287637’s book in its genre this year alone, Pawn was surprisingly original with a refreshing triangle-free minimalist romance and a plot that had tons happening throughout, not just anticipation for the ending. As my first Aimee Carter book I can’t tell you how it compares to her Goddess Test series, but I was impressed with this one for sure.

The world building, at first, sounds like your average dystopian. Society is divided by numbers given to you after a big test on your 17th birthday. If you get a 5 or over, you live a rich life, if you get a 2 or a 3… well at least you didn’t get a 1 and get sent to Elsewhere. The originality of it all comes after Kitty gets offered a 7, which, in the most literal of ways, means she needs to be turned into another person altogether – a process called Masking. After which is where we start to see the cracks in this world. We get access to the biggest secrets, as well as intel on the biggest rebellion. Overall the world is well built, particularly in a political sense, with tons of conspiracies and mysteries, though I wouldn’t have minded a more detailed history. There is no lack of evil, of course. The first true hint of it comes from a glimpse at what this “Elsewhere” really is. It caused my eyes to bulge open wide in horror.

Pawn’s pacing is what makes this book highly entertaining. Not only do we have a world filled with threats and secrets, but we have a plot that answers questions, spitting out twists and significant happenings at regular intervals. In other words, it doesn’t save all its cards for the ending – though the ending is not lacking either. Plus, the romance is kept light, but most importantly, it’s kept triangle free! Let’s all take a moment to appreciate this! … *takes a moment to appreciate this* … The love interest in question is Benjy and while the romance didn’t throw me off my seat by any means, I thought it was sweet how loyal they were to each other. I also enjoyed the amicable jealous banter between him and Lila’s “fiancé”.

Since Kitty gets surgically changed into a new person, it’s actually fascinating to see all the details that go into acting like someone else entirely. It also provokes thoughts of having to walk in someone else’s shoes. As for the character herself, Kitty is easy to like. She keeps her senses and her moral values; she understands what’s at stake when she considers using what’s now available to her to do the right thing. She’s really just an average girl with a now powerful face. The side characters have distinct voices and personalities, and every one of them has a role to play in this story – no fluff page fillers, but nothing in particular to note. I do praise her creation of evil, heartless villains, however. From the first time we meet Augusta, she comes off as exactly that. The atmosphere surrounding her is charged with malice, coupled with her power makes her downright terrifying. As for Daxton, well, we’re only just learning who he really is – repulsive being one of them.

With a writing style that is crisp and engaging by an author who’s not afraid to take risks, Pawn combines political intrigue and “masking” science to put a fresh twist on the dystopian genre.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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32 Responses to “Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this, Giselle. I read it a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. It’s one of the most original dystopian’s I’ve read in a long time.
    Weren’t those Harts the creepiest and craziest? I had chills in that scene when they randomly shot people for fun.
    I agree about you on the characters. They were all very well-written and I can’t wait to see what Carter has up her sleeves.
    Great review, Giselle!

  2. Anya

    *soaks in the lack of a love triangle* wait boys and girls can be friends without falling in love??? No way! So agreed on this one! I take it by your lack of mention of the twists that they weren’t that surprising to you? 😉 I definitely didn’t see them coming I must admit, hehe

    • Giselle

      I did mention there were twists but just briefly (3rd paragraph) I didn’t want to go into details in them but I never predicted most of them either! It was awesome! 🙂

  3. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Wow. That actually sounds super-original and quite intriguing! I wasn’t a fan of The Goddess Test series, though the writing was pretty good, so I’ll be interested to see if I agree with your review. 🙂

  4. Ashley

    Awesome review Giselle! I was excited about this book, then thought about not requesting it because of my dystopian burn out, but then after seeing everyone rave about this book I decided to request it! I’m so glad you loved it because I don’t want to be let down!

  5. Leanna

    This one actually sounds pretty promising. I have to say I’ve kind of glossed over it whenever I’ve seen reviews on Goodreads etc – it’s just not visually appealing to me (I know, I’m so shallow!) and I guess I thought that it wouldn’t be my kind of book. Maybe I should look into it, though! 😉

    I read the first book in the Goddess series and I thought it was just O.K. Didn’t stick with the series.

  6. Becky @ Stories & Sweeties

    Ah! You’ve totally changed my mind about reading this one! When I first read the synopsis I sort of thought I’d skip it—it sounded like a lot of other dystopians, especially with the numbering of the societies. But the unique details and subtle love story have me intrigued! Thanks for convincing me, Giselle!

  7. Savannah

    I’m excited to see what this book has to offer. I’m sort of on dystopian burn out but you made me think otherwise. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Molli

    Wow! I was on the fence about this one and honestly wasn’t sure if I even wanted to read it BUT this review is so exciting. Twists! NO LOVE TRIANGLE. A sweet and subtle romance. An interesting MC. Man, I am sold on this one, Giselle!

  9. Candace

    Hmmm…. this one does sound interesting. I’ve been trying to keep my dystopians a bit more spread out and take on less new series just cause I keep getting burnt out, but I’d consider reading this on in the future for sure!

  10. Christianna

    Dang, this one sounds like a real winner! It’s awesome that you had so many good things to say about it. Sounds like the world and the villains and everything was well worked out! And I love when a book doesn’t have fluff pages! Thanks for the great review once again!

  11. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    Lovely review, Giselle! This is going to be my next read, I think. Dystopian isn’t my favorite genre, but I’m definitely intrigued by what little I know about this story. I’m especially interested in the masking/identity themes you bring up in your review. Hoping that my first experience with Aimee Carter is as positive as yours was!

  12. Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    I’m always up for a good dystopian, but it’s very hard to find one that is. Dystopians always have similar elements, which is fine, when they are used creatively to drive the story in a unique direction. I’m glad that this one was good. I’ve never read The Goddess Test books, but I’ve been curious about Pawn for awhile. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did. And YAY for no love triangle!

  13. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    Wow, this sounds really cool. I originally wasn’t all that interested since there are so many books in this genre that are just meh with me lately, but you have me sold on this!! Fabulous review babe!!

  14. Alexa

    This sounds like a really great dystopian book. I really like when the world building is done well and sometimes it is nice when there is not a lot of romance. I should add this to my list.

    Thanks for the great review, I’m glad you enjoyed this book.

  15. Danielle

    I was a bit hesitant to pick this one up because I thought it would be same ol’ same ol’ dystopian fare but I’m much more enthusiastic about picking this one up now! Great review Giselle, I’m especially excited to learn more about the masking 🙂

  16. Alexa Y.

    I am very much looking forward to reading Pawn! I read and enjoyed Aimee’s Goddess Test series, so I’m familiar with her writing style. I look forward to seeing what she does with this story and with her characters!

  17. Pili

    I have my ARC of Pawn waiting for me, so I’m hoping I can get it to it soon! Your review has made me be even more excited for it, so now I can’t wait to read it!
    Great review, Giselle!

  18. Tarah Schaeffer

    I just started reading this a few days ago! Awesome so far! I had previously read the whole Goddess Test series and was excited when I heard she was writing something new!