Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Publication date: November 26th 2013
by Harlequin Teen
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.
-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.