Book Review : Pawn by Aimee Carter

January 3, 2014 Book review 2 ★★★★½

I loved Pawn! Simple as! So far this year, this has been by far the best dystopian novel that I have read.

Book Review : Pawn by Aimee CarterPawn by Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Published by Harlequin UK on 03 Jan 2014
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Pages: 346
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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.

My Recap of Pawn:

At age 17, you undergo a test to determine what rank you will be for the rest of your life. Kitty who has dyslexia has only managed to score an III and her future looks grim. Until she is approached by the Prime Minister and ends up being ‘masked’ (ie – altered surgically) in the pretence that she is his niece. And as grim as her life looked as an III, it seems her troubles are only now beginning in her new fake life.

First Line of Pawn:

“Risking my life to steal an orange was a stupid thing to do, but today of all days, I didn’t care about the consequences.”

My Thoughts about Pawn :

Pawn had all the ingredients that make a great dystopia for me; it was original, the world building was intriguing, the characters were engaging and the action was non-stop. The biggest factor here for me was that Pawn was original, now that so many dystopian novels have been published over the last few years, they were all starting to feel a bit samey. Pawn definitely doesn’t suffer for this and I never once felt oh-this-is-a-little-bit-like-x which I have done reading other books.

Something else that really impressed me was that from page one, I had no idea what direction this book would take. There is twist after twist and each one took me by total surprise. I love when a book can do that as it really becomes a whirlwind adventure and you no longer know what way to look for the truth.

On top of that the world building really gripped me. At first glance, it seems to be fair enough, everyone is equal until age 17 and then you take a test to see where you fit in society. Everyone has an equal chance so your hard work up to that point with your studies and ingrained abilities will determine your future. Until you dig deeper of course and you see pitfalls everywhere. The children of higher ranking parents get extra lessons so they can do better on test, what if you have a learning disorder like our mc, what if on that one day you are having an off day and so on. It was a really interesting world to dwell on and tease out a bit in your head. Even the name Pawn, when you discover how it all fits together is fascinating.

Kitty – as we see from the first line – is impulsive and a bit reckless at times. The odds are stacked against her from her group home beginnings, to her dyslexia and her rebellious nature which makes it hard for her to just slot into place at the whims of others. She is easy to like with her vulnerable yet brave characteristics. Kitty is constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place but she has the brains and courage to make her own little path through the obstacles that surround her.

Her boyfriend Benjy didn’t make much of impression on me in the book. He is loyal and protective but I feel a stronger character would be a much better match for Kitty. And there is distinct possibility of that in Knox who is the fiancée of Lila (the Prime Minister’s real niece who is now played by a masked Kitty)! Still with me? Sounds confusing but it’s not. There is a sniff of a love triangle but this book is unpredictable that I can’t call where it will go next.

Overall this is a very impressive beginning to a series and I just can’t wait for the next book to see what shocks are ahead for Kitty and co (and me!). Bring it on!

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Who should read Pawn?

If you are a fan of dystopia books but have become worn out by how unoriginal the latest offerings are, then here is one to refresh your palate. Highly recommended.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin (UK) Limited for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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