ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Posted November 13th, 2013 in book review / 14 comments


The Blackcoat Rebellion Series #1

by Aimee Carter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Nov 26, 2013)
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: eARC (346 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (NetGalley) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)


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.

At A Glance
Frustrating but captivating. It was hard to put this book down.

The Good
As I am writing this review, I still don’t know what I am going to rate Pawn. It’s between 3.5 or 4 stars. Pawn may sound like every other dystopian, but I thought it was a unique premise in a hard-to-stand-out genre. Pawn is very much dark in nature. There is very little happiness to be found, but hope is in abundance at the end. Carter created a horrible world, but one not too far from our possible future. Pawn shows us what happens when a corrupt 1% really takes over a nation and what happens to the 99% when they have no more choices. The whole concept gave me the chills because I could see this happening to us.

I loved the politics in this book and how the nation was controlled by a family who inherits the position rather than earn it. It was like being taken back into the past with kings and queens but having futuristic technology. Pawn is set in a complicated but also simple world. We never fully know what is going on because it’s obvious a lot is happening behind the scenes. But what we do see is a drama filled mess of family intrigue, shaky alliances, and twists and turns that are hard to see coming.

I loved and hated the characters in Pawn. Kitty was strong in a lot of ways. The situation she is put in is so very unfair, but she tries to handle it the best she can. Her life is always on the line, as well as the life of her loved ones. Kitty loses so much in so little time, I don’t know how she didn’t just break down and cry for days. I would have. It takes her some time, but, by the end, she finds new goals in life. No one else seems interested in fighting the good fight without a whole bunch of whining or violence, but Kitty has better ideas. Better ways to give the lower class people a fair shake in life and take away the ultimate power from a corrupt family and government.

Benji was a very sincere and heartfelt person. You could feel the love he had for Kitty seeping through the pages. I wish we got to see them together more often but I understood that Kitty’s boyfriend did not need to be a big part of the plot. Knox, Lila’s fiancés (which mean he is now Kitty’s fiancé since she was turned into Lila) confused me. He often seemed sweet and helpful, but I never knew if Kitty should really trust him. I think deep down he is a good person, but some of his decisions were questionable. Most of the Hart family are pretty horrible. They were such bad people they ended up being fascinating to watch. Lila’s mother had some redeemable qualities though.

The pacing was fast which I loved and the writing was good. Pawn was pretty refreshing for the dystopian genre. I loved that Carter was not afraid to kill people off and take a dark concept and make it even darker with evil characters and evil intentions.

The Bad
So. Effing. Frustrating. Kitty acted so naïve and stupid sometimes I could barely stand it. Kitty really let herself be manipulated and used way to often. I was literally grabbing my hair by the handful in frustration, and now I bet I am prematurely balding. Yeah, did you hear that, Pawn, you cause premature baldness, in women no less! And her decision making process of mindboggling.

There was a few confusing parts I had to read twice to understand, and I felt like the summarizing of the speeches was annoying. It’s an unnecessary shortcut. I would have really liked to hear these inspirational speeches that moved so many people.

The Snuggly
Benji was not there for a lot of the book but his love for Kitty was never in question. These two crazy kids love each other. Kitty may have had a few moments with Knox, but I don’t think that will lead to anything. Benji and Kitty belong together.

There is no sex, but there are some sexual and violent situations. Still suitable for a YA audience.

Final Thoughts
I would say the first half of Pawn blew me away and the second half revealed twists after turns that left me breathless. I had a lot of little grumbles about Pawn, but I still enjoyed the story immensely. Very recommended.

“Your pawn becomes a queen.” She touched by cheek, her fingers cold as ice. “Because they kept moving forward and triumphed against all odds, they become the most powerful piece in the game. Never forget that, all right? Never forget the potential one solitary pawn has to change the entire game.”

“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. If I were lucky, the Shields would throw me to the ground and put a bullet in my brain.”

Book #6 done for Netgalley November Challenge

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14 Responses to “ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter”

  1. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I just finished Pawn and it absolutely blew me away! I think Kitty was an amazing character who made the best of her situation. Now that you put it that way, it was quite a cruel world that they created. The family was just so backstabbing and full of secrets. Great review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    You’ve sold me on Pawn, Jennifer. I was glad to see you review it because I was interested in it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…and I hope your hair grows back quickly! 😉

  3. Sarah Elizabeth

    I totally agree. I couldn’t believe how stupid and naive Kitty was at times. I also didn’t believe that Benji really earned the number that he got given, yet both he and Kitty believed it without question. So freaking annoying.

  4. Diamond Cronen

    I’m still unsure about this one. One of the main reasons I sometimes avoid dystopian sis because it can be too depressing and bleak with not enough hope. Seems like this may be one that’s too depressing for me…I guess I’m still on the fence. Great review, Jennifer!

    Dee’s Reads

  5. kimbacaffeinate

    This has been on my radar and you have me both excited and terrified..I am not sure I want to deal with Kitty. On a scale of 1-10 ten being you had thoughts of murder where does she fall on the annoying scale?

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