ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Title: Pawn
Author: Aimee Carter
Pages: 346
Genre: YA, dystopian, futuristic
Series? Yes, Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 26, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

Thoughts and Rambling

If you followed me way back in the dark ages, you’ll remember that I read the first book in The Goddess Test novels, also written by Carter, and absolutely hated it. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t DNF it. So of course, I was a bit hesitant coming into Pawn. But I requested it (and was quite thrilled to be approved), because I wanted to give Carter a second chance. Plus, my sister loved the GT books, so I wanted to take a look and see if this series would be suitable for her as well. Anyway, I actually liked this one! I wasn’t completely blown away, but it was still a solid read, and it didn’t feel like work at all.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of Pawn through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Character Bar

I think this was actually the weakest part of Pawn, because there was so little development in the main character, Kitty. Plus, I smell a love triangle coming, and I ship Kitty and Knox so hard because Benjy’s a little twerp and needs to be sent to Elsewhere.

Kitty: She started out weak, which is understandable because this is her story and of course she has to grow. And I really appreciated how calmly she accepted taking Lila’s place, for the most part. It was the perfect balance between overreacting and having an bit of an issue with being transformed into someone else. But as the book progressed… she didn’t really change any more. And she was actually pretty selfish, thinking only of herself and her woes. She didn’t even consider how everyone else felt, having just lost the real Lila! At the very end, she did show some altruism, which I’m hoping will develop more in the second book.

Benjy: He’s a douche-waffle. Seriously. I do not trust this guy at all, and I think Kitty would be best to drop him as quick as she can. When Kitty’s about to sell herself into prostitution to avoid being sent away for eternity and most likely death, he tries to pressure her into having sex?? As a “last goodbye”??? HELL. NO. It just angers me so much and I could not let go of that for the rest of the book no matter how caring he tries to be. Seriously. That one action just tainted his entire character for me and I really doubt his true motivations. Like how dare you sir. How. Dare. You.

Knox: And then Knox. He warms my heart so much. He’s patient, caring, and compassionate towards Kitty, infinitely taking care of her despite everything else going on in his life. He’s a bit of a playboy at first, but after a few chapters he softens up and turns into this guy that is so incredibly complex. Honestly, I’d have loved to read the book from Knox’s point of view.
Concept and Plot

Concept: This is the reason I gave this book a chance. I love dystopian, of any kind, no matter how jaded the rest of the blogosphere might be. And I’ve always had an interest in caste systems. How do you decide who deserves what rank? How do you keep the ranks separate? And what sort of severity should be included in the separations of ranks? So many possible ways to take it!

Plot: I thought it was well paced and intriguing enough. At times I was a bit confused by all the family politics, though. Keeping all the names and aliases straight was really hard because they were all thrown at me one after another!
Writing Style

Much better than the Goddess Test. It was much less whiny, a lot less repetitive, and it seems like Carter has really refined her style. Last ThoughtsI’ll be keeping my eye out for the next book for sure! It doesn’t quite hit my favorites list, but it was a book that kept me interested and invested, and it was original enough to stand out from the rest of the dystopian series floating around. I recommend it for sure!

My Final Rating:

Four Stars

Find the book at:

Amazon |  Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

Food For Thought (sound off in the comments!):

If you’ve read the book: 

  • How did you feel about Benjy? Could you forgive him for what he did at the beginning of the book?
  • Were you able to keep the politics straight? Were you surprised by some of the truths that were revealed about certain characters? (Just mark your answers as spoilers so other readers can skip over ;))

If you haven’t: 

  • How do you feel about characters pressuring their romantic partner for sex? Can you move on from it or do you forever hold that character in low esteem?
  • At what point do you become disinterested in a fictional world’s politics? Is it easy for you to keep everything straight, or do you need a reference sheet like me?
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4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

  1. I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one, but without much character development I feel as if I’d struggle a lot with this and might just skip it. In regards to your questions, I think characters pressuring other characters for sex is a horrible message to get across in a novel and I doubt I’d be able to find redeeming qualities in the character afterwards. I do love politics, though. I never make reference sheets, though it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of everything. Great review!

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way about pressuring for sex! I just think it’s a disgusting action, and while it might be a good plot point, the author better not expect me to forgive their character after that.

  2. Nice review!
    Ooh no character development is a bad sign – I don’t think I’d read this book.
    And I definitely that a character pressuring another for sex would taint them for me forever. Unless by the end they underwent enough of a transformation so that I could tell that they now realize that that was not a good thing to do.

    It took me a while, but now I think I’ve landed on it: the gif is from His Girl Friday, right? Gotta love Cary Grant!

    ~Sophia

  3. Pingback: October Wrap-Up | The Thousand Lives

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