Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)


Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Author: Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion
Published: January 3rd 2014
Publisher: Mira INK
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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.

After a very rough beginning that almost made me abandon Pawn and never look back, Aimee Carter’s first foray into dystopian fiction turned out to be pretty decent after all. Even with a few significant flaws, it is an utterly absorbing read.

The rough beginning and the desperate choice Kitty was forced to make almost made her unredeemable in my eyes. There are very few things I find unforgivable, and Kitty came very close to making the biggest mistake of her life. Truth be told, it wasn’t the job she signed up to do that bothered me so much, it was the loving boyfriend she left behind, her overall attitude and lack of trying to find a different solution. I don’t take kindly to heroines who give up too easily, especially when they hurt other people in the process.

Fortunately, as the story progressed, Kitty miraculously discovered that she does in fact have a spine, and she learned to fight back, no matter the cost. Being thrown in the middle of a twisted family makes you or breaks you, I suppose, and Kitty turned out to be quite a fighter.

After being lead to believe that there was a strong love triangle in Pawn, I was thrilled when one didn’t truly develop. A mild attraction to Lila Heart’s gorgeous, competent and kind-hearted fianc√© was more than understandable, but there was only ever one boy for Kitty, and it wasn’t Knox Creed. This is why one should never trust back cover descriptions – they are sensationalized and therefore misleading, and just as they can make a bad story sound interesting, they can make quality seem formulaic as well.

While I found Carter’s world interesting, her worldbuilding left a lot to be desired. No explanation was offered for how the Hearts came to power, and the infamous Elsewhere, where all the undesirables get sent, was never properly outlined. We caught one horrifying glimpse of it, but since it was constantly used to threaten Kitty into obedience, more details were definitely required. In addition, I find it hard to believe that Kitty’s dyslexia would go undiagnosed in a futuristic society. Considering her circumstances before she became Lila Heart, a treatment was highly unlikely, but surely her new “family”, with all their resources, would know what to do about it. Their doctors can make someone taller, and yet they can’t recognize a reading disorder.

Overall, however, I found Pawn to be a surprisingly good beginning to a new dystopian series. The person Kitty has become gives me much hope for the next installment, which I’ll be picking up the second it becomes available.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.




26 comments:

  1. I have tried - so, so hard to finish this book but I struggled. You have the patience of a saint! I'll probably give it another sometime in the distant future. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I passed on this one due to how booked I was and the world building sounds disappointing..so I am glad I took a pass. Thanks for a wonderful review Maja! Ooo and you are listening to Last to Die..I love Tess and have read all of her books. I hope the audio is creep-tastic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really enjoyed this one! Elsewhere's glimpse was shocking and something quite unusual on dystopians. I agree the world building was sparse, but I'm hoping we'll get to see more on the next book!
    I was very relieved when there was no love triangle, and I hope it won't change in the next books to come!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I enjoyed this one for the most part too. I was happy there wasn't a true love triangle (or one much at all) I am a tad scared it might develop into something more in the next book? Hopefully not. Glad that after the slow start you were able to enjoy this one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Always looking for my next dystopian book. Glad to hear this was a decent read for you! I haven't read anything else by Aimee Carter but I like the sound of this one. Great review. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am in total agreement, Maja! I needed more world building here, and some more history.

    Great review! <33

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm glad this one improved for you, although a lack of world building always makes me cranky.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is hard for me to even start a book when I hear that it has a rough beginning. I usually won't go past the first three chapters if it doesn't grab me by that time. BUT, it sounds like it got better, so thank for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Surprisingly good beginning sounds good to me :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think I'll be waiting to see how this trilogy plays out before picking it up. I've been disappointed by far too many dystopian trilogies and although I'm thrilled that there isn't a love triangle, I generally need a lot of world-building in my novels for me to truly become invested in them, especially when the charcters seem so unlikeable at first. I'm glad this one has plenty of growth, though, and it won you over, Maja - lovely review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the review Maja. The cover looks good and the story promising. I was looking for a good review before I buy a copy. Your review sold me... despite the weak world-building. I hope I will like this one too :D

    -Dannielle

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have heard this was really hard to get into. I am glad you were able to hang in there and finish it and even like it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Truth be told, it wasn’t the job she signed up to do that bothered me so much, it was the loving boyfriend she left behind, her overall attitude and lack of trying to find a different solution."

    I had trouble with that part as well, and should she have gone through with it, I wouldn't have been able to get past it. So glad she didn't, and she grew on me quickly after that moment. Happy you enjoyed this one overall Maja, I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next!

    ReplyDelete
  14. that's great that this one redeemed itself as it went along, but it's never fun to have to push through to the good parts! Thanks for your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fantastic review, Maja! Everyone seems to be saying the same thing about this book - it is an absorbing read but they couldn't connect to the main character. I can see why a heroine who just gives up can be annoying. It's great that the story picked up though.

    I really love this cover! :) I hope you enjoy the next instalment, maybe even more than this one.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think I loved this one a little more than you do. I really really liked the story. I agree with you it was nice to see that for once she loved only one person, but you know I think I would like somehting with Knox lol, yeah, I'm difficult I know.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have a copy of this but I haven't scheduled it. I am wavering. Shaky world building is always a hard pill for me to swallow.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You like this one more than I did, but I'm hoping I'll enjoy the sequel more if I decide to give it a try. I think the main protagonist is what made not like the book so much. Great review :) I love seeing the different opinions!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    ReplyDelete
  19. I though about reading this one but then my co-blogger started reading it and told me all this you said. So I let it good, she did too. So I guess if she continued maybe I'd read it too. This way I'll wait till the next one is out. Anyhow I'm glad you didn't abandon this book. Great review, Maja :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have heard mostly good things about this. I'm burnt out on the genre so I didn't accept it for review, but I might consider reading it in the future. Maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  21. To be honest this one didn't interest me in the least. I'm glad that it picked up for you, Maja. And I too find it weird that they can pick up a physical disorder but not a reading one? Especially when a competency test is taken by the characters? *Scratches head*

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hm... I had a love/hate relationship with the last series and it looks like I would have the same relationship with this one too. Still, you did seem to enjoy it in spite of the flaws. Hm... darn... I'm still on the fence.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's beginning to irritate me that they tout love triangles as a good thing. THEY'RE NOT! They're generally a cheap plot device, added to create tension and drama. BLERG!! I liked this one but didn't adore it -- about your rating, actually!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know Jenny really enjoyed this one and made me aware that there actually isn't much of a love triangle. I have this one in my TBR pile but am currently in no hurry to get to it as I'm not much of a dystopian fan and want the novels that I read within that genre to have strong worldbuilding. Great review though, Maja!

    ReplyDelete
  25. sorry that the beginning was rough, looks like it was a good idea to stick this one out. I am very curious now.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "This is why one should never trust back cover descriptions – they are sensationalized and therefore misleading, and just as they can make a bad story sound interesting, they can make quality seem formulaic as well." <---YES this is so true! I have no idea why love triangles are considered selling points. Whoever writes the marketing blurbs should read a blog review now and again and realize they aren't really something you want to oversell. I'm so happy this LT drama never took shape, and I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.