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 fiancé 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.