Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Book Review: Pawn by Aimée Carter

Title: Pawn
Author: Aimée Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: November 26th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian

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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.

I don't exactly know what I was expecting going into this book, but let me tell you, it took me by surprise. I saw this book at a Target store in early december of last year and thought I'd give it a shot. Never did I think that I would enjoy it so much. I thought this book was amazing! It was so unique and refreshing in comparison to alot of the Young Adult Dystopians I've read in the past.

I thought the storyline was fantastic and the constant plot twists kept me on my toes the entire time. This book was just full of the unexpected. Some of the plot twists I will admit were quite daring on the author's part, but they were so unique and created such intrigue. The world that Aimée Carter created was quite different to anything I had ever explored in a dystopian book before, with so many concepts that had never ever crossed my mind.

Kitty Doe is an underprivileged young orphan. She lives in a futuristic society wherein everyones lives are determined by where they are placed in the caste system. The Higher the number on your neck, the better your lifestyle. The Harts are essentially the first family, and are VIIs. At the age of seventeen, citizens are able to take a test that will determine their place in the caste system for the remainder of their life. From their results they may earn up to as high as a VI - meaning that they may have a high intelligence ranking and may use their knowledge to give back to society and are entitled to a higher standard of living - and those of lower ranks are removed from society and sent 'Elsewhere'.

I thought that this social system was quite unique and it was quite interesting to observe just how much a persons social ranking or importance could influence their lifestyle, fiction or not.

I liked Kitty from the beginning. I didn't have any overwhelming feelings about her, but I did enjoy her character development through the book. Though she only received a III, Kitty is not unintelligent. She clearly has common sense and is actually quite clever. Kitty also couldn't read, which I thought it was quite brave of Aimée Carter to involve a main character with a learning disability. It was something that I really appreciated seeing. Though I may not know firsthand what it is like to suffer a learning disability, I can definitely appreciate it and acknowledge that others may perceive them as 'unintelligent' when it is something far beyond their control.

The entire Hart family was so dysfunctional, but that was what made me love them. It was so interesting to witness the drama and the conflict between the Harts and to read about the collateral damage of their diabolical plans, especially when politics was involved. The rivalry inside the Hart family reminded me somewhat of Revenge or Gossip Girl with new twists and turns at every corner.

There were a few aspects of the story that were a little bit shocking and equally disturbing, but I felt they made the story pack a better punch. Sometimes it's nice to read about something particularly out of the ordinary. I did not see any of it coming at all, and it was just what I needed to keep myself engaged in the story.


Pawn was a stellar start to what I know will be an amazing duology! Pawn created a very thrilling and original dystopian world with realistic characters and the thrilling end to the book ensures an action-packed and very exciting sequel! Between the engaging characters, diabolically fast-paced plots and incredible world building, Pawn is one book you should definitely pick up.

Why you want to read this book:

  • It steers clear of typical dystopian conflicts and is incredibly unique in plot twists.
  • Provides a very realistic heroine who is neither unreliably weak or relentlessly brave.
  • Includes a family of endless backstabbing, crazy antics and diabolical plans.

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