I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Pawn Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
by Aimee Carter
Published by Harlequin Teen on November 26, 2013
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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.
Pawn is the first book I’ve read from author Aimee Carter and it had a great start but I became frustrated with the story.
What did I like?
From the start the writing drew me in to the story. There is no slow build-up and we jump right into the story. The social class system was similar to The Selection series (which I really liked) so it made it easier to follow the story. The masking (surgical alteration) of Kitty into Lila was different and added a disturbing twist to the story. With most YA Dystopian series there is the love triangle but I didn’t find that in Pawn. It was nice change to have this aspect missing from the story. Kitty is in love with her boyfriend Benjy but as Lila she must pretend to be engaged to Knox. Kitty is focused on what she’s asked to do so she is not attracted to Knox. And Knox feels the same way towards her. The lack of a love triangle felt right since the main plot is a revolution, so this was a good decision by the author.
Pawn has a nice variety of characters. The main character Kitty Doe is smart and loyal to her adopted family. She is willing to sacrifice her happiness to make sure her boyfriend Benjy has a better life. Even though she has no choice but to do what the Harts tell her she still showed some courage to say what she felt. The evil characters of Augusta and Daxton were so well written that there were times I hated them but also understood why they made their choices.
What didn’t I like?
Even though the class system was familiar to me I still needed more world building. It was never clear of what happened to the society of today and how the Harts came to power. It would have been nice to have a quick prologue to establish the setting so readers would have a better understanding of this world.
I also felt that there were too many twists in the story for a first book. Just when I thought I was at the perfect spot for the book to end the story would continue on a different path. Some of the scenes felt rushed and I didn’t get a true understanding of what was going on.
As much as I liked Kitty her decisions just bothered me. She’s willing to sacrifice herself for people who truly don’t care about her. By the end of this book I would have hoped she would stop allowing herself to be used but this didn’t happen. It was very frustrating to see her not take the opportunities to be independent and gain her freedom.
Overall I thought Pawn was good but it could have been better. I do want to read the next book to find out what happens. I liked the author’s writing so I look forward to reading her other books.
“Have you ever played chess, Kitty?”
I eyed her. What did a board game have to do with this? “Not really.”
“You and I should play sometime. I think you would like it,” she said. “It’s a game of strategy, mostly. The strong pieces are in the back row, while the weak pieces—the pawns—are all in the front, ready to take the brunt of the attack. Because of their limited movement and vulnerability, most people underestimate them and only use them to protect the more powerful pieces. But when I play, I protect my pawns.”
“Why?” I said, not entirely sure where this conversation was going. “If they’re weak, then what’s the point?”
“They may be weak when the game begins, but their potential is remarkable. Most of the time, they’ll be taken by the other side and held captive until the end of the game. But if you’re careful—if you keep your eyes open and pay attention to what your opponent is doing, if you protect your pawns and they reach the other side of the board, do you know what happens then?”
I shook my head, and she smiled.
“Your pawn becomes a queen.” She touched my cheek, her fingers cold as ice. “Because they kept moving forward and triumphed against impossible 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.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 Reading Assignment