Pawn — Book Review


The Deets

author: Aimee Carter

release date: November 26, 2013

format: e-book, hardcover

pages: 352 pages

publisher: Harlequin Teen

Read: October 4-6, 2013

Acquired: Edelweiss

series name: The Blackcoat Rebellion

Book Pages:  • •  Author’s Website  

Book Type: YA, dystopian

The Down-low

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.(From

Why You Should Buy It

This ya dystopian is a political thriller with a unique and engaging plot.  The book starts of strong and twists and turns its way to the very end.  Fans of The Selection, Legend, Uglies, and Imposter will like Pawn.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review.*

I really enjoyed Aimee Carter’s Goddess Test series, so I knew I had to read her next series when it came out.  There were a lot of things I LOVED about this book, but some others that gave me pause — and caused me to give it a lower rating than I wanted.

This book started out SO strong.  We are right in the action.  The book opens with Kitty in the marketplace of her city — and she has just learned the fate of her life within a system of ranked citizens.  She is a III, which you can gather to be bad.  We have no idea what the test was like, but we do learn that Kitty is dyslexic and didn’t get the time she needed to perform as well as she could of.  She is marked on the back of her neck (like all citizens) with a tattoo that will permanently show her station.  So, she makes a stupid choice to take an orange, causing herself and her boyfriend Benjy to run from the law.  They chase her to the group home and search for her — all because of the color of her eyes.

Although Kitty gets out safely, she knows she cannot work as a III, when Benjy will get so much higher than that.  He is brilliant and she is devastated by her station — so devastated that she makes the bold choice to join another friend at a club where she can sell herself until she has enough money to flee.  I was actually really impressed by Carter’s choice’s up to this point — it is young adult, but she really captured the spirit of living with no options.  Here is a girl who has always lived in a group home, and has nowhere to turn but prostitution.  It was real, even if this is a dystopian world that I hadn’t quite figured out.

Of course Kitty is sold to the highest bidder for her first night, and she ends up being sold to someone who promises to make her a VII if she consents to an agreement.  Knowing she has no other options, and desperately wanting a better life, she obliges.  And wakes up finding she has been ‘masked’ to look exactly like a dead girl.  The President’s niece, Lila to be exacts.  Kitty’s rare eye color and similar build got her the job that she most likely would have never chosen had she really had the choice — to be someone else for the rest of her life.  She would never again look in the mirror and see her own reflection.  But, she would live in comfort.  So, there’s that.

Naturally, things within the highest ranks of the country are downright despicable.  And this my friends is where things took a left turn for me.  There were SO many things happening, it was hard to know which way was up and which way was down.  While we learn some pretty shocking things (like what happens when people are sent to Elsewhere), we have so much backstabbing and craziness happening that it murked the plot up.  It is nice to have a complicated plot, but this one was particularly tangled.

No to mention, I really did not get a sense of what the world is like, why it is that way, something that is getting more and more frustrating the more dystopian books I read.  I need details people, I need you to build a world like a map of words.

Another thing that happened was I lost connection with the characters.  Or maybe I never really had it.  I don’t know, but somewhere I was lost and never really got picked back up.

I did like the book and I do want to read more, but I think this book had SO much potential for greatness.  It was a really unique story line and started off so well.  I would definitely recommend it as a dystopian with lots of political entanglements, so if that is your sort of thing, you’ll love it.  It reminded me of The Selection and Legend, with the body snatching ways of Uglies.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but found myself hoping for just a little more.



9 thoughts on “Pawn — Book Review

  1. I think my main issue with Pawn is that I feel like I don’t have a good feel for some of the characters. There are a lot of major player (pretty much every character, I feel like), but other than some facts, I don’t know them. I don’t have a good sense of them because they’re being ushered in and out all the time. I kind of wish the story was more focused.

  2. I enjoyed the book, it was fun and entertaining, but I didn’t love it. I actually had an issue with her turning to prostitution. I was like, what?? That made no sense to me. Yes, she got assigned a bad job in a city that would take her away from Benjy. Her choice is to become a prostitute? Seemed extreme to me and it didn’t seem to serve a point other than to get her in the position so that she could be bought, but they could have just taken her as she was walking down the street (so I just didn’t see the point of that). And then the fact that they picked her because of her eyes. That didn’t make sense. They could change her looks completely, including lengthening her legs and changing her voice, but they couldn’t change her eye color? What? I’m probably sounding nitpicky and I don’t know why those two things bothered me so much, but they did. But I did like the political intrigue and I thought the characters were interesting and the plot was fast-paced. I agree, need more world-building and I wasn’t in love with the characters, not much invested in them. Great review!

    • Haha, yes I completely understand both of those points. It seemed odd to me they could do ALL those things and not be able to change someone’s eyes. But, I was able to handle that easier than some of the other things that took place.

      And the turn to prostitution seemed desperate and didn’t make logical sense. But she was vulnerable and not thinking clearly and made a desperate choice. I try to think that way when characters make stupid decisions. Like “well, if they didn’t make this choice, the stupid book wouldn’t exist”. It seems to help, haha.

      You are right though, it was obviously a plot-move more than a character choice. I just thought it was a gutsy move for YA. And showed the desperation one feels when they get in that position — I mean, I’m sure MANY people who go into that line of work have other options, but don’t feel like they don’t.

      I really was most upset about the connections. I didn’t believe anyone’s feelings — not hers or Benjy’s or any of the others. It just seemed false and superficial. Even when he came back, I didn’t get all giddy like I normally would.

  3. Pingback: New Reads Monday — Week of December 3 | Such A Novel Idea

Lovely words from lovely people!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s