ARC Book Review: Pawn by Aimée Carter

Posted November 25, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Book Review: Pawn by Aimée CarterPawn by Aimée Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Published by Harlequin TEEN on November 26th, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 346
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


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.

3 Stars

When you first hear of Pawn, I totally wouldn’t blame you if your reaction is, “Oh boy, here we go, yet *another* dystopia…” It may have popped up in my head as well. But I love dystopias a whole whole lot, so I wasn’t ready to give up on the genre just yet. And it turned out quite well – because while it’s not a flawless book, it did have certain qualities that reaffirm my love for the genre.

First off, I really like the world Aimee Carter created here. As far as dystopias go, it was well thought out (though maybe not the most original). People in this society live in castes, I’m pretty sure you’re used to that. But the caste system is based on a dramatized version of the American Dream: work hard and you’ll be rewarded. You are in control of your own worth. When people turn 17 in this society, they take a test, and depending on how high they score, they get a rank from I – VII, VII being the highest (and consequently assigned solely to the Prime Minister and his family because nepotism ftw). Your rank determines your job, products you’re allowed to buy, where you live, etc. Obviously there are flaws in that system – but that’s why it’s a dystopia. But I really felt like in essence, this is when dystopias work for me: you take a concept present in today’s society and extrapolate it to a highly dramatized version. It worked for me. I was instantly drawn into the world.

So Kitty, a second child which is already outlawed and means she’s been abandoned since birth, who also happens to have a learning disability and is unable to read, takes her test when she turns 17 and is classified as a III, meaning she would need to move to Denver (leaving her boyfriend) to work in the sewers. I know. Charming. Obviously, she isn’t very happy with that. But then she is offered the chance to become a VII and winds up having to take the place of the Prime Minister’s niece.

Anyway, as she learns to adapt to her new life, she is shown how awful the government that she mostly still believed in actually is. She sees dark sides – downright creepy sides, guys. I was shocked at some of the things… seriously. She strives to protect her (ex-)boyfriend, Benjy, and meanwhile has to pretend to be engaged to and in love with Knox. It kind of looks like a love triangle for a while, but it’s not really, though it may turn into that later in the series. Which I would be totally okay with, because I have a shit ton of Knox feels. Like a lot. A lot a lot. I love him very much. *nod nod* So I won’t comment too much on the actual romance in this book because, to me, it was quite boring. But I could deal with that because I was really enjoying the story.

I had big problems with the ending, which greatly contributs to this lower rating. View Spoiler » “BUT NO, DEBBY, WE CAN’T END HERE, WE NEED TO MAKE THIS A TRILOGY AND YOU’RE GOING TO BUY INTO IT, MUWAHAHAHAHA.”


And you know what? …It’s true, too. I’ll probably keep reading. …But that doesn’t mean I approve of this ending. At all. No no. Whyyyyy?

Summing Up:

I won’t be calling this the most original dystopia on the block, but it’s far from the worst. I definitely enjoyed it and feel like it ultimately brought something new to the table. I liked the world building, and I loved the secondary characters and their relationships – particularly Knox. That ending though feels like such a cop out and makes me really mad. *sigh* We just can’t have it all, I guess. So while this is not the best dystopia, if you’re a fan of the genre, I’d still suggest you check this out, because, if anything, it is a very entertaining thrill ride.

GIF it to me straight!


Generally, I liked it.

Recommended To:

Fans of dystopias.

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14 responses to “ARC Book Review: Pawn by Aimée Carter

  1. I’ve been seeing this pop up all over the place; clearly because people have been getting earcs but I digress.

    It looks really interesting and like you I’m a complete sucker for distopia novels. The only thing that is keeping me from picking this up right away is I keep asking myself do I really need to start another trilogy when my shelves are already collapsing?

    Anyway great review!

    • Haha, yeah, fair enough. I lost track around halfway through the book whether this was a new series or not, but then that ending. Ugh. It’s such an easy way out and just immediately brings down my ratings. Yet, I’m still a sucker for these books.

      I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to recommend it, but if you are in a dystopia mood and are out of series (as if), this can still be pretty entertaining 🙂

  2. I pretty much had the same opinions of this book, the world building was actually something you could see happening but the rest fell a bit flat.

    • Yeah, the gruesome twist was, I think, the highlight. I did enjoy the world itself, but ugh the ending. Glad I’m not alone on my hatred for it. x_x

  3. I’ve heard a lot about this one and your review definitely helped me decide whether I’ll like it or not. The caste system sounds a little “typical” in dystopian novels so I’m not too sure about it but Knox sounds very interesting. I need to read this one to see what angered you about the ending (I don’t want to spoil the ending)! Great review 🙂

  4. I actually really loved Pawn! The world building was quite good, although there were a couple of questionable holes that I’ve seen brought up in reviews from other bloggers e.g. the eye colour thing.

    Aww I’m sad that you didn’t enjoy the romance! I really like Benjy. I guess Knox is pretty awesome too. I’d still rather not have a love triangle though. One thing I think was done well in terms of the romance was that it doesn’t overshadow the other aspects of the plot. I hate it when that happens in a dystopian.

  5. I’m looking forward to reading Pawn! I liked her other series (Goddess Test), so it stands to reason that I’m probably going to enjoy this too. I was little wary of it being dystopian, but not too much now after reading your review. Glad you liked it!

    • I’ve heard pretty bad things about the Goddess Test, so I’m still rather on the fence about that but this was pretty good! Hope you enjoy!

  6. I do very much agree about the ending! It was a familiar feeling of wishing that the MC would just get it over with, but I guess I can also understand that people rarely are up for that moment when it occurs no matter how much it makes sense. It’s just not in most people’s nature I guess 🙁

    • To be honest, it just felt like an author’s cop out, not like the character couldn’t bear it. I just scoffed at the ending. It was so transparent. “MONEY. MUST GET MORE MONEY.” Now that more time has passed, the ending is grating on my nerves more and more, and I may *not* continue with the series. But we’ll see.

  7. Cyn

    I think I actually liked the ending b/c I knew that it was going to be a series so didn’t bother me as much especially since it wasn’t a cliff hanger ending. Though from what I gathered from the ending, Daxton does remember who Kitty is but is only pretending he doesn’t to mess with her/use it to his advantage. But yes, he is a douche. She should have just killed him. Oh I like Knox too! I actually love that there’s not really a love triangle (there was confetti in my review for that haha). Awesome review!