ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter


October 30, 2013 by Alice in Readerland


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.

Special thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) will arrive in stores November 26th, 2013.

Looks can be deceiving.

Take our lead, Kitty, for example. By outward appearances, she placed low on her test, and the world viewed her as lowly and dumb. But no one can see how street savvy and quick thinking she is. And when Kitty strikes a desperate deal and becomes the rich and famous Lila Hart, looking every bit like her on the outside, the world can’t see that Kitty’s struggling to keep up the facade on the inside.

And what of Lila Hart’s family?

You thought your family was dysfunctional? Think again. Behind their opulent and polished facade, the Hart family is about as dysfunctional and dramatic as you can get.

Now Kitty has to navigate a shady and fearsome “Uncle” who had something to do with Lila’s death, Lila’s mother who is hiding a very big secret of her own, Lila’s fiance who has his own agenda, Lila’s cousin who Kitty’s told to stay away from, and finally, Lila’s grandmother, who rules the roost with an iron fist.

I think one of the best things about Pawn is it’s pacing. There are so many books, especially in the Dystopian genre, that to me, feel like they have pacing issues. But that was never a problem with Pawn; there was always something interesting going on in each chapter. Dark secrets, world buiilding, close calls, Lila’s history, arguments, and threats all played out in every chapter. I don’t read many Dystopians that are really focused on family secrets and small-scale changes, so I enjoyed that about this book. There’s always so much Save-The-World/Grand Scale/Fight Fight Fight I see in Dystopians and it makes for some absolutely fantastic books, but I thought it was really cool that Pawn took the Dystopian genre into a bit of a different direction with a focus on soap-opera like family backstabbing and a mystery (in addition to trying to reform the government, of course).

I really liked how many twists there were in this book. You learn a few of them right away, but there are more up until the very last page. When you’re an avid reader and have read so many plotlines, it can be really hard to not see a twist coming, but there were a few in Pawn that were so carefully hidden! The ending was also written in such a way that not only made you really excited to see what happens next, but also left you like:

Cynical Cindy Says

To be perfectly honest, some of the dialogue made scenes feel a bit cheesy or melodramatic.

I am really curious to see what happens next and will definitely be picking up the next book in this trilogy! I’d recommend Pawn to readers looking for some more family and personal drama in their Dystopian reads.

11 thoughts on “ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

  1. So agreed! Love those twists and I loved that there wasn’t a love triangle! I can see how some of the dialogue slipped, but I think I was reading too quickly to notice since I just wanted to find out what was going to happen, haha

  2. Sunny says:

    The cheesy scene dialogue might make me groan or roll my eyes, but everything else sounds fabulous! Twists are always great, but I really like that you said it has very good pacing because that really IS hard to find in YA novels like these. I’ll definitely pick this one up, thanks, Alice!

    • I hope you like it! :) The dialogue/narration did feel a bit overdone and soap opera-y to me, but I guess that fit the “dramatic” tone of the book. I really liked how I was never bored; it was a decent length but I flew through it pretty quickly because I didn’t want to put it down–there were no “dull” chapters that let me put it down and do some else! ;)

  3. bookgeeking says:

    I have this as an arc aswell, looking forward to reading it. Not read anything by this author been wanting to read the Goddess test for a while and just not got around to it yet though. Nice review.

  4. I’m very excited for this one! I requested it from Netgalley but got denied. :( Oh well, guess I’ll just have to wait for it to come out.

  5. I have been leery about this one, it is one of those that sounds sort of so so. I read one review where they really didn’t like it and now you seem to like hmmm I am still not

  6. Bella says:

    Interesting review! I also find a lot of pacing issues in dystopian novels, so I am happy to hear that it worked out well in this one :)

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