by Aimee Carter
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Obtained Via: I received an electronic advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This influenced my final opinion of the book in no way.
Format Read In: E-ARC
View at the Traffic light:
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.
Originally, I had no interest in Pawn. I’ve heard not-so-great things about Carter’s previous books, and from the summary, I thought Pawn would be a run-of-the-mill Dystopia, which I’m getting quite burnt out on. However, so many people started reading advanced review copies and loved it, so I went ahead too. The verdict? Not the most memorable book, but still a really enjoyable read that made my heart beat fast.
I think the reason while Pawn worked so well is that while the setting is Dystopian, the plot itself really isn’t. The world definitely influences the plot, but the actual action of the story is more thriller/espionage than battling the evil war. At it’s core, it’s a tale of revenge and the measures the ruling family goes to extract revenge. . . on each other. And they are seriously messed up, which makes for a pretty delightful read.
Kitty is the main character because she gets pulled into this family as an outsider and soon finds herself as a chess piece in the game the family is playing. And let me tell you, the title and the cover? PERFECT for this book. It really is a game of strategy with living pieces who have motives of their own. I was so captivated because the story was just twist after twist, some of which I saw coming but many that took me completely by surprise.
I’m a little bit tired of the caste system in Dystopia literature–it so often seems a lazy way for authors to create oppressed situations for the main character. At the beginning, I HATED the system that was at place in Pawn. By the middle, though, it started to make sense, especially since we learned about how the country arrived at its current state, which I really appreciated. Pawn is the first in the series, but it did a really good job of giving at least some of the origins of the current ruling family. So often books leave that information until book 2 or book 3 and it can be frustrating.
The main characters were pretty well-done, though I felt the secondary characters could have used a little bit more attention. I was really excited to see that Kitty and her love interest had been together for years when the story opened–that’s something I always like to see–but I never really felt like his character was developed. To be fair, the romance in this book is minor(Hooray!), and is mainly used just as a driving force for the action, but still, some more personality from the love interest would have been nice.
The one other thing I had issues with is just the amount of plot twists that occurred. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED it. . . for most of the story. But by the end it was sort of ridiculous. Like, there’s only so many times you can have the main character being wrong about everything she thinks she knows until it’s not quite as exciting anymore. It didn’t leave me with the best ending, and that probably affected my final rating quite a bit unfortunately. I am all for the action-packed and quick pace though.
Final Impression: In a phrase, I would describe my final reaction to Pawn as “pleasantly surprised”. I really loved how the story is set in a Dystopia world but doesn’t feel like an average Dystopia because the plot itself is more of a thriller. I know that might change later in the series, but for now I’ll take it. Pawn had ups and downs but in the end I raced through it and I hope it doesn’t get written off as just another Dystopia. 3/5 cupcakes, but if I gave half stars it would be a 3.5.