Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Book: Pawn by Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Released: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304 (Kindle)
Rating: 5+

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
*Pets the pretty cover*

From Goodreads:

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.

 Yeah, so this book. I love it. It's one I'll be reading again. I know a lot of people are dystopia-d out, but I am not. Honestly, it's one of my favorite things to read. I love entering a world different than our own, in any way shape or form (including space!). 

To be honest, there wasn't really anything I didn't enjoy about this book. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, which kept the story fresh and interesting. While it didn't reinvent the dystopain genre, it still felt new to me.

The story takes place in Washington DC. There is a caste system with numbers (much like in The Selection by Kiera Cass), and students are given a test when they turn 17 (much like Divergent), but that's where the similarities end, at least for those two books. Based upon your test score, you are then sorted into a class, with 1 being the worst, and 7 (only reserved for the Hart family who rules) the highest. 

Kitty Doe, an orphan abandoned by her parents because they could only keep one child (hence the last name Doe), takes her test, and receives a 3. And is assigned to do really crappy work. Literally. But instead of moving to Denver, she decides to become a prostitute. When she decides that's her plan, she leaves behind her boyfriend and the only mother she's ever known. 

On her first night in the brothel, she's purchased for a lot of money. The buyer? None other than the ruler himself, Daxton Hart. Turns out he needs someone to replace his niece Lila, who he, uh, had offed. Kitty's eyes are a perfect match to Lila's, and eyes are the one thing masking can't change. So what would be in it for Kitty other than not dying? Well her 3 will turn in to a 7. Her life will be perfect. She just has to do everything Daxton and his diabolical mother Augusta tell her to do. Which includes putting down the rebellion Lila was supporting. And marrying Knox, Lila's fiance. Sounds like a delightful family, yes?

This family is a hot mess. So much deception. So much backstabbing. SO many great plot points. I honestly couldn't keep track of who was screwing over who. There were so many twists, turns and unexpected happenings to keep me on my toes.
Plotting. Evil plotting.
Also, Elsewhere. ELSEWHERE. Holy crap guys. There's no way to describe what happens there. You'll just have to read it for yourself.

The characters in this story are so fantastically complex. Just when you think you have someone figured out, they go and do something that blows you out of the water and changes your opinion. This happens again and again and again. Kitty is a wonderful heroine. She's smart (despite what her test score showed), strong, intuitive, cunning and just all around awesome. Definitely a great character to build your story around. So much depends on her, and she doesn't disappoint. The supporting cast of characters doesn't let you down either. Benjy is a devoted boyfriend, who is also super intelligent. I wish there had been more development for his character, but I'm hoping it'll happen in the rest of the series. Knox, Celia, Daxton, and the real Lila are all equally fascinating in their own right. Each person has their own motivations, and it's a difficult task to decide who you really want to come out on top. 

And can I just talk about Augusta for a minute? The matriarch of the family is crazy diabolical you guys. What a great villain. She is unpredictable and that makes her super scary. 
I totally pictured Ursula in my head.
There are so many revelations throughout the book I couldn't even keep track of all of them. But WOW. Carter does a great job of making each twist mean something. They are all there for a reason, and they work. Oh how they work.

SO... yeah. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It's wonderfully grim, gritty, and complex.

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