Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date Published: November 26th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Description: 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.
I haven’t had a chance to read The Goddess Test series, but I met Aimee Carter as part of the Harlequin Teen tour and got to hear about her upcoming book, Pawn. I was really intrigued so I requested the ARC from Netgalley.
Pawn is a cool take on a dystopian society where people are given a test on their 17th birthday to see their worth. They receive a rank (I – VII) that dictates their entire life in society – what jobs they get, what kind of food they can afford, etc. Our MC, Kitty, gets ranked a III, which is really awful. But, because she has a special eye color (seriously, that’s the only reason), she is given the choice to become a VII (which only the Hart family gets) and she isn’t given an explanation or much time to decide. She says yes, because she can’t imagine living the life of a III and being sent far away from her boyfriend, and so she is turned into a body double of the beloved Lila Hart.
Apparently technology and medicine is so advanced that the doctors are able to change everything about Kitty’s appearance, including adding height (!!), to make her look just like Lila. The only thing they are unable to change is eye color, because apparently everyone they tried this on in the past has gone blind. OK, so that part of the story seems a little weak to me, but let’s suspend disbelief and go with it.
Kitty is trained and learns how to behave just like Lila, but then she finds out that Lila was giving speeches in support of a rebellion against the rating system, and she is asked to continue that work in secret. What follows is a lot of deceit, murder, and some interesting plot twists. I really liked how Kitty grew and came into her own beliefs about the system and all its flaws. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Kitty and Benjy. It is obvious how much they care about each other and how they will do whatever it takes to help each other.
There were sections of the book with a lot of action, sections with some unexpected plot twists, but also sections with a summarized narration that glossed over some facts that would have been interesting to see play out. For example, I would have enjoyed reading the content of Lila’s speeches, rather than just a general summary of them.
Overall, Pawn is a pretty interesting start to a dystopian/political thriller series and I am interested to see how the series grows and concludes.