Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, Book 1) by Aimee Carter
Publication date: 26 November 2013 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN 10/13: 0373210558 | 9780373210558
Category: Young Adult Dystopia
Keywords: Switched, Masks, Government, Strategy
Format: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook
Kitty Doe is an orphan in this harsh world. She lives in a house with other kids, all under age until they take their test. This test will define how important they are to society, and how long their life will last. When Kitty comes away with a III, she knows her life will change forever. She is being sent to a far away city, away from her boyfriend Benjy and will probably never see anyone here again. But before anything can happen, Kitty is kidnapped and Masked, to look like Lila Hart, the daughter of one the most important families in the government. The real Lila is dead, and Kitty must impersonate Lila to survive. But at what cost?
I had high hopes for Pawn as I loved Carter's series The Goddess Test. Maybe I'm just tired of dystopian series. Or maybe there are so many out there that nothing really shocks me anymore. Sadly, this book didn't live up to my expectations.
Kitty is in an impossible situation and while I wanted to like her and root for her, I felt like there was something missing from her character. Nothing really stood out about her.
Kitty loves Benjy, her boyfriend. And we're told his quite a lot, especially early on in the book when she ripped away from him to be Masked. But I didn't see or feel Kitty's love for Benjy. There's a lot of tell, but little show. Benjy is not a present figure in the beginning of the book and we're going by Kitty's memories alone. Honestly, Benjy doesn't seem all that wonderful in those memories either. There was nothing that stands out about him or makes me want to root for him or them as a couple. He seems sort of bland. So I am not totally invested in her deep desire to find him and run away together. Even Lila's old fiance lacks charm and emotion. I'm thinking that there is supposed to be some kind of love triangle going on here, but honestly, I don't know any of these characters enough to really care who Kitty winds up with in the end.
The Hart family on the other hand, are ruthless, evil and openly backstabbing each other. I didn't feel like there was a lot of depth to any of them or complicated emotional motivation. I like evil villains, don't get me wrong. But I want them to be layered, morally gray and blurred. I want them to be just enough evil that you have to look twice. No one in the Hart family is like that. I'm pretty sure they could all wear top hats, evil mustaches and tie damsels to train tracks.
That said, the plot is pretty interesting. No one is safe from danger and there are some cool twists that kept it interesting. But I didn't really care about the characters, so everything felt detached. It's an interesting world, especially the part about Elsewhere, and a deep sense of danger and death looms heavily over the story.
Overall, Pawn left me dissatisfied. But for fans who can't get enough of dystopian YA literature, I think they'll find promise in the beginning to this new series.
Find out more about the author at aimeecarter.com and follow her on Twitter @aimee_carter.
You can find more reviews by Kimberly at thewindypages.com and follow her on Twitter @thewindypages.