By Aimee Carter
Published on November 26th 2013
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published by Harlequin Teen
Sarah says....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 read anything by Aimee Carter before, but I'd heard good things about her, so I was excited to check out Pawn. In the story, we are dropped right into the middle of the most powerful family in the country whenever Kitty is altered to be Lila Hart's double. So not only do we get a dystopian universe and political intrigue, but we also get loads of dysfunctional family dynamics.
While I don't think the set-up for the dystopian universe is too ground-breaking -- people take a test at age 17 that determines the rest of their lives (like the SATs, only with death!) -- I really was intrigued by the political side of things, as well as the inner workings of the Hart family. As the book progresses, we learn more about the rebellion, and the way it intertwines with the Hart family. Things are more layered than they appear at first: Kitty is being used to cover up Lila's death, but she's also being used to undermine the revolutionary ideas that made Lila popular with the people. The people who were supporting Lila's rebellion don't see any need to stop all because the real Lila is dead, and Kitty finds herself having to walk a very fine line to keep everyone happy and to keep from being, well, expendable.
The romance in this was sweet, with Kitty already being in an established relationship with Benjy, a teen who grew up in the same orphanage as she did. While this could have easily veered into love triangle territory, with Kitty now having to spend a lot of time with Knox, who was Lila's fiance, things don't go that way and don't appear to be heading there. I could be wrong, and I really liked Knox, so I wouldn't complain too much, but it was refreshing to see a book without that angle. Kitty herself can be a little bit frustrating - for someone with a lot of street smarts, necessary to get by in her upbringing, she is really naive about the world she lives in. Overall, I liked her, especially when she was taking charge of her situation.
There are a few plot twists that I didn't see coming at all, which was awesome, as I think the plot could have easily been very predictable. The story doesn't resolve at all, clearly setting things up for a sequel, which I will definitely check out.
Well first of all I love Aimee Carter. I adored her Godess Test series so it goes to say I am in love with the way she writes. My problem with this book was something completely not fair. I had just finished Tandem when I started Pawn- and in many many ways, they are almost identical (now Tandem is scifi not dystopian, so I am NOT saying there was anything fishy going on- it was just an awful coincidence for me). Tandem was a meh book for me and because it followed the same plot line as Pawn- well things that should have been surprises, weren't surprises.
The romance between Benjy and Kitty (did anyone get the cat and dog reference here?) was sweet like Sarah said. I found myself thinking it was honestly a bit bland. I did like that there was an established relationship when the book started. Now, I know I am making it sound like I didn't like it- I really did. But after reading Tandem, it didn't feel new to me.
I will continue on with the series, because I do enjoy it. I think this one was just a problem of timing. But I enjoyed the book and fans of the author will enjoy this new series.