Synopsis: 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 wasn’t sure what to expect from PAWN. I’ve never read a Carter book before, and after the first 10% of this or so I felt that it was your typical dystopian YA and that I’d probably already read it 100 times. But thankfully, after I got past the simple set up and awful names (Benjy and Kitty? srsly?!) I was pleasantly surprised!
This book is super fast paced and there’s a lot of stuff going on. A few times I was confused (especially about how un-secret this secret-not-secret rebellion was!), but basically Kitty gets offered a way to improve her life and rise her rank in society by being ‘Masked’ and standing in for the Prime Ministers niece. Who kinda-sorta is a part of the rebellion. Kitty-now-Lila doesn’t actually want to DO any of this but she agreed to it without reading the fine print and now she’s stuck being a pawn in this game of politics and rebellion.
Kitty has spunk and I liked her a lot. She’s also incredibly loyal and even though there IS potential for a love-triangle THERE ISN’T ONE. And I loved that! So fresh! Yes, the MC can stay loyal to her beau while hanging out with some other super awesome guy (and Knox IS awesome!) without being torn over which one to choose! Gah, I loved it.
And there were multiple surprised that I didn’t see coming! I loved that too! And Kitty is quite moral, which is super important in this crazy world where people are actually hunted like wild game (that part was horrifying!).
To be honest I’ve been a bit bored with dystopian YA lately and I’ve been craving a good one and this did it for me. SO looking forward to the next one!!!
Huge thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for an advance reader copy of this book!
I have to admit: Aimee Carter’s books have become a guilty please of mine. I don’t know if it’s because the boast the same type of humor as my own or because she writes fun characters — I’m not sure what it is about her books that I like so much and I realize tying to pin point those realizes seems fruitless.
Much like The Goddess Test, Pawn is a fast and surprisingly engaging read. Carter creates a wicked fast pace that is easy to follow and comprehend — she has moments of mcguffin usage to get out of certain, sometimes confusing situations, but overall I found that Pawn was an easy read.
This book is very typical YA dystopia and it does lack a sense of uniqueness compared to other books in the genre. Strange to say, I’m actually okay with this because Carter has crafted a very simplistic dystopia, one that any reader can understand and fully grasp. We need more of those in YA, especially considering that a lot of the ones you find nowadays come across a bit too convoluted for their own good.
I love the idea of a secret-rebellion-that-fails-to-be-secret. I loved it, which I know sounds silly, but it worked considering Carter gave her characters the ability to be Masked, to be someone else in order to move up the ranks of the society. Kitty, especially, is a wonderfully well-rounded character, and I quite loved her because she has so much tenacity, yet she’s able to be real in a lot of situations and be outspoken when she has to be. She also has a great supporting cast in Benjy, Knox, and Celia, all who help move the narrative along in such a way that it’s always enjoyable. Carter writes good banter, and she makes the characters have these lively conversations that are both interesting and entertaining. I also like that Kitty stays true to Benjy, even if I think Benjy is a bit of a bore. It’s nice to have a heroine not get sucked into a love-triangle!
While I absolutely enjoyed Pawn, I wish we had more explanation and less simplicity to how the dystopia works. I feel like what this novel lacks is an identity all its own in a genre that is currently over saturated. It doesn’t do enough to stand out in a crowd and be its own entity, something I wish it would have striven for. However, there’s a great story here with a fun cast of characters, just don’t expect too much from the book because its one that seems to need more time for more growth and development.