by Aimee Carter
Published by Harlequin Teen Release date : November 26th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
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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 received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Beings I wasn’t a huge fan of The Goddess Test series (I only read the first book), I had a few reservations heading into Pawn. Not only that, I am a little burnt out on Dystopians. BUT. There is something to be said about an author stepping up and writing in a completely different genre. Well, it isn’t completely different; it’s still YA, but it is a genre switch for Carter. With that and in combination of the pretty interesting premise, I gave it a go. While I really liked the story and was floored by the corruption, I just couldn’t love this one.
First off; I loved the world. I honestly thought it was one of the better thought out dystopians I have read in a long time. I like the concept of it; getting what you put forth. You work, you get paid. You do nothing, well… Of course, there is more to it than that, especially since the high ranked have money; to which they can pay for tutoring. And of course, the test is not fail proof and probably rigged and not favored to most. Still, I like that idea. However much I thought the world was fascinating and original, I felt in the dark about a lot of things. Execution people, is key. Speaking of execution, holy batman on the Elsewhere, yeah? Good grief was that awful.
The best part of this book was the back stabbing, the twists and the WTFery going on pretty much on every page. Pawn is very fast paced, action packed and defiantly a plot driven novel. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I honestly wasn’t able to connected with the characters on the level that I LIKE to be, especially in a dystopian setting. Case in point– when betrayals were made and secrets were revealed, I wasn’t that impacted by them. Sure, I was shocked and pretty baffled, generally floored with the O_O face going on; but in a generalized way. Of course, you have to add in that I didn’t trust a single character in this book. This though, is a good thing.
So then we have Masking. This, my friends, is one pretty interesting yet very, very scary thing. Imagine becoming someone else. Completely. Could you do it? WOULD you do it? Kitty is given the opportunity to rid herself of her III and become a VII, by masking. Since everyone at the age of 17 gets ” ranked”, a number on the back of your neck which depicts your.. useful or hierarchy in society, a VII is a pretty big deal, yes? Of course, this little arrangement came with a price and Kitty is thrust into the world as Lila Hart. That is when things get crazy and we get a better look-see into this family. No more, because I can’t mention single thing about this without spoilers.
As I said, I wasn’t able to really connect with any characters and this includes Kitty. I liked her; and i thought she was pretty brave albeit whiny at times. It was just odd that she continued to be surprised once she learned about a particular family member, outcome or their um, plans for her. Wasn’t that kind of the point of the masking!? I thought she was pretty selfless; even though I didn’t really understand her connect or relationship to Benjy. He isn’t really THERE often. What I did see from him I liked though. He’s very sweet and dedicated to Kitty.
Just a note– There has been this HUGE point to be made that there is no love triangle. Personally, I was hoping for Kitty to get some action from Knox. It would have kept things interesting. O_o
My Peeve- There were a lot of times where I felt like I was being TOLD about something, where the situation called for me to FEEL it. Make sense? Since the book did take place over quite an extended period of time, I wasn’t a fan of the wrap up during this period. Also, there were a few scenes View Spoiler » where they have the speech with Kitty AND Lila « Hide Spoiler that I wish we actually saw or got at least a small glimpse of. Lastly, the pacing sometimes was too fast for my liking. There was a lot of crap going on, betrayals and secrets to be exposed, that a lot of important things were skimmed or brushed over because we were thrust into the NEXT BIG THING. *Shrug* But that’s just me.
Overall– I really enjoyed Pawn. I thought the world was pretty fascinating and original. Full of twists and betrayals, it’ll keep you on your toes until the end. I recommend it and I am so curious to see where Carter takes us next.