Pawn by Aimée Carter

Pawn by Aimee Carter(Cover picture courtesy of Imperial Beach Teen Blog.)


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.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Despite my misgivings about the Goddess Test trilogy, I actually enjoyed Pawn by Aimée Carter.  The world was refreshingly unique for what seemed to be such a stereotypical dystopia and I found the main character, Kitty, to be a pretty sympathetic character.  Considering I usually want to strangle the female leads in YA dystopia, this is quite a feat if I’m honest.

First off, the world-building.  It seems like your typical divided society dystopian trope, but it’s not really.  There are actually reasons for the division and the reasons are explained when the history of the country is presented.  I found the Hart family’s rise to power surprisingly believable and how they keep their hold on power even more believable.  It was rather disturbing to see what Elsewhere was because it really reminded me of the world Lois Lowry created in The Giver, but I suppose it makes sense when you have a system like that.

Kitty was not your stereotypical heroine.  She was ready to do whatever needed to be done to survive, even if it meant pretending to be someone else in a family that mostly hated her.  Was she a kick-butt heroine?  No and her reluctance made sense given her upbringing as well as the Hart family’s reputation.  How she handles herself in that complicated maze of politics was quite impressive and I cheered her on the whole way.

The pacing was pretty good, but the only thing I found a little off about this book was the plot.  It wasn’t boring, per se, but it didn’t exactly keep me on the edge of my seat.  Some of the plot twists were unpredictable, yes, but they felt a little off.  Like Aimée Carter was departing from the whole feeling of the story, what she had been building toward previously.  It was a little disconcerting, but overall I think Pawn is a pretty good read and I’d recommend giving it a try if you like YA dystopia.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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    • Carrie Slager

      For me, the ‘why’ of dystopian fiction is very important. That’s why I found Pawn much more interesting than The Goddess Test trilogy as a whole. The explanation for the ranking system was connected to the way things seem to be going on in our world today and it made sense that yes, this could possibly happen if there was a great upheaval.

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