Monday, 2 December 2013

Pawn by Aimée Carter

Title: Pawn
Author: Aimée Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: November 26th 2013
Pages: 346 (eBook)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads


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've had my eye on Pawn for quite a while, so once I got accepted for an eGalley of it, I was ecstatic. Despite the surge of dystopian novels over the last few years, many of them still manage to come up with original concepts; Pawn is a perfect example of this.

In a world ruled by a harsh ranking system, Kitty Doe is devastated when she receives a III, marking her as a sewage worker with very few prospects. However, she is offered an opportunity; completely change her body and identity in exchange for becoming a rare VII. Of course Kitty accepts - but what she will end up giving is far more than what a VIO is worth.

I know ranking systems have been done before, but I thought that the brutality of Carter's really stood out. In books like The Selection, although a ranking system is present you don't really get the full effects of it, because the narrative isn't told by someone living in those conditions. In Pawn, the reader understands the danger Kitty is faced with, and the extreme extents to which she has to go to to keep herself alive. 

Kitty's character was ferocious and persistent! Damn, nothing would stop that girl - and I kind of admired it. It was enjoyable to read the novel from her perspective, and I liked that Carter kept her reactions realistic. She was a tough cookie but she wasn't inhuman.

I hated her involvement with Benjy, however. Part of me liked the lack of a love triangle, because that is so overdone, but we were just supposed to understand that her and Benjy were deeply, madly, irrevocably in love when the chemistry between them was just absent. Their love was just in the words, and it sparked no emotion within me.

Personally, I thought her and Knox had a lot more sexual tension, though I don't think that was the road Carter was going down, sadly. As cliche as it is, they would have made a much better couple. 

I thought the language was quite basic, so whilst it was a good story, I found it very teenage-y. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I was constantly reminded of their age and that seemed to be the target market Carter was aiming for - 16 year olds, not YA readers. And although I'm 17 so close to the target readers, I still didn't connect with it as well as I may have otherwise.

Overall, I enjoyed Pawn but moderately so. I think it could easily be worth five stars in the eyes of someone younger than me as it is original and entertaining with a thrilling concept, but for me it just fell a tiny bit flat. But it was still good and I would recommend it.
Rating: 3/5


  1. You know, when I reviewed this I said it was good, but not really anything new. However, after some time has passed, I still think about these characters. I think I got more attached than I realized. If a book sticks with me, I consider that high praise. Looking forward to the next one.

    Great review!

  2. I'm generally a bit wary when it comes to Dystopian books nowadays, but your review makes me want to grab a copy of Pawn ASAP. Like you, I like that there's no love triangle, but couples in YA fiction who have no chemistry at all are the worst. I'd also prefer that they explore the couple's history as well.

    Great review!

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

  3. Interesting... the couple actually didn't bother me. To me, their relationship seemed mature and past the I-have-to-have-you-right-now phase, which was kind of refreshing. Because I feel like so many books have that, I really liked one where it was already settled and they were in a comfortable place.