Author: Aimee Carter
Release date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Reading level: YA
First line: "Risking my life to steal an orange was a stupid thing to do, but today of all days, I didn't care about the consequences."
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 was a fan of Aimee Carter's Goddess Test series but that didn't prepare me for how much I loved Pawn. The dystopian genre is getting a little overrun and most of the books out there aren't all that unique. I'm happy to say that Pawn definitely brings something new to the YA dystopian genre and it looks like The Blackcoat Rebellion could quickly become a favorite series of mine.
The best thing about Pawn is the setting. A lot of dystopians take quite a bit of time with world-building and it does tend to drag out the beginning of a series. Pawn is set in a futuristic United States much like our current United States and so it doesn't take a lot of time to set up the world. That's not to say that Aimee Carter didn't do a fabulous job building the world. She focused more on the political aspect however. I'd normally find that boring but that was not the case at all with Pawn. It was fascinating to see how the government deteriorated. The scariest thing about Pawn is how realistic it is. This futuristic United States that Aimee Carter has created could actually be our own United States one day. It's not so far out of the realm of possibility.
Pawn also has a supremely fast pace. It's full of action, mystery, suspense, and romance. There is always something going on that will keep you reading. Seriously, there was so much going on in this book. There were assassination attempts (on more than one person), multiple deaths (Aimee Carter is not afraid to kill off a character), and a kind of misleading love triangle (that really isn't a love triangle,at least not yet.) I could never guess what was going to happen next and there were some jaw-dropping surprises in this one.
The characters were fabulous. Kitty was fierce and completely awesome. Her life may not have been her own but she took charge. She didn't let Daxton, Celia, or Augusta change her ideals or her character. She used her new status for good things and she didn't let it corrupt her. She was very well-developed. However, my favorite thing about her was her attitude. She didn't let things get her down for long. She found ways to take charge of her life when she had very little power. She was a great heroine. Knox, Benjy, Celia, Daxton, Greyson, and Augusta were all pretty well-developed characters too. I would have liked more background for all of them but I assume we'll get more of that in the following books.
Overall, Pawn really surprised me, in the best possible way. It's a great start to a fresh new series and I look forward to the next book in the Blackcoat Rebellion series.
Istyria Book Blog's review: "Even though there probably are a million other books in this genre, it still is surprisingly original."
I Heart Y.A. Fiction's review: "Pawn is a breathtaking, heartbreaking, dramatic story."
River & Sam's review: "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."
Pawn (#1) - Nov. 2013
Captive (#2) - 2014
Want to know what other books were up for First Line Friday?
#1: "Dead!" a woman screamed. "It's the dead!" - Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
#2: "Your name is Eve. Remember that." - Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
#3: "There are exactly sixteen minutes left in math class when there's a faint double knock on the classroom door, and we all perk up." - Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
#4: "All my life I knew what I wanted. Or rather, what I didn't want." - Foreplay by Sophie Jordan