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.
Aimee Carter's Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) is set against a backdrop where the US is a meritocracy society. After being brought back back from the brink of disaster thanks to overpopulation and dwindling resources, a new leader took over the country and designed an assessment test that rates citizens from I to VII. VII are reserved only for the Hart family who has ruled the country for 71 years. The higher the rating, the more chances at happiness and riches you will have.
For 17-year old Kitty Doe, her assessment marked her as a III which doesn't bode all that well for her and her romance with her bestie Benjy who is expected to test higher. Kitty already had one strike against her for being what's called an Extra, or the second born child whose parents couldn't afford to pay the fines to keep her. Along with the inability to read (Kitty is dyslexic), and now being assigned to a position far from her love, Kitty decides to do something drastic.
Deciding to become a prostitute, Kitty comes to the attention of Prime Minister Daxton Hart who offers her a deal. She will become a VII, and all she has to do is agree to become someone else entirely; Lila Hart, the niece of the Prime Minister who was supposedly murdered and is the face of the Blackcoat Rebellion. Kitty in turn must find a way to work with the Hart family to undermine and stop the rebellion in its tracks.
I enjoy reading dystopian novels and am always on the lookout for something new and fresh to breathe life into this genre. Pawn is a decently paced novel, that doesn't toss in a whole lot of info dumping which allows for the reader to slowly understand what Carter has created. I don't believe there is any question as to what lead to this society or the rebellion by those who haven't been given a fair shake. Often times, the back story remains missing for the first novel. Not this time.
I actually liked Kitty. I like that Carter challenged her by making her dyslexic. I truly do respect those who are dyslexic because every single day brings about a new challenge to not fall behind the rest of society. Kitty is also surprisingly set on who she loves, and is not interested in falling instantly in love with Lila's supposed fiance Lennox Creed. I like that Kitty doesn't necessarily change her entire being just to satisfy those who have power over her.
Pawn is definitely a change in the dystopian arena in that this society could actually happen if stupid Americans continue to stand on the sidelines, and refuse to vote or get involved in what is happening to this country. Pawn is more political in nature than those stories which are set behind the backdrop of a destroyed country trying to pick up the pieces. There are no zombies, or plagues, or aliens who haven taken over the world. Pawn is a story filed with mystery, suspense, betrayals, romance, and a likable heroine.
Next Up in The Series: Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion # 2) releases November 25, 2014
Author - Aimee Carter
Title - Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion # 1)
Published by Harlequin Teen
Released - November 26, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Format: E-Book, 343 pages