Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) - Aimee Carter

Release Date: November 26th 2013
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 352
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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.

Review: Lies, deception, betrayal, corruption - I loved it.

Pawn follows Kitty, a young girl who recently undertook the test to find out where she fits in society - and she doesn’t like what she learns. Kitty is a III, a low ranking citizen who will struggle with poverty and limited options for the rest of her life. Upon learning this, Kitty goes into despair at the fact that she will have to leave those she loves, but more importantly, she will drag down her potential-filled boyfriend Benjy. To avoid a fate of cleaning sewers, she takes the risk of a life of prostitution for the next month until Benjy is categorised - and it is here that her life takes a turn that she could never have expected. She is given the opportunity to become a VII - the highest ranking category there is - one that is reserved for those in the most powerful family in the country. Without any time to consider this option, and knowing the consequences of her decision, Kitty accepts. What Kitty doesn’t realise is that the she will wake up ‘Masked’ as the Prime Minister’s niece Lila - she has been surgically changed to look exactly like Lila, and she now must take Lila’s place within the family after Lila’s mysterious and secret death.

Kitty quickly learns that being a part of the most influential family, and having all the privileges of a VII is not all that it is cracked up to be. Yes, she no longer a nobody; she is wealthy, she is adored, she will never want for any material object ever again - but she is also controlled by a tyrant Prime Minister who is more evil than she could have imaged, and more calculating that one could have ever guessed. Her new life is to convince everyone that she is Lila and to be the adored poster-girl the public expects - the only problem is that the public love Lila because of the rebellion she promoted - and it is this rebellion that the Prime Minister wants Kitty to stop. If she fails, it is not only her life on the line. Will Lila be the pawn the Prime Minister expects her to be? Or will she make her own rules in his twisted game?

Kitty’s new life is far from perfect. She soon realises that the most powerful family she has joined is rife with struggles for power, manipulation, lies, hidden agendas and, basically, down-right evil. This family is down-right messed up. “Uncle” (Prime Minister) Daxton is disturbing in the fact that he enjoys his power, and the sickening games he plays to keep it, her “mother” Celia clearly believes the ends justifies the means in her desire for revenge, and her “grandmother” Augusta is the matriarch of the family - and this, I believe, is where the true terror lies. Underhandedness, manipulation and corruption runs throughout the whole storyline, with the twist and turns pulling you deeper as you flip the pages.

In her new life, Kitty has also gained a fiancé - Knox. Although throughout the story it is not clear if he should be trusted, I feel that Knox’s character, while not flawless, is honourable and does the things that he believes is right. Kitty and Knox’s relationship was somewhat up and down, and there were a few moments of chemistry, but that is about as far as any romantic relationship developed. Kitty and Benjy’s relationship on the other hand was already developed coming into Pawn, and the development did not go beyond showing their dedication, loyalty and trust for each other. Their relationship, whilst being solid and sweet, was not a major focus point of the storyline (although it was a focus of Kitty’s actions).

Although at times I didn’t understand why Kitty made rash decisions, I understood her reasoning behind making them. She is a strong character, with “spunk” and intelligence. She doesn’t allow others to push her around, and she has a strength that is driven by her desire to protect Benjy.

As the rebellion grows, and secrets and conspiracies are revealed, Kitty will need to decide which side of the chess board she is on. But as Kitty struggles with her desire to live, protect Benjy’s life and to do the right thing, she learns that being a pawn does not mean you are powerless - a pawn can become the most powerful piece in the game.



“They had taken away my face and a name, but I’d thought there was no way they could take away who I really was.”

“But the world is out there, and it understands that the illusion of knowledge and freedom is not the same as the real thing. Eventually it will fade, and there are those who will do whatever it takes to make that happen sooner rather than later.”

“Never forget the potential one solitary pawn has to change the entire game.”

“It might not have been much, but if Daxton wanted a pissing contest, the that was exactly what I would give him”


Book Trailer:

What do you think?

  • Cait D says:

    It was definitely a cool book. :) I liked the “new” twists it gave to the regular ol’ dystopians. Particularly all that face-swapping stuff. It reminds me of a movie! (Can’t remember the name of the movie though…grr, dang it.) Buuut, I wasn’t really sold on Kitty. :/ Also the fact that they changed her height. I loved the face-swap, but not the height-swap so much. Still! It was a fun read.

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