Friday, 20 December 2013

Review: Pawn


Publication Date: November 26th 2013        
~A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen via Netgalley.~


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.


This is my second Aimee Carter book, I've only read The Goddess Test, and haven't finished the rest of the series yet. As soon as I heard about it though, I knew I had to read it, and It awesome.

The atmosphere is palpable, the bad characters are deliciously twisted and evil,  the good are strong, and likeable.  You hate the characters you're supposed to. You're suspicious of characters you're supposed to be suspicious of. Even the ones you may like.
The world Pawn is set in is brutal, with a warped sense of politics, control and blood.

When Kitty Doe is ranked a three the life she wanted to have with boyfriend Benjy Doe, is shattered, and she pretty much thinks her life is over. If she takes the job assigned to her, she won't see Benjy again, because she knows he's meant for better than her three, and she'd be damned if she takes him down with him. So she sees a way out, joining a 'club'  that sells girls- just for a month. Just until Benji get's the rank he deserves.
When she's bought by the Prime Minister, Daxton Hart, he has a proposition for her and seeing no other choice, Kitty accepts.

And wakes up a different person.
In a process called Masked she's transformed into the unknown dead, Lila Hart, in every sense of the word. Her hair, her nose, her mouth, her chin, her height, her feet, her body, the only thing untouched,  the only thing they share and are unable to duplicate, their eyes.

The reason Kitty was chosen.
The world building has what it needs, and behind the scenes, exceptionally cruel.

Society has been structured to keep it in control, couples are only allowed to have one child, and if another is born, they are branded as "extras", thrown into an overpopulated children home (if they can't pay a fine.) and all given the last name "Doe". On their seventeenth birthday they are to be tested to determine their rank in Society. They are branded with tattoo's on the back of their necks to inhumanely show their worth, what type of job and kind of condition they are allowed to have. If you rank a five or higher you'll  have the better options of a full life, with everything you may need.  A four to two you'll struggle, restricted work and food, and unhealthy living conditions with a lifespan of 40, if you're lucky. If you're a one, you're pretty much useless to Society and are sent elsewhere. The same goes for the elderly and criminals. The system is in place to deal out fairness and to give everybody- even Doe's, a chance. Or so, it is on the surface, and ideally, a great system- and that's what the Prime Minister and most of the Hart's family want you to think. Underneath, the system is flawed and can be bought if you have enough money and sway, it's riddled with injustice, power, control and blood.
The Blackcoats are the rebels, they know the truth and are fighting back, and are encouraged by Lila Hart. It was the reason she was killed.
Genuinely, Kitty Doe is a rarity among the YA genres, why? She's a realist. She knows the ins and outs, she isn't stupid, she's both clever and street clever,  and the only reason she didn't get a higher rank was because she didn't have enough time to finish her test because she can't read, and had to have it read to her, and the reader was slow. But, she doesn't complain. Like I said, she's a realist. She has the hand life's dealt her, and she crushes it  in her hands. The easy thing would be to do what she was supposed to. She doesn't. She has a plan, and she'll do what she has to, to survive. She's a fighter, but she's also a vulnerable seventeen year old that will do anything to not screw up the lives of the people she loves. So, when the unknown lifeline that was offered to her, she didn't necessarily know if it was a way out, but she took it anyway. Being a pawn in the Hart's twisted game of chess, makes Kitty strive to take back the control of her own life, to surprise and overthrow to become a Queen of the game, and ultimately, to get herself and Benji out of it alive.

Pawn was such a surprise, exceeded my expectations, with a dark and desperate atmosphere and plot twists I honestly didn't see coming.

 Rating: 5/5