Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

ISBN: 9780373210558
Source: Netgalley
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Page Count: 352 Pages
Find it on Goodreads
*Disclaimer* I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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.

Have any of you read Carter's Goddess Test series? I've read the first two and an e-novella and am currently reading the last one in the series. I wasn't a huge fan of the series, though I did enjoy it enough to finish it, but I've come to realize that writing adaptations of Greek myths is a tough one and its hard to judge an author on something like that. With that being said, I only found some similarities between The Goddess Test series and and Pawn, and I think Carter's writing was much stronger in Pawn.

I love the premise for this series - a society based on an IQ test of sorts. It's an idea I had toyed with in the past, though not to this extreme. In the world Carter creates, people are given the life they "earned", and hey, if they are average or below average in intelligence, then they work crap jobs, aren't allowed to buy certain luxuries such as oranges (crazy, right?!) and only are allowed one child. Talk about population control.

I liked Kitty well enough as the heroine, though I think she was a little too focused on her boyfriend Benjy, considering every decision she makes in the book comes with the prerequisite "how will this affect Benjy" inner monologue. I also liked that Carter made Kitty unable to read... probably dyslexic from what I can tell. Kitty was a smart, self-sufficient, caring, and kind of bad-ass heroine who was not perfect. She couldn't read, but she still managed to score a III (out of VI) on her aptitude test, which may sound horrible to her, but at least she wasnt sent Elsewhere. I don't even want to get into Elsewhere, which I found to be a a lot creepy.

This novel was very character- and relationship-centered, as there wasn't a ton of plot movement, though there was some. However, Kitty did spend most of her time in the Somerset mansion (just like Kate does in The Goddess Test) and that kind of keeps the plot stagnant.

As far as world-building goes, I think there was a good amount of it right at the start of the book, then we see some information interspersed throughout the book, but with such an promising world to work with, I wish there had been more.

Its hard for me to say if I feel more than just... *shrug*... about this book, because everything was kind of so-so on the Amanda-ratings scale. The world building, when it was there, was good and fresh and unique. The characters, when they did develop, it was interesting and they were strong, but then they kind of went... flat. Plot... moved along well enough, but there was only so much action before Kitty found herself sitting around somewhere again. Not to mention Carter skimming over some parts of the plot that I felt she definitely could've gone into more detail with, like the speeches Lila gave.

Also, and though the dialogue itself never came off as awkward or unrealistic, there were times when I felt myself saying "huh?". I felt as though I had missed something important in the dialogue or plot movement and found myself confused about what was going on a couple of times.

I do have to say though, by the end of the book I was gasping and slapping my forehead in surprise at the twists the story took and I think Carter did a good enough job setting up for what has the potential to be a very good series.

RATING:  1/2

I enjoyed this well enough and thanks to a couple of good plot twists and a world with a ton of potential, I think I'll be coming back to read the next one when it is released, probably some time next year.

Have any of you read this book? If, so what did you think? If not, will you be picking up a copy when it is released on November 26? I'd love to hear from you!



  1. Kate @ The Book BeeJuly 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    I'm SO glad that Carter's writing is better in this one. I love Greek mythology but The Goddess Test series was just awful for me.

    It's really unfortunate to hear how this one plays out, however. I was looking forward to reading this but now I'm not so sure. It sounds exactly like The Goddess Test - she agrees to live in some big house for 90% of the book in exchange for a favor: resurrecting the dead/have a better life. I'm feeling kinda meh on this one. I've been reading a lot of awful stuff lately. Would you recommend it?

  2. Honestly, for someone who's dealt with a series of less than stellar books like I've been, I wouldn't recommend Pawn for any time soon. Maybe when you're bored and it's on sale or something, because it's definitely not bad, but I don't think it's something you'll love or that will get you out of this bad-book pattern.

    Have you checked out the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas? Now that is something that could break someone out of a bad-book rut!

    Thanks for stopping by! :)


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