Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pawn - Aimee Carter

Pawn Aimee Carter book cover
Pawn by Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thank you, Harlequin!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my 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. (from Goodreads)

I've been looking forward to reading Pawn for a while, primarily because I enjoyed this author's other series (my reviews: 1 / 2 / 2.53) a lot. The novel is a departure from Carter's previous trilogy, focusing on a dystopian society instead of a world where mythology and real life come together... and that's a good thing!

Right off the bat, readers are tossed into the action. It was difficult for me to feel any sense of urgency about the stakes of things at first because I simply didn't have a reason to care about these characters, especially main character Kitty Doe. For the first half of the book, I was simply trusting the author's urging to care about what happened to Kitty instead of caring of my own volition.

But then, the second half of the book came in -- and everything changed! It was almost like a switch had been flipped, and the things that had been missing made an appearance. The story took on an actual direction, and I learned more about these characters (which gave me more incentive to care). I really liked the fact that there were plenty of moments that really caught me off guard, twists that I hadn't seen coming at all; this was, in fact, what kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning.

In spite of my qualms about the first half, and the fact that I didn't particularly care for any character until later on in the book, I enjoyed it. Carter's angle on this story is smart. She demonstrates how Kitty's life and that of her friends mirrors a chess game: it's all about strategy, position and using your "pieces" in the right way, though these "pieces" in question are human beings. Once I could see the broader angle to the tale, I could appreciate the artistry to the story's outline even more.

What Pawn lacks at its start, it more than makes up for by its end. Even though I still don't particularly care for Kitty, I've got enough of a reason to root for her (and the rest of her friends, who I actually might love a little bit more than her). In the end, it's all about the game and how you play it -- and I'm admittedly curious to see how Kitty and the rest will play as the series continues.

18 comments:

  1. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, too, Alexa! I wasn't a fan of The Goddess Test series, so this really stepped up its game in my eyes. I'm glad to see it picked up for you, and you ended up liking it a lot!

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    1. It started out pretty much the way The Goddess Test did for me -- a bit slow -- but it certainly picked up. I'm happy to say that I'm intrigued enough to want to read on and perhaps find out what happens to Kitty!

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  2. I was slightly disappointed in this one actually. Like you said I didn't really care about the characters and that never really changed for me as I was reading. It was okay. The twists were surprising and the plot was original and interesting, but if the characters fall flat for me the book tends to too. I'm still interested to see what happens though so I'll probably pick up the sequel when it comes out. Glad you liked it!

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    1. Aww, I'm sorry to hear you weren't really invested in the characters! I certainly wasn't either, which is a shame. It would have made my reading experience better, for sure, as I love connecting to characters in books.

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  3. I really liked Kitty's character and how she wasn't willing to be a Pawn (for both sides, at least) simply because they wanted her to. She had to become invested in their cause before she was willing to consider working for the rebellion.

    There were some things that could have been handled better - but overall I really enjoyed it!

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    1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! I'm not overly fond of any of the characters in this book; I actually just really enjoyed the story. I'm curious to see how it turns out for everyone in the next book!

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  4. I loved her first series so have been really interested in this one. Sounds like I'll need to stick with it!

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    1. Oh, if you liked The Goddess Test, you'll probably like this one too! The way its written is similar, but the story is very different... in a good way.

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  5. I got along with Kitty all right....... But I really loved a lot of the secondary characters like Knox and Celia! I think they really stood out for me and brought a lot to the story.
    I also really liked the action and the twists and turns but there were parts that felt all to "typical dystopian". I really did enjoy it though and I'm looking forward to future books as well! :)

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    1. Knox is a very intriguing guy. But even so, I didn't connect with any of the characters as much as I'd liked! I think it was an interesting dystopian series starter, and I am interested in seeing where Carter takes it.

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  6. I really enjoyed Pawn, and liked Kitty for the most part, but I agree that it kind of dragged the first half. But when it picked up boy did it pick up! There were several twists that I didn't see coming that were really exciting. I love Aimee Carter's books. They're not always brilliant, but they're definitely entertaining!

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    1. I'm glad that you ended up enjoying Pawn! I liked it well enough. The story was pretty darn interesting, and I certainly want to see where Carter takes it in the next one.

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  7. Ooohh....this sounds like a wonderful read! I wasn't exactly the biggest fan of The Goddess Test, but I've been hearing that Pawn is SO much better, so I'm definitely going to have to give it a try - your review has definitely convinced me! I'll definitely keep in mind that the 2nd half is the best though! ;) Thanks for the beautiful review Alexa! :D

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    1. I actually think that the writing for both The Goddess Test and Pawn is similar! They have the same sort of pacing, I think. But yes, Pawn is pretty great! Even if I didn't connect well with the characters, I still liked it.

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  8. I also liked how Carter's metaphors and themes related to politics and strategy. I thought it was well done. I agree that some of the characters felt very distant - in particular I had issues understanding who Lila was and what exactly she stood for, but I'm hoping that characterization becomes better solidified in future installments.

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    1. What you've pointed out is undoubtedly one of the best aspects of the book (the themes/metaphors)! But I'm glad you agree when it comes to the characters. Perhaps with a little more development, it will come into its own in the next book.

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  9. I'm so scared to start this series since I loved her Goddess series so much! It's always hard to get used to new characters -- especially when you love older characters so much! I'm glad to hear that this one redeemed itself -- maybe I'll try and read it sooner rather than later. :)

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    1. That's very true! Perhaps my love for Henry is what prevented me from enjoying any of the love interests in Pawn. But still, I think you might enjoy Pawn. It's definitely something new from Carter!

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