Author: Aimee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
This novel starts out with the introduction of the main character, Kitty, for all intents and purposes falling the test that determines her caste and thus her success for the rest of her life. Disappointed that her ranking as a three will effectively ruin any chances of her being able to have the life she desires with her boo, Benjy.
Her life is decidedly thrown to the wolves when she ends up being auctioned off to the highest bidder thanks to her limited ways of making money/a living thanks to her new ranking. As they are auctioning her off, even though the entire situation completely disgusted me, I couldn’t help but laugh. After all, our main character’s name is Kitty, which definitely sounds like a stripper/prostitute name to me, and thus her situation was almost fitting.
The situation Kitty soon finds herself in – woken up changed into a One with unseen consequences and circumstances, I have to admit was not what I was expecting (I did not read the jacket cover synopsis, which made the change of events even more startling). And while towards the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy Pawn, it surprised me by keeping me plugged in and curious all the way through the end.
Don’t get me wrong, Pawn is far from perfect. Some of the details in the novel seemed a little silly or absurd to me. One example to point out is how her eye color plays such a crucial role in why she was selected for her role, but her dexterity didn’t seem to matter at all, which seemed a little backwards to me. Colored contacts seem like an easier solution than having to relearn how to write (especially in the short amount of time she is given).
As a chugged my way through Pawn, it reminded me more and more of Kiera Cass’s The Selection series, and I found I had the same feelings towards the end – while the dystopian is not really developed, while the characters are nothing special to root for, and while the writing is subpar – your typical young adult prose – by the end I was heavily engaged without understanding why. Indeed, I have a feeling that Cass and Carter sat down for tea and biscuits once morning and both brainstormed the same style of novel, throwing back and forth ridiculous character names, half formed dystopian ideas, and a similar caste system and love triangle. Cass then went away to write The Selection, and Carter followed with Pawn.
This novel definitely has romance as a main plot, but with a twist from your average love triangle. Sure, a love triangle exists between Kitty and the two main males in the novel (Knox and Benjy), but there is also Knox’s relationship with Lila that plays a factor. And while I am not one for love triangles and all the romantic crap, I do have to admit that the Kitty and Knox dynamic in the novel intrigued me, far more than any interaction with Benjy made.
Pawn also had some serious plot twists in it that I did not see coming, but that weren’t so far fetched that they were unbelievable. What was unbelievable was the heat of the moment dialogue in this novel, which was so absurd and childish it was actually laughable.
Pawn is definitely not a novel that will ever go down in history as classic literature, a staple of its era, but it is surprisingly entertaining. The family love in the novel is definitely interesting to say nothing else. I will not eagerly be awaiting the next in the series, but I will certainly be keeping tabs on it to read once it comes out.