Author: Aimée Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 26th 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Pawn was such a welcome surprise! I wasn't really a fan of Carter's The Goddess Test series, but Pawn is nothing like it at all.
I liked our main character, Kitty, from the start. She's spunky, not afraid to say what she thinks and she loves her friends fiercely. Although she says a lot of things without thought, she knows when to keep her mouth shut and she sees through lies and conspiracies. Everyone underestimates her because she only got a III and she can't read, but they are so very wrong - Kitty is smart. The other characters were so well-developed too. Although I'm not a fan of books in which the MC already has a relationship with someone, Benjy easily won me over. He was such a sweetheart! His love for Kitty is obvious, and he is so kind. The other characters all had believable motivations for doing what they did and they didn't act out of character. Although the villain(s) of the story felt a bit flat in the beginning, they have their backstories as well and eventually we find out why they are the way they are.
Pawn was filled with so many twists and turns! It seriously blew my mind. The start of the book is relatively calm, but after we find out what Elsewhere is (which blew my mind as well), every other page seemed to bring a new twist! Carter did not hold back with the surprises and the result is both dazzling and awesome. The twists weren't predictable either - I think I only saw one of them coming. The constant surprises make Pawn a fast, action-packed read. I read this book in one day, even though it has close to 350 pages.
For those who are afraid, there is no love triangle in this book. Maybe one will emerge in the next book, but Pawn is not focused on the romance, and when it does, it's Kitty/Benjy all the way. I really liked how the romance took a backseat to the plot, or rather how it was part of the plot. The romance was actually used to progress the plot, and I loved that! You don't see that oftern nowadays.
Speaking of, Pawn is deliciously original! It might look like your typical 'poor girl gets rich and rebels against the country'-story, but it's anything but that. The wealth of life as a VII is only remarked upon to show the contrast between the lives of those with a IV or lower and those who live like kings. Yes, there is a rebellion, but even that is refreshingly original. Instead of a herione who takes a nose-dive into a rebellion, Kitty thinks things through and is even hesitant to rebel against the Harts. Not only that, but the plot is very much focused on the betrayal and lies within the Hart family as opposed to the rebellion.
In all, Pawn is extremely enjoyable! When the twists and turns start pouring in, you'll hardly have time to catch your breath. A fast-paced and original read with delightful characters and many surpises!