PawnSeries: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
by Aimee Carter
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Teen on November 26th, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
By Aimée Carter
Published November 26th, 2013
Young Adult | Science Fiction | Dystopian
Source: Received from Harlequin Teen (via NetGalley) in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)
About the Book:
YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.
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.
Ms. Carter is back and she’s back with a HUGE win with Pawn. I really enjoyed her Goddess Test series but this series is so unrelated, so different, it’s almost as if another author wrote this book. But it’s Ms. Carter’s talented writing style that I immediately recognize in the action sequence that starts from page one and never stops until the very end. Seriously, this one is a page turner with plot twists, “Holy Crap!” moments, major espionage, and moments when I thought Ms. Carter would go the easy route but instead took the “oh no you didn’t” route.
Ms. Carter doesn’t waste time on long, descriptive paragraphs explaining Kitty’s “world” to the reader. She lets Kitty do it, as she’s the protagonist and the voice of the story. From page one, we’re tugged along with Kitty as she wanders the outdoor market after she’s learned she’s been ranked a III after completing her placement test. This is a test every seventeen year old takes to determine their “lot in life” – where they we will be best suited to work and function in society. I’s are shipped out of sight. As a III, Kitty is going to be sent miles away from the Washington D.C. area where she currently lives, out to Colorado to work and live for the rest of her life.
Kitty isn’t happy with this because she’s got enough confidence to know she’s pretty smart and didn’t have enough time to complete the test because of the reading sections. She’s also not happy because she’s going to have to leave her VERY smart boyfriend, Benjy (short for Benjamin), who she’s grown up with in foster care.
As a result of an encounter in the market, she is offered a chance of a lifetime, to become a VII, a level only attained by the “royal” family, but at the cost of her identity. She will be “masked” to become another person.
Trust me when I say this isn’t a simple decision. Ms. Carter isn’t one to dance around issues in her books because for the character of Kitty, it was a choice of either ending her life or taking the opportunity with the possible chance of seeing Benjy again someday in the future. And the test? Kitty realizes that it was entirely biased against her because of her inability to read. It doesn’t exactly say it in the story but I’ve heard mention that Kitty is dyslexic.
As I mentioned before, there are so many twists to this plot and the story is written with so much depth, the world is actually spelled out for you as you read. You’re never left wondering what anything looks like or how something works. It’s a very visual book and very character driven. You can’t have crazy espionage without great characters.
Knox, Lila’s fiance, was easily likeable and I’m so entirely grateful that there was NO love triangle. I kind of wished we had more Benjy in this story but I’m crossing my fingers he’ll be playing a bigger part in the second book, Captive. Greyson, Lila’s cousin and the son of the Prime Minister is an awesome character and I’m hoping he finds his inner “beast” somewhere in him and lets it loose. That I’ve GOT to see!! And characters you love to hate, Ms. Carter made sure to include plenty of those!
This isn’t your average fluffy piece of young adult material. With it’s constant espionage, brutal scenes, and well… some disregard of human life, it’s a crazy ride with an awesomely satisfying ending. I only knocked off ½ a star because I groaned at some of the character’s decisions. The book is perfect, just not exactly perfect for me story-wise. I absolutely can’t wait for the next book to see where Ms. Carter is taking this story because the Blackcoat Rebellion is not done! There is still a nasty ruling family to bring down.
About the Author:
Aimée Carter is the author of The Goddess Test series (Harlequin TEEN), including The Goddess Test (#1), The Goddess Hunt (#1.5), Goddess Interrupted (#2), The Goddess Legacy (#2.5), and The Goddess Inheritance (#3).
Pawn, the first book in The Blackcoat Rebellion series (also from Harlequin TEEN), hit shelves in November 2013 and is now available everywhere. Captive, the sequel, will be released in late 2014, and Queen, the third and final book, will be released in late 2015.
Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den, the first book in a middle grade series with Bloomsbury US/UK, will be released Fall 2015.