Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
My Review: On her birthday, Kitty Doe does what all other 17 year old does, take the ranking test. Anything 5 or over, means you can live a rich life, 4's are kind of in the middle, and anything 3 or under, you basically live in misery, and are looked down and shunned by the higher ranks. Kitty takes her test and ends up a 3, which means she's sentenced to working in the sewers of Denver, or work as a prostitute in a brothel. She chooses the brothel, so she can stay near to the love her life Benjy.
What she didn't expect was for the Prim Minister to track her down and offer her a 7 (reserved only for the Harts) in exchange for being "masked" (surgically altered to look like Lila Hart). For the first time in her life, Kitty will matter, but it's not all as it seems. The Harts are playing Kitty as pawn in a sick and twisted game. Between Augusta, Daxton, Celia, and the Blackcoat Rebellion, Kitty is faced with dangerous threats, conspiracies, and a life that is no longer hers.
I have to admit, after reading the first chapter, I almost didn't continue. Not because it was bad story line, or poor writing. I just didn't think I would be the target audience for this book. But of course, I have 50 page rule, so I trudged on. I'm really glad I did too! This book is full of twists, turns, and conspiracies. It had adventure, and just enough romance. It was a total page turner that I could not put down! I had to keep reading to find out what happened!
Positive Elements: Kitty loves Benjy so much that she is determined to make choices that benefit them both, no matter what they are facing. Lila and Kitty of have a hand in the Blackcoat Rebellion.
Negative Elements: Kitty feels she's a waste, and at one point during the book, she stated she would rather die. Tabs and Kitty both went to work as prostitutes at a brothel. Swear words.
Spiritual Elements: Celia accuses Daxton of playing God. God is mentioned and His name misused.
Other Thoughts: While I've heard of Aimee Carter, I have never read any of her books, this was my first. Her writing style is smooth, and she came up with a fresh story line. I cannot wait to read more of this series, and pick up some more books by Aimee as well.
I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I totally judged the book by its cover (which doesn't do much for me). BUT, when I started reading I was hooked.
Aimee Carter is an amazing story teller. A-mazing. I was captivated, and I couldn't pull myself away until I finished.
I love dystopians. I devour them. Reading do many books in the same genre makes it very hard to find something that feels fresh and original. I was worried that Pawn would not be new. I worried for nothing! It was like nothing I have read before. NOTHING. Imagine part Scott Westerfield's The Uglies series with serious spy action. If you can do that, you might have Pawn slightly figured out.
What is so great about this book you might ask? That's a hard one to pin down.
First, the plot is incredible. It's super fast paced, but doesn't feel rushed. It's complicated. You feel torn because your emotions are tested. Who do you hate? Who do you support? Is that guy that's growing on you "good" or is he some dastardly character in disguise?
Then, there is the writing. The dialogue is very witty. Kitty is another great female lead. She's resourceful, but also too quick to make decisions. She's constantly doing things that might not end up so well for her. But that's ok, because she can think on her feet. She's also devoted to the one she loves. As I read, it felt like I was living the scenes. The dialogue was perfectly paced and believable. It didn't feel forced.
Which brings me to another thing I loved about Pawn: the characters. Kitty feels emotions with an intensity that is heart wrenching. She has to watch so many people she cares about suffer, while others live lavishly. She is sick of it all, and ready to take a stand... but where is that going to lead her? The heroes are extra bold, and the villains are sinister. (Think "The Most Dangerous Game" here.) They are also layered more than a Floridian in a snow storm. Every time you think you have one character figured out, there is a twist.
I would be kidding myself if I didn't say I consider The Blackcoat Rebellion series to be "the next big thing" in dystopians. There is going to be a lot of buzz about these books, mark my words. I've already added it to my YA book club list for next year!