(The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen; 346 pages
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP 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.
Previously titled Masked.
Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
If you look up the word Pawn in the dictionary you will find a variation of three definitions. One being a chess piece of low value. Two a person or item used to further the purpose of another. Three someone being used as a security. This book uses all three definitions.
I was first introduced to Aimee Carter's writing when I started reading The Goddess Test series. I absolutely love that series! But shhh I haven't read the last book yet, so no spoilers in the comments. :-) So I all but jumped on reading Pawn, when our site owner Jessica offered it for me to read. It has all the components of books that I love, it's young adult, it's dystopia, and features a strong female lead.
Kitty Doe grew up in a group home. She never knew her parents because she lives in a world where having more than one child is just too expensive. She is also illiterate. At the age of seventeen, you are required to take a test that determines your rank. The higher your rank, the easier your life is. Rank 1-3 and you are pretty much stuck in poverty. Rank 4 and you can live a decent life. Rank 5-6 and you can almost live in luxury. Rank 7 is strictly for members of the Hart family. The political family in Pawn. After taking her test, due to her inability to read, and a slow translator, Kitty scores a 3. Pretty much giving up on everything after a series of events, Kitty is approached with the opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity to become a 7.
The Prime Minister of the country approaches her without giving her the details of how she will become a 7. That makes me ask the question, how desperate would one be to do something no questions asked? I am not much of a gambler, but I think even I would do it. If you've been dealt a raw hand, and someone is waving riches in front of you, I am pretty sure you would take it as well. Immediately after she agrees, Kitty is knocked unconcious and when she wakes up she discovers that she has had plastic surgery aka masking to look like a clone of the Prime Minister's niece Lila. Lila was killed while on vacation, and Daxton the Prime Minister wants Kitty to assume the role of Lila.
I had decided to go back to my old ways of reading a book, and I skipped reading the book description. And I am so happy that I did this. I was just as shocked as Kitty, when she woke up as Lila. My jaw literally dropped, I was not expecting that. The premise of this book is so catchy, that it was really hard to put this book down. To see that Kitty for all intents and purposes becomes a pawn. But Kitty's got so much fight in her, and it makes her extremely likeable. She will stop at nothing to protect those that she loves, especially her boyfriend Benjy. I've said it before, but there is just something about a book that has a strong female lead. Someone who has some fight in them.
But I didn't just enjoy Kitty, I loved the secondary characters as well. Daxton, the Prime Minister is just ruthless. There is a scene in which he does something that is just so despicable, but it was such great character development. I didn't think that it was done just to be cruel, it was to show that he is a true villain. The scene serves it's purpose and drives it's point. My favorite character though is Knox. Know was Lila's fiancee, and since Kitty is masked as Lila he is technically her fiancee. I instantly liked him, but I wanted more from him. I am hoping that in the next book we get to know a little bit more, learn some of his secrets. I admit that I like him more than Kitty's actual boyfriend Benjy. But boy did these three characters makes some interesting scenes together! I won't spoil it, but there was definitely a little rivalry there, and I ate it up while reading.
To describe the actual romance aspects of the book, there are a few. There is a kissing scene that takes place in a nightclub. It was probably one of my favorite scenes, it really made me grin. I could visualize the club really well. I could picture the scenery and the surroundings. It's always good to read scenes like that in dystopia novels. It gives you a break from the doom and gloom that can often surround the story.
And as for the story itself, like I said it was really hard for me to put this book down. I found myself willing my eyes to stay open as I read at night. But then I would convince myself to go to sleep, because when you read when you're half asleep you tend to miss certain parts. And I definitely didn't want to miss any details from this book! So do yourself a favor! Go get Masked!