Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Deadly Game of Chess

"...if you protect your pawns and they reach the other side of the board, do you know what happens then?...
Your pawn becomes the queen."
--Aimee Carter, Pawn

Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Harlequin Teen, 346 pages
Publication Date: November 26th, 2013
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads Description


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.
My Thoughts

Final Thoughts

I have not read a really good dystopia in a while. My go to genre of the messed up and twisted has been lacking lately and Pawn fulfilled that void. This dystopia is dark, twisted, and there are things that happen in this book that will shock you. The depths of humanity's cruelty is definitely tested and the brutality in this book knows no bounds. Of course, I love this. Do I enjoy reading about suffering? Not particularly. But when you have a dystopian world that makes you feel hopeless and like there is no way out, as a reader this is fantastic because you know the writer did their job. 

Pawn's world made me feel claustrophobic in a way that I feel very rarely with dystopians. If I'm reading this genre, I want to feel like I'm in this world. I want the helplessness to be palpable, I want to empathize with the characters' situation, and I want to feel like screaming at the oppressive government and villain. I did all these things with Pawn. The world building is really quite impressive. Aimee Carter builds a world that is dangerously realistic and completely oppressive. 

The ranking system is key to this and while it has been done in other books, it is not the only variable driving this world. The science element that Carter includes may not be scientifically possible yet but is scarily close to becoming a reality with all the medical advancements. What advancements am I talking about? Well face transplantation for one. Kitty Doe is our main girl and due to circumstances finds herself being surgically altered to be the identical double for the niece of the Prime Minister...and that's all I'll say. I love the idea that is explored here on how far is too far? 

I loved Kitty's character. Equal parts brave and intelligent, Kitty has the perfect balance between being kickass/spunky and smart/conservative. I feel like the makes intelligent decisions that stick with her values and learns from her mistakes. I love that she makes those mistakes. It felt honest and real. You never know who you can trust and she gets burned a few times along the way.

I LOVE Knox and I don't know if this will be the popular opinion or not I do not care. I want to know so much more about him and his past and what brought him to where he is today. Greyson is equally fascinating to me. I can't wait to see him explored in future books. Augustus, Celia, and Daxton are all their own brand of psychotic. They are manipulative and evil and I loved their storylines. They make for fantastic villians.

The book was a quick read and I really liked the world Aimee Carter builds as well as her character development. I'm excited to see where this world takes us, who--literally and figuratively--stabs who in the back, and who we can ultimately trust. Checkmate.

Should You Read This? Dystopian fans will not be disappointed and this will be a quick read for anyone who loves the twisted and scientifically challenging. 


  1. I just finished this one and really liked it, but it wasn't one of my favorites. It was interesting as I was reading, but I think it failed to be memorable to me. But I also think I may be burned out on dystopians... I also love Knox. He was way more interesting for me than Benjy and I am definitely on Team Knox (although I don't even really know if there's a love triangle going on...).

  2. Wow sound like a really good book! I've never heard of it before, or the author, but from that description, it definitely sounds very unique and refreshing compared to a lot of dystopias out there.

  3. I've been avoiding dystopians for a while, but I couldn't resist this one because (1) Aimee Carter and (2) the premise. I'm very excited to begin it, particularly since you liked it! Great review.


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