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Book Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Aimee Carter’s Pawn pwned me. Was not a fan.

Book Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

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pawn by aimee cater book review

Title & Author: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion) by Aimee Carter

Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Fantasy, Dystopia

Release Date: November 26, 2013

Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1

Publisher: HarlequinTeen

How I Got the Book: ARC via Netgalley



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.”


Pwned is Internet slang for “owned.” And not in a grammatical possessive way. It’s more like, “I beat you at this game you suck at so, PWNED!!!!!!1111”

That’s how I feel about Pawn. It totes pwned me bad.

Pawn, formerly titled Masked, takes place in a future America where a cast system determines your future and placement in society. Kitty Doe (<--that name!) has just found out she's a III (out of a possible VII, although only royalty can be a VII). And as she's make a life-changing decision, fate intervenes. She must live her life as someone else in order to survive. With that premise, I was HOOKED. Subterfuge, intrigue, romance. Heck yes! No. Kitty is our leading lady, and she was so blah. She's predictably protective over her loved ones, and is boringly fierce - as expected. She's got no personality. I don't think it was because she's supposed to be someone else because Kitty constantly mentions how she's holding on to her true self. Pawn was very similar to The Selection but without the interesting world or the hot prince.

For me, everything Kitty did and said was supposed to underscore how tough she was and how strong. But, it lacked emotion and heart. I didn’t believe Kitty’s motivations and her choices. They were the predictable “noble heroine” moves that I’ve read hundreds of times.

Plus, there were tons of little idiosyncrasies that threw me off. For example, Kitty is a fast learner, memorizing things quickly and picking up on subtle situational clues. And yet…after her friend tries to teach her to read over and over again, and she just can’t pick it up. Doesn’t that strike you as odd?


This book wasn’t for me. The book was bland with little to entice the typical dystopia fan. If you’ve read Carter’s Goddess series, then I say try it out. For other fans who haven’t read Carter’s previous books, I cannot recommend Pawn.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Anya E. J.

    I have to admit that I quite enjoyed Pawn, but differences of opinion aside, it’s fun to discuss books 😀 Regarding Kitty’s inability to learn to read, given the emphasis that is placed on this and the repeated attempts to teach her, I suspect we might find out in later books that she has a learning disability such as dyslexia, making learning to read from people who don’t understand her problems pretty difficult. I might be giving the series too much credit, but we’ll see!

    • Anya – It really is! 🙂 I always appreciate different viewpoints. Also, I’m sure you’re right about Kitty. Which makes me feel like a jerk lol, BUT it was so weird as a reader to see her portrayed as so intelligent and yet….You’ll have to tell me what happens in later books!