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I Belong

Early Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter


Author: Aimee Carter

GenreYA Dystopian

SeriesBlackcoat Rebellion (Book 1)

Publication Date: November 26, 2013

FormatHardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-100373210558 (Harlequin Teen)

ISBN-13978-0373210558 (Harlequin Teen)

Reviewed byBridget



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.

Quick & Dirty: Fast paced, action-packed dystopian novel that is surprisingly very original.  This is a stunning start to what is sure to be a great series.

Opening Sentence: Risking my life to steal an orange was a stupid thing to do, but today of all days, I didn’t care about the consequences.

Excerpt: Yes


In this futuristic setting the United States has a new system. Seventy years ago our society started to crumble and there was not enough food to feed everyone and everything was chaos.  Until Prime Minister Hart came up with a new system to restore balance.  Now at the age of seventeen every young adult is given a test to decipher where they belong in society.  It ranges from I-VII. If you get a one you are no use to society, so you are sent elsewhere along with all the elderly and those that can’t produce.  No one really knows where elsewhere is or what happens there, but they know that it’s not somewhere they want to go.  As for the rest, once you are assigned a number you are given a job that corresponds with your rank. The higher number you get, the better job and lifestyle you will be provided with.  VII are solely given to the Hart family, they have run the country for years and plan to continue to run it for many more generations.  The Hart’s run a brutal government that rewards those that thrive and severely punish anyone that steps out of line in anyway.

Kitty Doe has just turned 17 and her test results were not what she was hoping.  Being the second child of parents that couldn’t afford her, she was sent to live in a group home in DC until she came of age.  Most of the kids there are lucky to test well enough to get a job since they have very little education and no money.  Kitty has been in love with Benji for years now and she would do anything to spend the rest of her life with him. Unfortunately, she got a III on her test and she is now being sent to Denver on sewer duty. She knows that if she leaves she will never see Benji again, so she takes the only other option she has — prostitution.

On her very first night she is bought by none other than Dayton Hart, the Prime Minister himself.  He gives her an option she never dreamed possible — to become a VII.   If Kitty agrees she will be Masked and become Lila Hart, the Prime Ministers niece, who was killed for her rebellious actions against the government. Kitty will be expected to undo everything Lila has done to stir up rebellion with the people, a cause that she happens to believe in. If she even thinks about disobeying the consequences will be deadly, not only for her, but everyone she cares about.

Kitty has not been dealt the fairest hand in life.  The reason she did so bad on her test was because she is dyslexic, not because she is stupid.   She is a very likable character that is resourceful, caring, and loyal.  She has to walk in someone else’s shoes for most of the book, but she stays to true to herself.  She loves fiercely and is willing to give up anything for the people she cares about.  When faced with hard decisions, she chooses to act instead of cower in the background.  I admired Kitty and found her a great character with a strong voice.

Pawn is an action packed dystopian novel that was surprisingly refreshing and original. The plot was intriguing, and it managed to throw twists at you throughout the whole book.  From the first page you are set up on a fast paced journey that keeps you entertained and on the edge of your seat.  The romance was sweet and light, with no love triangle. The great cast of characters was engaging and fun to get to know.  I have read Carter’s Goddess series, and while I did enjoy them, I didn’t love them. But with Pawn, that is not an issue. This story is a stunning start to what is sure to be a fantastic series.  Days after finishing the book, I am still thinking about it, and I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. I would highly recommend this to fans of YA dystopian novels. Pawn will be sure to not disappoint.

Notable Scene:

He drummed his fingers against his elbow, and we stared at each other. I refused to be the first to look away.

“Tell you what, Kitty,” he said, and he leaned in closer to me. “How would you like to be a VII?”

I blinked, and for a second I was positive I’d misheard him. Only the Harts were granted VIIs. Not even the twelve Ministers of the Union were ranked so high.

“I’m a III,” I said, as if that settled it, because it did.

No one changed rank. No one. Everyone took the test, and everyone was marked accordingly. There was no special treatment, no taking it over again. Everyone had  the same shot as everyone else. The only exceptions were the Harts, who didn’t take the test at all. “I’m already marked.”

“Yes, I can see that.” Daxton straightened and adjusted his overcoat. “I will only offer this once, and I need your answer immediately. If you say yes, you will leave with me tonight, and your mark will be replaced.”

“And if I say no?” I said.

“I think we both know what happens then.” Daxton checked his gold watch. “My offer is good for the next thirty seconds.”

The Blackcoat Rebellion Series:

1. Pawn


FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Pawn. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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