Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
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. (Goodreads)
Another dystopic? Yes. But hold on, this one is different.
Kitty Doe, a poor kid raised in a group home for orphans, has a distinct eye color. It’s not unlike Lila Hart’s, member of the all-powerful Hart family, niece to the Prime Minister. It’s the Hart family that seeks Kitty out, making a deal to raise her from a Level III (trust me, it’s not a good life for Kitty down there on three) to a Level VII (which, basically only a member of the Harts can be). The catch? Why, she just has to do this one tiny thing they need of her (and, you know, it’s not like she really has a choice). Fast forward. Kitty wakes up soap opera style to find that she has been surgically transformed to look identical to Lila Hart. Lila has been killed by…wait for it…her evil Prime Minister uncle, Daxton (the guy who called Kitty in to be her double). Now Kitty has to leave behind her old life, which wasn’t so great except for the fact that she had a boyfriend, Benji, who now thinks she’s dead, and a “mother” from the group home, both of whom she loves. Daxton and his creepy, evil mom want Kitty to play the part of Lila to a public who thinks she’s still very much alive.
And here’s where it gets quite sticky (in a good way). Apparently, Lila was killed because she was the leader of a rebellion. She went out and made all these speeches that went against the grain of everything her family and government stood for. Daxton wants Kitty to stop these silly rebellion shenanigans. And now Lila’s mother, Cecelia, and her fiance (yes, the one Kitty now has to marry), Knox, want to help Kitty continue Lila’s work. All Kitty wants to do is escape to a place far, far away. And she wants to do it without jeopardizing the safety of Benji, who, despite his unfortunate moniker, is just trying to go on with his life now that he believes Kitty to be dead. He doesn’t know that Daxton and his mother are already watching him, threatening his very life if Kitty makes one false move.
I was totally sucked into this one. I thought the premise was fun and Kitty, as a heroine, is pretty kick ass. Even though she’s really not in the position to bargain, she finds a way to outsmart those around her. She’s very strong and bright and even though she has so much to lose–you know, her life, Benji’s life–she says what she thinks and she goes for what she believes. I loved her from the start.
Now, lets the discuss the Harts. They are one sick, dysfunctional family. Cecelia is someone Kitty isn’t sure she can trust. She is distraught over losing Lila and immediately seems to dislike Kitty. But on the other hand, she needs Kitty’s help. Sometimes she’s cold and other times she acts human, almost nurturing to Kitty. Either way, you get the feeling that she’d kill Kitty herself if necessary. And Daxton and his mother (whose name escapes me, I’m sorry), they’re pretty psycho, Daxton especially. I mean, to kill your own niece/granddaughter? That takes a set.
But then there’s Lennox Creed, otherwise known as Knox. Doesn’t his name just roll off the tongue (It’s better than Benji, I’m sorry)? I loved this character. He’s Lila’s fiance, but he’s pretty upfront about the fact that Lila didn’t want to marry him. Right away he seems like the most trustworthy guy in a house full of totally crazy, power-hungry people. I’m not saying he’s perfect, but I am saying he’s a good guy. And that Kitty should probably makeout with him sometime in the near future.
As far as Benji is concerned, I wasn’t a fan. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just lackluster, especially in comparison to Knox. He and Kitty already have an established relationship when the book begins, so we don’t get to watch her fall in love with him or see what makes them tick, but I think as a character, I just needed more from him. I wasn’t really on his team.
This story has good twists and turns and fun surprises. I really enjoyed it. In fact, I had a hard time putting it down!
Crush Intensity: 4.25/5 Read it!
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and Net Galley for sharing and e-galley of Pawn with me. I can’t wait for book 2!