Wednesday, November 20, 2013 21:27

Review 216. Aimee Carter – Pawn.

10838787Title: Pawn.
Author: Aimee Carter.
Pages: 346.
Expected publication: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Tee
Sort: Part one of ‘The Blackcoat rebellion’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
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.
Rating:

Pretty cover? Check. Interesting blurb? Check. Unfortunately the story couldn’t live up to my expectations and that was disappointing. I do recommend that you look on Goodreads, because most of the reviews are positive. This could be a case of ‘it’s me, not you.’ There are some great aspects, but it didn't WOW me enough.

“There was nothing special about me – I was just another Extra who should never have been born in the first place. I was a waste.”


The main problem with this book is the world-building. The beginning wasn’t too bad. We are introduced with the orphan Kitty Doe who is in a relationship with Benjamin Doe. She just had her seventeenth birthday and she got her number: III. The lower your ‘rating’ the worse your life. People with a I are even send away to a place called ‘Neverwhere.’ So when Kitty gets the opportunity to become a VII – a rate you only get when you are part of the ruling Hart family – she takes it. That’s where the information ends. We know that it all started with a bad economy and chaos, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my need for more answers. And it didn’t make it very believable, which is a shame, because the promise is so unique!

Let’s move on to the characters. I’m not sure what to think of Kitty. On one hand, I liked her. She is very caring and is willing to sacrifice everything to keep her Benjamin save. It’s the only reason she accepts the offer. I thought she was brave when she took the step to become a prostitute (and I was surprised, because this is not a subject we often see in YA) and I liked her strength. BUT, she has a tendency to sound very whiny. There was a certain undertone in everything she said and thought that got on my nerves.

I liked that Benjamin and Kitty were already in a relationship. Most of the times I dislike the romance-driven story in a dystopian, but that’s not the case here. There are some side characters, like her new mother Celia, her fiancé Knox and her uncle Daxon. Because, Kitty is no longer Kitty. She has taken the identity of Lila Hart, a girl who died during an ‘accident'. Kitty is now a pawn in a true battlefield between family members. Secrets, lies, and conspiracies are her new life.

”Even if we’d never met, even if you never existed, I would still love you beyond all reason for the rest of my life.”

I didn’t care for any of these characters, to be honest. They were a bit flat and I got bored. There isn’t much going on besides the secret rebellion. I wished there was more action or at least more alternations to keep things interesting. So, I’m on the fence whether I want to continue this series or not.. I might give it a second chance, because it wasn't terrible.
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

52 comments:

  1. Oh, this totally sounds like what happened with me when I read Perfect Ruin. I was looking forward to Pawn but whiny characters are the bane of my existence (or close to it).

    Reading Pawn will be slightly difficult for me now but I now know not to expect much from it.

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  2. Kind of sounds like The Selection what with the numbers placing you in a sertain cast and the royals having a different rating than the rest of the society and the MC possibly getting the "royal" number. I'm sorry that you didn't really get anything else on the world building at that point even though you wanted to. Oh, no! I don't like whiny MCs. (who does? *__*) I think it's nice for a change for the characters to already be in a relationship rather than build one from the scratch. That's good. I'd love to see this romance play out. "Secrets, lies, and conspiracies are her new life."--this sounds intriguing. I.. I think your rating make sense based on your thoughts, but I'm sorry you didn't like it more. I actually had the same case with The Iron King and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and if I hadn't tried the second book, I would have missed out on something spectacular. Lovely review, hon!

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    1. That's true, the story has potential to be really good! So I might read the second book after all :)

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  3. Ah, too bad. But you chose some really great quotes to give people an idea of what is inside the book-I usually strongly dislike lines like that because they are so cliche so now I'm not too sure about this one. I think my thoughts on it would be very similar to yours.

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    1. I'm happy I could help by picking out good quotes!

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  4. Aw, such a shame! I wanted to see more of the world building too (and the eye color thing STILL bugs me), but I ended up enjoying this simply because it was so unique and I loved the premise. Which surprises me, because usually I'm a black sheep! There's plenty of other books in the sea (er, library?) though, I hope you enjoy your next read more!

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    1. Definitely true! Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood, because the book still sounds like someone I'd normally enjoy.

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  5. Oh my goodness, I thought the same with the intro to the prostitution bit. And I believe I gave this the same rating. I was a bit let down with the story and was hoping for more since I enjoyed the author's the Goddest Test series. Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. I've heard mixed things about her other series, but I'm interested to try it out!

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  6. Sorry this didn't work for you, Mel. I'm sort of dystopianed out at the moment so I probably wouldn't pick this up. It is a surprise to hear the girl becomes a prostitute in a YA story. Great honest review. :)

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    1. I agree that reading this one when you are out of Dystopian for now wouldn't be a good idea!

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  7. I really like it when books feature character already in a relationship, so that part has me interested. I might grab this at the library.

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  8. I got this from netgalley,but haven't started it yet.The blurb sounded great,and I am a huge fan of Aimee Carter's writing but still I had my doubts about this.Nowadays I am actually getting tired of Dystopia,which surprises me a lot.
    Great review Mel.

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    1. I do find that this book brought something new, so perhaps you'll like this after all!

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  9. Awww Mel I'm sad you didn't like it as much as I did! I think Benjy was definitely a flat character, but Kitty and everyone else was awesome. I can see where it falls down on romance and world building too, but the backstabbing and treachery was enough for me to make up for that.

    Hope your next read is better!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  10. I'm actually reading this Mel and I'm loving it! I does feel like a mash up of many highly anticipated YA dystopian books but still! Hope the next book goes better for you :)

    Happy Reading!
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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  11. Oh, too bad you didn't liked it. I loved it, maybe because it was a bit different of all the dystopian books I read (I read a lot of dystopian books). I hope you give a chance to the next books!
    Happy reading!
    Lis @ The reader lines

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    1. I did appreciate the difference this story brought to the Dystopian genre.

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  12. I was surprised with the prostitute move too! In fact, I was a bit creeped out because it really appeared that Kitty was in fact going to do it.
    As for Kitty and Benji already being in a relationship, yeah, I liked that too but at the same time, I felt like their relationship wasn't developed enough.
    Too bad you didn't love this one. ):

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    1. Haha, yes, I thought it was strange she made it look so.. easy.

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  13. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't love this one Mel. But thank you for being so honest about your feelings for it. <3 I still need to read this book; as I have it via Netgalley.. just haven't gotten to it yet, as I am a little bit worried (A) but hoping to like it :)

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  14. I really appreciate reading a review that isn't overwhelmingly positive. Not everyone is going to like a book and until you hear the other side of things it's easy to buy into the hype and risk disappointment. I still think I'll give this one a try because it has themes that I tend to enjoy but I'm not in any rush and I feel like now I will have more realistic expectations. Thanks for sharing Mel!

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    1. Great! I agree that it's always better to see both sides :)

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  15. I'm sorry that this wasn't so great, Mel, though, to be honest, your review does make me want to read it a little more than the synopsis has been able to, which is odd. I think it's the quotes you included, because they're really nice. I don't think I would enjoy it, but I'll certainly pick it up if I keep remembering it and wanting to find out more.

    Nice review, Mel!

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    1. Sometimes negative reviews show us things we actually like, so I hope all these things work out for you!

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  16. Hmmm.. I guess you and me alike, Mel! Because I'm read this one for myself already, and there have been raving reviews around.... But perhaps I wasn't in the mood for a dystopia though the concept in this one was really interesting! I guess we're on the same boat :)
    Fantastic review, though, Mel! <33

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  17. wow.. it does sound interesting but it sucks that it just wan't for you! That whole thing about Kitty being a prostitute shocked me too! I haven't read this yet, but my sister has an ARC. I hope she ends up enjoying it though! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  18. I'm sorry you didn't like it! I did enjoy this one and luckily didn't feel that Kitty was whiny (since I HATE whiny characters), but I'm sad you did. I too was surprised that Kitty took the step to be a prostitute, since, like you said, that's not something you see often in YA. I totally agree with you that Benjy was a bit flat, but for some reason I still liked him. What did you think of Elsewhere, by the way? I was totally shocked when I found out what that was O.o

    Great review Mel, it's good to see the other side of things <3

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    1. Elsewhere.. I knew I made a mistake somewhere, haha, Neverwhere does look like it :p I was shocked too! I liked that gruesome twist.

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  19. This is going to sound awful, but I'm kind of relieved that you didn't like this. I was starting to wonder if I was missing something! The reviews have been all so positive so far... and I don't often fall into black sheep category. (Unless it's NA, in which case, I always do!). I liked this a little more than The Goddess Test, but I doubt it's enough to make me want to continue with the series. Great review, Mel. :)

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    1. Always great to meet someone else who didn't like a book! Now we can be black sheeps together ;)

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  20. Ohh no, sad to hear you didn't like it as much as you would've wanted to. Sounds exactly like my feelings towards Aimée's The Goddess Test series :/ A few minutes ago I read a 5-star review for Pawn so now I'm even more curious about forming my own opinion and giving it a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Pawn!

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  21. Awwww I'm sorry this didn't work out for you :( I initially didn't plan to read this because I'd heard mixed feedback for her other series (The Goddess Test) and I didn't know whether her next series would be any better. I did read many positive reviews this so I decided I'd give it a go & requested it. But now…I don't know :/ I actually prefer dystopians (all books actually) to have some sort of romance where the guy and girl fall for each other during the book….so I'm not sure what I'll feel about Kitty's existing relationship with Benjamin :/ Lovely review, Mel :)

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    1. Hmmm, you'll have more problems with the romance then!

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  22. I haven't read this one yet because I gave myself a ban on dystopians after I reacted badly to Allegiant :\ However, thanks for the honest review! Gosh, I can't stand a whiny character voice, that's definitely a make or break factor for me. Those quotes you used sort of make me want to read it though haha

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  23. Oh man so the worldbuilding just wasn't given enough background huh. I wonder what I'll think when I finally read it!

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  24. I had pretty similar feelings as you-this book just didn't do much for me. It was an easy enough read but since it couldn't inspire any passion, I doubt I'll be continuing.

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  25. Awww I'm sorry this one just didn't WOW you like you were hoping! But you're right, sometimes it's just not the right book or the right time for a certain book. I'm still curious and want to check it out but I won't be rushing out to get my hands on it now! Lovely review though as always Mel :)

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    1. I hope you'll like it as much as all the others once you read it! :)

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  26. AHA!!! You are the first of my friends whose review I have seen that is not wholly positive. THANK YOU MY FRIEND. I didn't read this -- just the excerpt at the back of one of the Harlequin Teen novels, and I wasn't a fan... and then all those positive reviews... and there are a couple of times when I wonder now whether I ought to have given in. Now I know you didn't like it too much and this makes me feel better.

    "I do recommend that you look on Goodreads, because most of the reviews are positive. This could be a case of ‘it’s me, not you.’ " -- SO TRUE.

    "We know that it all started with a bad economy and chaos, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my need for more answers. And it didn’t make it very believable, which is a shame, because the promise is so unique!" -- It's funny because I don't actually think a lot of first books in dystopian trilogies have great world building. Not in terms of how-did-this-come-about, at least. They're good with laying out the details of the premise but the explanations always seem to come later. So if your main problem is with that bit, you might find it ameliorated in the 2nd book.

    "I thought she was brave when she took the step to become a prostitute (and I was surprised, because this is not a subject we often see in YA) and I liked her strength." -- WOAH. Yeah, you don't see that a lot in YA books. It's quite ridiculous actually. You can have people get butter knives shoved in their eyes but the two main characters don't have sex until like the last book, if they have it at all. And prostitution is rarely, if ever, mentioned except in maybe a horrific sense. (And I suppose with the ToG novellas, but C. sort of judges our only character from that world, right?)

    "I liked that Benjamin and Kitty were already in a relationship. Most of the times I dislike the romance-driven story in a dystopian, but that’s not the case here. " -- Too true. So many times, too, that relationship is used to fuel the involvement in a rebellion or show why the dystopian world is not what it seems, so that element sounds really nice. Get rid of some of that angst and speed up the plot.

    But I think I'd be like you and feel meh. Dystopians just aren't my thing, I think. Which ones are your favorites?

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    1. YOU'RE WELCOME. I was sometimes confused about all the other positive reviews, like I've read a completely other book. Some of my favorite Dystopians huh, let me see. I don't really have favorites, there are just some I really like. I'll look on Goodreads and come back to you later!

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