Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion #1) – Aimee Carter

Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion #1) – Aimee CarterTitle: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
Publishing Info: November 26, 2013 by Harlequin
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 30, 2013

   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.


When I first heard about PAWN, I was super excited. It sound liked a mega-thrilling dystopian that I could totally get swept away with. In the end, it was definitely really enjoyable but maybe not as mega-thrilling as I had hoped it to be!

I was definitely interested right off the bat. I really enjoyed the new caste system that Aimee Carter came up with — With the Harts in charge of the country, each member receives an assigned number representing their rank. All Harts are VIIs simply because they are the leading family. From there, you can earn a rank as high as a VI — meaning you have a high intelligence rating, can give back to society, and are entitled to a higher standard of living — and the lower ranks of Is and IIs are usually sent Elsewhere, removed from Society. When Kitty receives a III after her testing and is offered an opportunity to earn a higher rank, she accepts, not truly know what she’s in for. Sounds good, right!?! I know I was hooked!

I really admired Kitty’s spunk as soon as I met her. She may have received a III but she’s not unintelligent. She has a lot of common sense and she’s very clever, but she can’t read and I actually really liked that Aimee Carter incorporated a learning disability (as much as I really hate the term “learning disability) in the book. It was especially something that I appreciated seeing because I know a few people who are dyslexic and while I don’t experience first hand how hard that may be, I can definitely appreciate it and how people who don’t understand perceive them as unintelligent when it’s not their fault. I really connected with Kitty on that level so it made the book a bit more personal for me. My heart went out to her and made me think of the people I know who struggle like that (although not to the extent that Kitty does) and how frustrating and really life-changing that is.

PAWN also had some really good plot twists that I really enjoyed! There were quite a few things I didn’t see coming so I really appreciated that it was not only action-packed but really surprising! I feel like a dystopian can carry a reader through with creative world-building and terrific suspense and action but PAWN also has quite a few surprises packed in for the reader and after the first one, I was so excited to see where Aimee Carter would take us next!

I really loved a lot of the characters in PAWN as well! I have to say Knox was my favorite. I was curious and tempted. I felt like Kitty was exposed and yet safe. He was quite the interesting character and there were times I wasn’t sure whether he was friend or foe! The entire Hart family was quite the conundrum while reading and I was really never sure what to expect from them! I love the way I was kept guessing the whole time.

I really don’t have any complaints about the book but I do have to say that it never quite took me to WOW level. I really loved the twists and they really kept me hooked but overall, I had an impression of “really good” but not quite “fantastic”. If you’re feeling worn out on the dystopian trend and looking for a light mix of futuristic technology, I’d highly recommend you add PAWN to your reading list!


Kitty // Character Obsessions: Being more than a III, finding Benjy again, protecting the ones she loves, surviving the Harts.
I really liked Kitty! I thought she was a really great heroine with a lot of motive and desire to get herself both in and out of trouble. She was really dedicated to her family, friends, and boyfriend that she ended up “leaving behind” when she went to go work with the Harts and I really felt her commitment to them. I also loved the new relationships that she formed as well. I really appreciated her situation as far as her “judgeable intelligence”. (Yes, I totally made that up.) She was definitely smart, but not always traditionally book smart so she really got put in a class she may not have belonged.
Knox // Character Obsessions: Maintaining a status quo, protecting Kitty/Lila… or is he?
Knox was another stand-out character for me. I really, really liked him. He was mysterious and yet I trusted him all at the same time. He felt trustworthy but especially with all of the twists thrown in there, I was just never sure of him. A very exciting character!

Kept Me Hooked On: Caste system dystopians. I don’t know why, but I really enjoy learning about different levels of society in dystopians and how they’re categorized. For some reason this world-building aspect really just fascinates me! Not like I really approve of it in real life… Just for fiction, people! Just for fiction! But that kind of world building is really interesting. I always wonder how the authors decide what falls into which category and who gets put into what class.
Left Me Wanting More: …Something. I’m not sure what was holding me back but I wasn’t fully WOWED. It was definitely really good and looking back on it, I still feel really confident with how much I enjoyed it but it didn’t quite skyrocket to a favorite.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I think a lot of people would enjoy this one! It follows a certain pattern and will feel familiar but still keep you on your toes!



(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Altered   Tandem

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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11 thoughts on “Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion #1) – Aimee Carter

  1. Nicole

    I totally understand the “really good but not fantastic” feeling. I feel like the more I read the more it takes for a book to blow me away. But really good is good enough for me! I will definitely be reading this book at some point. Don’t know when hah but it is definitely on my radar. Another great review that has me excited!

  2. Sam @ The Nighttime Novelist

    I’ve been excited to read this ever since I first saw it, so I might have to grab it soon. I’m definitely interested in the caste system involved! I have a huge weak spot for political intrigue and complex families and that sort of thing, so from your review and others I think I’m going to like this one! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it!

  3. Alexa Y.

    I liked Pawn too! I thought something was missing from it (that quality that makes me want to turn pages fast) at first, but it had me hooked towards the latter third. I’m curious to see how it all plays out for Kitty and company!

  4. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    I really liked the fact that Kitty was dyslexic as well! I think that Cater did a great job of showing Kitty’s struggles, and also how Kitty’s intelligence and worth is determined by so much more than any learning disabilities or assigned ranking. I also enjoyed the plot twists.
    I was intrigued, but like you I didn’t fall in love with this one. I do wish that Carter had better characterized Lila and Benjy and the rebellion, but that’s what sequels are for, right?

  5. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    I really enjoyed the caste system as well and Knox was definitely my favorite character. I’m like you though. While reading I really enjoyed it, but after I was done I was kind of like “meh”. I think for me the book wasn’t memorable enough and like you said was missing that wow factor. It was still really good, but not amazing. I’ll definitely continue the series though. I’m intrigued and invested enough to do that. 🙂

  6. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I felt the same way as you did, I really liked it, but I didn’t love it. I found the premise of impersonation and political intrigue fascinating. Talk about a backstabbing royal family. And Elsewhere…truly chilling. I did find it hard to believe they could change everything, voice, height, etc. but not eyes. What?? It was enjoyable and I’m interested to see what happens next. But I do wonder if I’m just getting tired of dystopian. Great review!

  7. Candice

    I really enjoyed this one a lot more than I was expecting! I loved Aimee Carter’s Goddess Test series, so I was expecting Pawn to be sort of lighter like it was. Surprised that it was much darker than that series thought! I loved all the twists and turns; it was full of surprises. The only thing I didn’t like was Benjy. He was so blah to me. I wanted to shake Kitty and yell “go after Knox! He’s hot!” 🙂

    Great review!

  8. Stormy

    Ah, we had similar thoughts! I did really like this one, but like you said it wasn’t AMAZING. Still, I had been feeling burnt out on Dystopias and this one was unique enough to pull me back in. It had such a fast pace too, and just flew by!

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