Saturday, November 16, 2013
ARC Review: Pawn
Scheduled to release November 26
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
In a future America, rankings are assigned at age seventeen to put you in your place. Get a IV or up and you're set; III or lower and you're basically dead. Kitty, an orphan in a group home, knows this and laments her III status planning something desperate before being snatched up and brought into the wealthy enclave of the ruling Hart family to replace the dead niece figurehead Lila. Upon being inducted into the family, she realizes just how much of a pawn she is within the politics of the family but also starts to grasp how powerful a pawn can be when making the right moves (there is actually a conversation about pawns in chess and how they can end up being the most powerful so this comparison is fairly stressed even within the context of the book.)
I didn't have the best experience with Carter's The Goddess Test so I was leery of trying more of her writing. Still I thought For about the first third of the book, I was thinking I had really second-guessed the plotting. Then things really started happening and I got confused, leading to me feeling muddled and overall mixed-up about this book.
The setup was fascinating. Right away we see Kitty who has a good head on her shoulders but cannot read, making the test nigh on impossible to pass. Her unique eyes are what rescue her and insert her in to the Hart family. All of that setup was fine. Even the first few chapters of her acclimating to life as Lila were acceptable. However she soon starts getting involved with the family and discovering more about the rebellion against their dictatorship, which is when secrets start to emerge. Of those secrets, I was genuinely shocked by them but the impression of them mostly left me confused-I just could not picture those scenes in my head and I can't be more explicit without entering spoiler territory unfortunately.
Before that part I was really enjoying myself though. Kitty is a very sympathetic character and I was rooting for her as soon as I understood the implications of being branded a III. Of the people she meets in her new life, I really liked Greyson, her sweet cousin who seems the least conniving of the bunch. I also appreciated that there wasn't really a love triangle. Kitty remains firmly committed to her childhood boyfriend Benjy despite being involved with Lila's fiance Knox.
Lasting impression: Be prepared for a wild ride as we move very quickly through plot points with revelations unfolding in practically every chapter with only more secrets to be unraveled. I'm not sure I'm involved enough with the characters to want to continue with the series but I do highly encourage fans of dystopia and those who are tired of love triangles to check this one out.
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