Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter


1 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Me throughout most of this book?

exasperated gif

Yeah. Where to begin? First of all, let’s address the fact that NOWHERE is it explained why Kitty’s society is like this. The people are ‘ranked’ on their seventeenth birthday, given a number from I to VI, with VII only applying to the President and his family. If you’re anything below a III, then it pretty much means you disappear from society in ~mysterious circumstances~. GEE I WONDER WHAT THEY COULD BE? Why does no-one question this?!

The only background information that we get for why this system is in place is because the economy crashed. Sorry, what? Did the people turn feral the moment Wall Street went down? How did everything get built back up? Why are the ranks the best solution? Why can people only have one child? Answers on a postcard, please.

Major issue #2: the ranking system is a big con and NO-ONE REALISES IT. Seriously. If you’re a higher ranking member of society, you’ll be able to access better facilities including healthcare and education. So if you’re raised in a Rank IV environment, you will receive a worse education than those raised in Rank V and VI, meaning you’re more likely to get stuck in that system, then repeat with your children, their children, etc. How has no-one in this society worked this out? That was my immediate thought as soon as I read about the rankings. Kitty is later told this is how it works and is all like ‘Oh yeah that explains it!’… really Kitty, really. No wonder you were marked a Rank III.

And major issue #3, the thing that SERIOUSLY pissed me off and made me want to slap some sense into Kitty?

She would rather become a prostitute to stay near her boyfriend than be given a safe job and be sent to another state.

kidding gif

I just… yeah. That should have set off the alarm bells really. At first I thought their relationship seemed okay, Benjy was someone Kitty had grown up with so it wasn’t insta-love, she wasn’t all despondent about the idea of them being different ranks and it seemed she was thinking more of Benjy’s feelings than their romance. And then she does a complete 180 and makes this ridiculous decision and I just immediately gave up on her as a character.

Oh, there were so many other reasons… Kitty’s virginity is being sold off after she makes her truly awesome decision of becoming a prostitute to keep her teen romance alive, and she is bought by the President. He needs her because she has the same eyes as his niece – who died a week before in a skiing accident. Apparently they can do all this ridiculous surgery to completely transform someone, but the eyes can’t be changed! Contacts? What are they? So yeah, Kitty is ‘bought’, smuggled out of the brothel and wakes up a week later completely transformed. And she really doesn’t seem that freaked out by the fact that these people have abducted her and utterly changed her appearance into that of Lila Hart, the President’s niece, without her consent. Cool.

exasperated gif


Lila has a fiancee. A fiancee that Kitty now has to marry, as Lila. A fiancee that I can see her eventually falling in love with and then oh no LOVE TRIANGLE. Towards the end of the book she also has to do something really big in order to save her life and those of whom she loves, and she chickens out halfway – where is her sense of self-preservation?! It really frustrates me when people talk big about how they will protect their loved ones, but they can never go through with it. And one final thing – I am expecting the next book or somewhere in the series to reveal that Kitty’s parents were VIs or even VIIs and therefore she is ~special~. But I won’t know, because I won’t be reading book number two, no thank you.


8 thoughts on “Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter”

  1. I ADORE your review of this, LOVE wasn’t even enough! It’s so concise, to the point and bang on funny. I haven’t read this yet, but from your review I think there’s a lot of potential there with the storyline but it was badly executed? Though you’ve definitely made me want to try it out because it sounds intriguing. Shame you’ll not be reading on though to see if any of it is explained. R x

    1. Haha, thank you Rachel! It’s the first properly negative review I’ve done to be honest, I decided I wanted to be truly honest because SO MUCH of this book bugged me.

      And yes, the storyline could be exciting – once again, the characters let it down.

  2. In your review of this book were listed all the reasons for my bias against dystopian YA, and I must commend your fortitude in carrying through to the (bitter?) end… 🙂
    It’s sad to note how many authors still manage to cling to this handful of over-used and over-abused tropes, and how many novels in this sub-genre seem to be nothing more than the same old story with changed names. So very sad…

    1. Somehow I managed it, mostly because I wanted to actually review it properly, and felt it wouldn’t be fair to do a negative review only based on part of it, just in case things improved/were cleared up at the end.

  3. This sounds hilariously bad. Carter is just /not/ a good writer. I still can’t believe the mess that is The Goddess Test got published in the first place, it’s sososoosososo poorly researched. The same thing seems to apply for this one – average idea that I have seen in similar executions somehwere else already, but somehow hers is even worse. Why didn’t she just justify the main characters’ need to be used to replace the presidents kid by saying she was an organ donor and Kitty got that girls actual eyes… oh dear. So not touching anything by Carter ever again.

    1. I was so excited for the Goddess Test and it was just… eh. As a HUUUGE fan of Greek mythology I couldn’t wait to read something inspired by it, but you’re right, it was a total mess. The names were so confusing as well – she named one of the goddesses Diana I think, perhaps it was Demeter, even though Diana = Roman equivalent of Artemis. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. WHY.

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