Yesterday, Kitty wouldn’t face the consequences of stealing an orange. But today is Kitty’s seventeenth, today she could be killed for that theft. She has just been tested, she is a III. She was hoping for a IV but now her life has been decided for her, and it’s not the one she expected. But when she receives a mysterious offer, she clutches at it, not realising she is giving up her identity for a chance at privilege.

If you’ll excuse the pun, it’s all a bit dystopia by numbers. There’s a test for starters. Can we drop this plot device please? Otherwise the numbering is a believable system, keeping people in their place. At least people believe they have a chance to rise.

Kitty starts off with a boyfriend and Lila, who she takes the place of, has a fiancé but it doesn’t fall into the love triangle trap. Which is another point in its favour. However overall it’s lacking emotional depth, especially considering she’s meant to be constantly in fear for her life, or the lives of people she cares about. She nearly goes into prostitution, thinking that is a valid life choice, but it just seems like a night out to a club to her. I really think having her life ripped away would be more traumatic than she lets on. Instead she recovers quite quickly to all the horror thrown at her. And really, it’s a horrible world, one deserved a bit more depth.

Maybe I’m tiring of the young adult dystopia sub-genre. I think there’s still a place for strong stories which explore the threat of today’s politics, but I don’t believe that’s really what the whole trend was about. It was rebellion against authority, but even that has lost its way a bit.

A lot of Pawn reminded me of The Selection trilogy by Keira Kass. It’s a different situation but something in my mind just melded them together. Perhaps it was the privileged family and hiding in the safe room away from the rebels. It’s an easy enough read and enjoyable, just nothing new. If you fancy giving Aimee Carter a go, I would recommend the Goddess books instead.

Pawn is published by MIRA Ink and is now available in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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Also reviewed @ Tea in the Treetops | whY.A.not?

Shelve next to: The Selection by Kiera Kass

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.