How to perfectly sum up this book without giving too much away: Take the rebellion and the politics from The Hunger Games Trilogy, add in the ranking system from The Selection Trilogy, and the plot to kill a ‘king’ from the Eve Trilogy and you’ve pretty much have most of the plot of Pawn.
Another dystopian novel, this one takes place in Washington D.C. sometime far in the future (it isn’t 100% clear what the year is) and our narrator Kitty Doe has just taken the biggest test of her life – a test that determines her fate. The only problem is that she failed her test (at least in her eyes) and she had been ranked as a III. She doesn’t want to be a III and would have liked to be at least a IV so that way her and her boyfriend – Benji – can have the life they’ve always dreamed of. But it didn’t work out for her that way, so she decides to join her friend Tabs in the life of prostitution – at least until Benji takes his test.
Because Kitty is a virgin she has to be auctioned off to the highest bidder…who just so happens to be the Minister of the country (kind of like the President or a King). It turns out that he didn’t bid on Kitty because he wants her to become his mistress, instead he has another plan for her. How would she like to become a VII (the highest rank)? He doesn’t tell her what the ‘catch’ is until two weeks later when she wakes up. Apparently, the Minister’s niece Lila died in an explosion, but the Minister and his family don’t wish the public to know this. So they Masked – a sort of procedure that makes someone look like someone else – Kitty to look like Lila. In exchange for her VII, Kitty has to be Lila and if she doesn’t comply the Minister will kill Benji.
I’ll admit that at first I didn’t like this book mostly because Kitty was a little bit whiny, as Lila’s fiancé pointed out Do you think the world revolves around you? She was very self-centered and considering where she was coming from with her III and all, I thought she would be a little bit more grateful or a little more headstrong. As the book goes on, however, she does become less whiny and in fact does some things that I didn’t think she was capable of at the beginning. As for the other characters, I felt like there should have been a bingo card of all their names and as each one of them died you could have marked them off.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. It was a decent start to a new series, with a few surprised twists that made me go nuts and scream “WHAT?” a few times. The characters were well written and I really felt for Greyson.
Bookshelf worthy? I’m going to pass on this one. Rent it from your library!