Pawn is your classic dystopian world, where people are separated by their intellect and one girl gets to transcend the levels to defeat ‘the government.’ On the plus side, I managed to get though Pawn extremely quickly, on the down side, I wasn’t surprised by anything.
With the sudden surge of dystopian YA, after the success of The Hunger Games, you can guarantee that if there is an interesting and dynamic plot point, which adds to the dystopian world, then it’s been done before. Pawn was a culmination of everyone’s favourite plot points, but unfortunately I didn’t think it was executed as well as it could have been as a result.
I found myself getting really confused by the sheer amount of conspiracy plots in the Hart family. I couldn’t wrap my head around who was good and who was bad, and I certainly couldn’t tell you whose side I was on! Despite all of this drama I wasn’t particularly surprised by the ‘big’ reveals, because they were so ludicrous and it would have been better had they not been introduced. Without giving away any spoilers, if you’re planning on reading Pawn, don’t trust anyone.
The government system wasn’t well explained, and I wasn’t entirely sure what purpose the Hart’s played in the Feudal system. If no one liked them – not even the members of the Hart family liked one another – then why did it take 70 years for there to be a rebellion. The rebellion didn’t even really start in Pawn, it was more of just a 300-ish page prologue to the real action which I assume takes place in Captive.
I didn’t have a problem with Kitty as a main character, because she ‘fought back,’ even though she was pretty up for doing whatever as long as her boyfriend Benjy wasn’t in danger. Nice to see the gender roles being mixed up a bit, stick it to the patriarchy. Benjy was probably my favourite character, because I felt that he was the only one with an identifiable personality compared to Kitty who was going through a bit of an identity crisis.
Reading Pawn is like reading The Selection by Kiera Cass, but all the characters have had personality transplants. Pawn shared a lot of themes and the relationship dynamics between the ‘princess who’s not a princess,’ the ‘guard’ and the ‘prince.’ Therefore, if you enjoyed the love triangle in The Selection then you’d probably enjoy this book more than I did. Overall, I’m probably going to give Pawn two stars, because I didn’t enjoy the plot particularly and felt that the author relied on line breaks and chapter divisions to create tension rather than the plot actually being suspenseful. However, I did enjoy a few elements of the story and liked to have the inside look at the dystopian government, as it’s so often the case that we’re with the rebels on the outside rather than on the inside.