Pawn by Aimee Carter

10838787

The basics

Title: Pawn

Author:

Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1

- Pawn (November, 2013)
- Captive (November 2014)
- Queen (September 2015)

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Goodreads Summary:

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

In short

America is now a meritocracy, where citizens are selected based on the results of a test taken at 17, where they are ranked from I to VI according to their intelligence. Kitty Doe, an Extra, receives a III, which is bad, but not as bad as a II or a I. She decides to commit assignment fraud, and stay in DC as a prostitute.

But she’s found by Daxton Hart, the Prime Minister, who offers her a rank VII. She agrees, and is turned into Lila Hart’s (Daxton’s niece) clone. She is expected to retract all of Lila’s anti-governmental messages. But Celia, Lila’s mother and Knox, her fiance, want her to support Lila’s cause, and Kitty agrees after she sees first hand the lies the government has been telling the people.

Celia spearheads a plan to kill Daxton, with Kitty’s help, but Kitty fails at the last moment, and Daxton goes into coma. After Kitty’s first speech as Lila, Knox and Kitty come home to find that Celia has kidnapped Grayson with the intention of killing him. Knox reveals that Lila is really alive. They decide to trade Lila for Grayson. But when the time comes, Augusta plays a mean trick, forcing Celia to choose which girl is her real daughter. Celia chooses wrong, and Augusta shoots Lila (with a tranquilizer dart, which Celia doesn’t know). The attempt to rescue Grayson, Lila and Benjy (Kitty’s boyfriend) is foiled when Augusta discovers them and stabs Lila with a poker. When she’s about to kill Benjy too, Kitty kills Augusta. Lila survives, but doesn’t want to risk her life for the rebellion, so Kitty takes her place as the face of the rebellion.

What went down

  • Kitty receives a rank III after her testing. She’s assigned to work as a sewage cleaner in Denver. Desperate to find a way to stay back, she steals an orange in the market place, hoping the Shields will kill her for her offense.
  • The Shield who catches her makes note of her eye colour, which is the exact shade of Lila Hart’s, the Prime Minister’s niece. He tells her to stay exactly where she is. Kitty, along with her boyfriend Benjy, run back to their group home, where they relay everything to their caretaker Nina.
  • Kitty decides to take up prostitution until Benjy gets his rank and then marry him, so that she can stay in DC.
  • During the auction, the Prime Minister Daxton Hart bids the highest and buys Kitty. He offers to turn her into a VII as long as she does something for him. Kitty agrees, and is promptly knocked out.
  • When she wakes up, she finds that she is now Lila Hart’s clone. The real Lila was killed by Daxton and his mother Augusta as retaliation for her anti-government speeches. The public doesn’t know yet that Lila is dead, so they want Kitty to undo the damage that  Lila’s done, before they let her go.
  • Kitty is trained by Celia, Lila’s mother, and Knox, her fiance, to become Lila in every way that counts. She’s even expected to marry Knox at the end of the year.
  • Once she’s deemed ready to face the public, Daxton takes her to Elsewhere. Elsewhere is the place all elderly people and Is are sent, as they cannot contribute anything to the country. Kitty finds out that Elsewhere is also a hunting ground, where all these people are hunted like animals and shot. Daxton shoots Nina, who was brought to Elsewhere when she refused to give the Shields Kitty’s location earlier, in front of her eyes, as a warning to obey him.
  • When she returns, Celia and Knox ask her to take up Lila’s cause and rebel against Daxton and Augusta. They promise to protect Benjy from Daxton’s schemes. Kitty asks for some time to think it over.
  • A few days after the Hart family and Knox return to the Hart’s home in Somerset, DC, three bombs are dropped on government buildings in different cities. It is believed to be the work of the Blackcoat Rebellion, a group that is actively opposing the governments policies. The Hart house goes into lock down. They are all gathered in the impenetrable in-house safe room, where Kitty meets Grayson, Daxton’s son.
  • The next morning, the family is released from the safe room, but are expected to stay in the house until further notice. That night, Kitty and Knox leave the house through a secret passage and go to a club. Kitty tries to escape to see Benjy, but Knox stops her. He promises to protect Benjy as long as she does as she’s told. When they return, Grayson comes to see Kitty, and gives her a chain, with a pendant that can unlock any lock, mechanical or electronic. Grayson is the only family member who doesnt know that Lila is dead.
  • Benjy receives a VI after his testing, and is assigned as Knox’s assistant, so that Kitty can be near him, and also to use as leverage against her, if needed. Kitty agrees to continue Lila’s work.
  • Celia hatches a plan to kill Daxton. To distract Daxton’s guards, Celia will inject herself with a drug that will render her unconscious. Meanwhile, Kitty is to administer a chemical that will stop Daxton’s heart immediately, after which the syringe is to be thrown in the water fountain, where it will dissolve.
  • Daxton calls Kitty into his office and tries to force himself on her. She stabs him with the syringe, but when only half of the drug is injected, she loses her resolves and drops the syringe. She finds that the man is not really Daxton, as he has a Vth’s ridge below the VII on his neck. He’s Daxton’s clone.
  • Kitty runs away before she’s caught. Celia is very ill, but expected to recover, but Daxton is in coma. The attempts on the siblings’ lives is assumed to be by the Blackcoats.
  • When Celia recovers, she is furious that Kitty didn’t kill Daxton. She decides to kill Grayson instead, to retaliate against Daxton for killing her own daughter. Kitty tries to warn Grayson, but he refuses to listen, saying his aunt wont hurt him. He knows Kitty is not really Lila. Lila always used to sleep in his room at night, as when she was alone in the dark, she got recurring dreams of her father being killed for treason before her eyes. Plus, there are minute differences between the two that he picked up on.
  • Kitty gives her first public speech as Lila and is a huge success. When she comes off stage, Knox tells her that Celia and Grayson are missing. He takes her to an underground compound, where he has hidden the real Lila, when the threat to her life became apparent, and Celia didn’t seem to taking them seriously. They plan to show Celia that Lila is alive to keep her from harming Grayson. Augusta agrees to the plan, though she’s furious that she didn’t succeed in killing Lila.
  • A trade is set up: Grayson in exchange for Lila. But when they meet Celia, Augusta tells Celia to choose one of the girls. The other one dies. Celia chooses Kitty, and Augusta immediately shoots Lila, but only with a tranquilizer. Once they are in the helicopter, Augusta starts shooting at Celia and Kitty.
  • They escape, and Celia takes them to the same place Knox had taken her to. The truth comes out: The Blackcoat Rebellion is headed by Celia and Knox is her lieutenant. They meet up with Knox and sneak into the Hart’s house. Kitty goes to rescue Benjy who’s in the safe room, by using the key Grayson gave her. Knox gets Grayson, but Celia is unable to get to Lila because of the guards stationed outside her room. Kitty gets her by going through the air vents. But when they’re about to leave, Augusta intercepts them. She stabs Lila with a poker, and just when she’s about to kill Benjy too, Kitty kills her.

How did it end?

Daxton wakes up, but seems to have forgotten everything that happened in the last six weeks. He thinks that Lila is still alive.

Lila survives. During Augusta’s funeral, Kitty finds out that Daxton actually remember everything that happened. When he threatens her, she blackmails him with the fact that she knows his secret, and so does Knox, and Grayson, who was never fooled.

Since Lila is not interested in putting her life at risk  for the rebellion, Kitty accepts her position.

anything else

Extra: People are only allowed to have a single child. Any others are given away, and sent to live in group homes.
Masking: Cloning a person to look exactly like someone else. Only a person’s eye colour cannot change.
Elsewhere: Place where Is and all elderly people are they seen as people who cannot contribute to the betterment of the country. They are hunted like animals and killed in Elsewhere.

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