I started reading The Blackcoat Rebellion series this fall, consuming Pawn and Captive within a few weeks of each other. Queen was released in November, and while I was waiting for it, I read Aimee Carter’s Goddess Test series, while it was “ok”, I didn’t obsess over it like I did this series. It is obvious that Ms. Carter’s skills have improved ten-fold, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
The Blackcoat Rebellion
1 – Pawn
2 – Captive
3 – Queen
by Aimee Carter
Release Date: 2013 – 2015
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Summary from Goodreads:
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.
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.
The premise for this series really grabbed my attention. When I checked out Pawn from the library, I had heard of Aimee Carter but I hadn’t read anything by her before. If it’s not obvious already, I absolutely love dystopian themed books. My dilemma is, they’re becoming less and less original. While The Blackcoat Rebellion series wasn’t perfect by any means, Ms. Carter knows how to keep readers hooked!
Pawn starts off in America in the the near future where there is a caste system in place and a dictatorship government. (Sounds like what Trump wants… lol jk… maybe?) Anyways, people are rated based on tests they take when they’re 16 and given a rating from 1 to 6, the only way to be ranked a 7 is through birth. I liked this idea a lot, because unlike some other books, this one seems plausible.
The first book, Pawn, was great. I loved the characters. I loved Kitty and Benjy’s childhood friendship turned romance, but I was defiantly team Knox from the beginning. Daxon is such an ass, and I couldn’t trust anyone in the Hart family at first. All of the characters (main and supporting) were all wonderfully developed.
Pawn delivered on every level so when I picked up Captive, I was stoked. However, the second book fell a bit flat for me until the end. While the story made sense, I can’t help but feel like it had some “second-book-syndrome” problems. It wasn’t until the twist near the end that my interest was peaked. It just moved too slow.
When I finally got around to reading Queen several months later, I was worried that it wouldn’t grab my attention like Pawn had. I was very grateful for Kitty’s speech at the beginning that recapped everything that had happened without seeming like a summary. It helped get me ready for the roller-coaster ride that came after. Queen was a break-neck adventure. Every new chapter had more twists and turns that I honestly didn’t know what to expect next – and the ending didn’t disappoint.
The covers are just lovely. They really stand out in the book store, when every other one features a sad girl in a beautiful dress. I love the geometric art, the chess theme and the focus on Kitty’s eyes – which are the reason she was chosen for such a fate.
I loved Ms. Carter’s style of writing; it’s quick, witty and straight to the point. While the dialogue sometimes falls flat, there other quotes where I marked them to remember for later. My personal favorite was:
“I realized death wasn’t the worst thing. It’s just the last thing. And endings are hard, that’s all.”
In closing, if any of my readers are hesitant to try this series after The Goddess Test, I urge you to give it a shot. I know I’ll be watching to see what comes next for Aimee Carter in the YA department. I know whatever it will be, it will be a surprise.