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.
Poor Kitty is stuck in a world where the number on the back of her neck means her entire future is planned, and she will be working away in the sewers because that, according to a test, is all that she is good for. But then she gets plucked from the gutter, well the brothel, and offered a chance to be part of the elite. Of course she says yes, but she couldn't read the fine print before being whisked away to become a whole new person. Part of the ruling family, where showing your love means trying to kill each other apparently, Kitty has to walk the walk and talk the talk to stay alive. The whole situation was out of control and insanely dangerous but I completely understand why Kitty did it, even if it meant erasing who she was.
As she learns what it takes to be the prime minister's niece, Kitty also learns more about the family, its secrets and its weaknesses. Because Lila was not the perfect girl that the media had led Kitty to believe, Lila was front-running a rebellion to bring down the current system of rankings and as Lila, it was Kitty's job to continue that work. Even though she was pressured and blackmailed into doing it, Kitty obviously felt for the cause; as a III, she knew exactly what it was like to be down-trodden by the upper classes and this came across in her speeches and attitude to the whole thing. Actually, considering she was risking her and her boyfriend's life, I think she was incredibly brave.
Speaking of her boyfriend, I really liked Benjy. He was smart and protective, sometimes a bit annoying but they were clearly in love and everything they did was to protect the other, it was sweet. But things were somewhat complicated because Lila had a fiancée, therefore so did Kitty. Things with Knox were never as they seemed and I never quite felt like he was being completely honest - with good reason - but I did like him, he had their best intentions at heart really. But I really liked that after Kitty felt she could trust him, they had a really good relationship; they were co-conspirators in the fight against tyranny.
Full of thrills, drama, secrets, I never had a clue what was going on, and I'm not sure if that was due to the writing or my own stupidity. I'm guessing the latter. But I loved it, I could barely put it down and it seemed every other page held a secret that I never saw coming and left me breathless. Highly recommended, especially if you love dystopian governments, Masked villans and secrets with the power to kill.
Published 3rd January 2014 by MiraInk. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.