Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Series: The Pledge #1
Review Source: Galleygrab
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
'The Pledge' is a fantasy dystopian novel which has an extremely interesting premise. To stratify a society by language is ingenious, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. As usual Kimberly Derting is a great writer, especially with showing multiple POVs, but I think everything that happened in this book was a little too much. What I mean is that the story itself was great, but it was almost too ambitious for one volume, or at least it could have been longer. Things happen at a breakneck pace, which is exciting, but it leaves little room for the smaller details that make you fall in love with characters. As a result I didn’t feel like I knew Charlie, the main character, that well. Nor do we get to understand the love interest, Max, or his motivations for protecting Charlie.
Normally I can devour a book within 1 - 2 days, but I kept putting this one off. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it overall, but it just didn’t draw me in enough to bother finding out what happened. I actually picked up another book and read it in between finishing ‘The Pledge’, which I pretty much never do. I adore Kimberly Derting’s ‘Body Finder’ books, but I think that they’re much stronger because of the connections the reader gets with the characters. ‘The Pledge’ has so much promise, but it failed to captivate me the way Derting’s writing usually does. In the end I definitely think this one is worth reading, and I’m sure others will love it much more than I did. I just wish the characters were more developed and that smaller details could have come through and made the story come alive for me.
Not really feeling it, but I bet it's nicer in person.
Find The Pledge by Kimberly Derting on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.