The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Release Date – November 15, 2011
Publisher – Simon and Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating- 6.5/10
**obtained from the publisher’s GalleyGrab for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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
I had not read any of Kimberly Derting’s previous books so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The Pledge is a dystopian novel where language is used to keep people in line with a caste system put in place by the ruling Queen.
I am a very character driven reader. It’s how I relate to books. For me, there is very little in the way of character development in this book. The emphasis is more on rapid paced plot than getting to know the characters. Anyone who needs their books to move quite quickly would enjoy this. The ending of the story feels a little disjointed with all the different points of view (I think we have 3 or 4 during the whole novel). I feel that it kept us from really getting to know the characters. The romance in the book seems a little flat, because I didn’t feel connected to the characters.
The pacing is very quick. Things are happening, and are happening fast. You almost get whiplash from the amount of secrets Charlaina is let in on. Nobody in this book is really what or whom they seem. It gets to the point that you are not really registering the flips and twists because it all happens so fast.
I did enjoy the different languages and the fact that it was illegal to speak or understand any language that you were not officially allowed to know. The Queen was cruel, and vicious, killing without mercy. I did fear for others, but never really felt afraid for any of our main characters.
There is some great dynamics, and characters that I wished I would have known more about. Charlaina’s sister Angelina is one of the ones I enjoyed and really wanted to know more about.
I did enjoy the emphasis on there being a Queen ruler. A king could not rule, and other countries would not trade, or communicate with Ludania (or any other country) if there was not a Queen ruler. It was nice to see a little spark of girl power.
This is a book that may seem better when part of the series. I just feel it doesn’t really stand on it’s own as I am still wishing to know who these characters are. There are some high points, and I do think others would enjoy it though.