Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

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 premise of this book is just too cool. That concept of language dividing class really illustrates the power of words, and my writer geek got all excited. :)

I really liked Charlie. She’s interesting, has an easy-going nature, a great sense of morality, and she’s smart. Her friendship with Brooklyn felt real, and I liked the irony of her submissiveness to Brooklyn and the significance of her gift of languages. Charlie grows into herself in this story.

The end had a tiny contrived moment that hugely impacted the rest of the story, which brought my enjoyment down a notch. If subsequent actions hadn’t been based on that tiny moment, then I could have easily dismissed it. But since the rest of the ending was dependent on that moment, I had a hard time believing it. I was completely riveted up to that point, though.

I’ve heard mixed reactions to the epilogue so far. I’m not usually a big fan, but this one worked (for the most part). There was one jarring moment between Charlie and Max, but I think it was because I didn’t really feel the passage of time. Though it is laid out in the epilogue, so I’m not sure what to think on that. Maybe it just came too much out of the blue. But I did like the very end of the epilogue, which opens things up to another book yet still gives me a satisfying ending to this story. I like stories like that.

Overall, this is a very entertaining read, and if there’s another book then I’ll be reading it. :)


Kelly Hashway said...

Great review! I'm very intrigued. I'm not one for epilogues though.

Tabitha said...

I'm not either, but this one worked pretty well. Without it, I wouldn't have been as satisfied with the ending. :)

Krispy said...

Thanks for the review! I've been keeping my eye on this one since I heard about it because I absolutely LOVE the premise. I just wasn't sure how well it'd be handled. So thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. I'll definitely be picking this one up!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I so want to read this that I'm checking almost daily to see if my library bought it yet. Thanks for the review. When you like something, I know it's good.

Midnyte Reader said...

I have not read anything by Kimberly Derting yet and I think I have a few books of hers. I don't have this one yet though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Mirka Breen said...

Your reviews are always interesting.