Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Pledge
Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Allison & Busby
ISBN: 978-0-7490-1185-7
Pages: 380
Series: The Pledge #1
Type: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: Purchased

In the distant future, seventeen-year-old Charlaina lives in a world divided by words. Each class has their own native language and it is a crime to even acknowledge someone from a higher class while they are speaking it. Charlie is hiding a gift...she can understand all of the languages so when she meets the mysterious Max who speaks in a tongue she's never heard before she is intrigued. Max believes Charlie is the key to releasing the kingdom from the control of an aged and ruthless queen, but can Charlie truly trust him?

This is the second book I've read by Kimberly Derting and as I wasn't blown away by The Body Finder, I wasn't sure what to expect going into this but the intriguing storyline caught my attention. The idea of a world completely divided by something as fundamental as language is fascinating and I was really looking forward to seeing how it played out. The setting is unique as this is a dystopian set several hundred years into the future which means it lacks many of the similarities often found in dystopians with a shorter time jump.

Charlie was a great lead character in that it was easy to see things from her perspective. She's been hiding her gift for her entire life but it seems that she isn't very good at it as she keeps making basic mistakes. Strangely her equally gifted little sister seems to cope better with the necessary secrecy. Max was an intriguing guy who was hiding many more secrets than Charlie herself, but with all the deception I found myself rooting for Charlie to fall for her best friend Aron who is a far simpler, more caring guy.

Queen Sabara was probably my favourite character in the whole book. She manages to be ruthless and evil without coming across like a cartoon villain, and her royal machinations spread a layer of tension throughout the book. It is completely understandable why people are rebelling against her, especially the rebellion's current leader Xander, but somehow also clear why the general population don't want a war on their doorstep and as such resist the rebellion.

My problem with the book is that I never really got caught up in the storyline. I wasn't invested in Charlie's future and I figured out several of the plot twists quite early on which was disappointing. I initially thought this book was supposed to be a stand alone especially as the only clue to a lingering storyline is found in the epilogue. It now looks as if there will in fact be at least two more in the series, starting with The Essence, although I'm not sure if I'll be reading them.

All in all this was an interesting read.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 40/50

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