Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: YA/ Dystopian
Source: Simon & Schuster
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. [via GoodReads]
Charlaina, lives in the kingdom of Ludania which is ruled by the ancient Queen Sabara. As all the citizens of Ludania, but especially as a vendor’s daughter, Charlie, has to follow the strict rules imposed by their queen. All the people of the kingdom are segregated by their class and even though they all speak the common language Englaise, they also have their own language depicting their class. Meaning if you are of a lower class and are speaking your tongue yet you look and act as if you are a member of a higher class you are instantly executed.
Charlie understands all the languages in the kingdom – even those of the immigrants that keep coming through her town who are avoiding the rebellion. Which is forbidden!! For she can’t show any reaction to any of the conversations going on around her. If she is confused and answers someone without realizing that they are speaking a language that isn’t that of her vendor class, she knows it can be very dangerous for her and her family. It gets harder and harder every day to hide her talent and should it come out she knows that it’s more than her life that’s at stake.
While I’m a big fan of Ms. Derting’s Body Finder series, I sadly wasn’t impressed with The Pledge. I liked the idea of this dystopian novel, but I somehow didn’t find it very convincing. For starters I had trouble relating to Charlaina and the other characters in the novel. I felt as if you really didn’t get to know them well enough to form that bond between reader and character. I also had some problems with the world building. I love dystopian novels. I even like those where there really isn’t much explanation as to how the world got the way it is – it’s understandable that things get lost in translation. But the little explanation we did get of Ludania was jumble and confusing.
I was intrigued by the storyline, I read the story, rather quickly actually. I’ve always really enjoyed Ms. Derting’s books and I was convinced that it would get better. But sadly, it just didn’t. And while I liked the ending, I especially liked it thinking this was a standalone novel, but I’m now a little disappointed to hear that it’s a series… one that I really don’t think I’ll continue.