The Pledge (The Pledge#1) by Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Pages: 323 (Paperback)
In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines your class, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. The only reprieve from oppression is within the drug-filled underground club scene. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. As the violent clashes between the totalitarian monarchy and the rebel forces escalate, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible grip of a deadly regime.
The Pledge is NOT action packed with intense scenes, exciting dangers, intimidating evil queens, and a swoony love interest that will leave readers breathless. This is a novel everyone will fall asleep from the start to the very last page. Unfortunately, this is a fact that I have encountered every time I opened this book (15 times). I can’t help it, my attention span just couldn’t handle this book for more than a few chapters at a time.
First of all, the characters extremely predictable and boring. Nothing about them, especially Charlie stood out for me and I was left unimpressed by the end when her strength was tested. In fact, after thinking more about this story, I still don’t understand why everyone is so scared of her, so she can speak every language, so? It’s not a cool power, if anything it’s boring. The love triangle is really annoying as is the insta-love between Charlie and Max. It all feels very contrived and unrealistic that even when he’s protecting her from the queen I had to suppress a yawn because it’s just. So. Boring.
Angelina has to be the only character that is remotely interesting since she doesn’t speak and is constantly glowing with a surge of power. The writing style is also nice because it’s fluent and smooth but I disliked everything else.
Overall, this novel is depressing but it’s not the worse book I’ve ever read. There are many points in the story where it could have improved and could have had me at the edge of my seat especially with the queen or Angelina but Kimberly Derting failed to take the opportunity to do so. I don’t recommend this to anyone because it’s all so boring and flat but I will give the second novel a try.
For quotes from this book, click here.