Saturday, July 14, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge is the first in the new book series by Kimberley Derting who is well known for her Body Finder series. The paperback was published by Allison & Busby on 15th November 2011. I won this book from a competition as part of the Morganville Vampire ReadingChallenge.

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 really didn’t know what to expect from The Pledge, although apparently Kimberly Derting is quite well known for her Body Finder books. It was a very quick read one of the fastest reads I have ever done. The story is very different from what might be described as the usual ideas of a dystopian setting but that makes it more interesting.

The setting is seemingly America in the future where the government and ruling classes have been changed so now that all the major powers around the world are ruled by Monarchies with Queens at the head. Add in a little magic and there seems to be a lot of room for growth in this series.

I can’t really review this book without talking about ‘Languages’. In the world of The Pledge languages serve as sign of your class, they can be thought of as levels of hierarchy as people cannot understand or speak the language above their level. Furthermore it is a tool of rigid control as to even look at someone speaking a language superior to yours would mean certain harsh punishment. It is a very interesting premise and not something I have seen before and it keeps things interesting.

Charlie the protagonist seems to be able to understand all the languages she hears and her sister who should have already started speaking is seemingly mute and these are secrets that must be kept hidden.

I can definitely recommend this book as a quick read and an interesting beginning to a series. A lively and engaging setting with characters that have a real sense of authenticity I am definitely interested to see how things will work out.                                                                                                                 

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