I loved voices, I always had. Words held meaning but voices held emotions.
Series: The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Releases: 26th March, 2012
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars.
Charlie is a regular 17 year old who goes to school and helps her after in the evening like any other Vendor girl in Ludania. But Charlie is no ordinary girl. She has a secret. In a country where your social position is ascertained by what language you can speak or understand she can understand them all. Then one day Max turns up in her life, who seems to know her secret. In a society where rebellion is around the corner, a queen who is slowly losing it, it’s more than important for Charlie to keep her secret. But she is not the only one with secrets.
The Pledge came with glowing reviews from the limited number of friends who have read this dystopian YA. Honestly, it took me a while to get into the story and it was these reviews that had had me pushing forward. The secrets were revealed slowly but the story did not really start until Max entered and still it didn't truly start until something major happened. Literally, the author had to bomb the city to get thing rolling.
“I held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should.”
Charlie was an adequate heroine. She was not boring to the point of being bland but she was pretty one dimensional. I suppose she has lived her life to be as unnoticeable as possible. Keeping your head down all the time does that to you. She didn’t particularly have any stand out qualities but her affection for her sister and her (puzzling in my opinion) selfish best friend, Brooklyn was commendable. At the beginning, I thought maybe there was a hint of a love triangle but I was so wrong. So all you Love triangle haters, you can breathe easy. No confusing ‘Do I love him or the other one?” making you pull your hair out.
“….his hands stayed against my face, his fingers inching their way into my hairline. His thumb moved down to corner of his mouth, and I closed my eyes."
Max, the love interest was crafted beautiful. He was mysterious and dangerous and Charlie was only human. She could only resist his charms for so long. His real identity came as a surprise and I loved how Derting wrote it. The moments between Charlie and Max were drawn out and had every touch and gesture had me holding my breath. What I do have to complain about that their relationship started too soon. It was not insta- love but pretty close to it.
“All I want is to keep you safe, Charlie. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
The plot was good but not great. The climax was well thought out and the some twists actually managed to surprise me. The side were interesting nut I’m hoping Derting will be able to develop them fully in the following books. Despite having its own set of issues like confusing world set up I’m hoping for more. The Pledge delivers but leave ample room for character development as to be expected from any good YA title. It has a few good characters and some great and has potential to pack a punch. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed and start The Essence asap as the ending has made thing so much more interesting. I’d recommended it to all Dystopian fans for a different take on a post apocalyptic world.