Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
The Pledge Book #1
Review Copy Source: S&S Galley Grab
In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, 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. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom…I've really enjoyed Derting's The Bodyfinder series so I knew from the moment I saw THE PLEDGE that I would be reading her take on Dystopian. Charlaina (Charlie) is a seventeen year old living in the Vendor sector. The Dystopian society she lives in rates your worth by the sector that you live in. The sectors are only allowed to speak their language and must be subservient to sectors above their own. Because of the sector laws Charlie was taught from an early age to hide the fact that she can understand and speak all languages no matter what they are. Because Charlie can understand all languages spoken she has to be careful to really listen to what is being spoken when and avert her eyes and attention when it is appropriate for her to do so. She ends up hearing a language she has never heard before between a boy and his companions and can tell that from that moment she is in trouble. She ends up finding out that she is not only special because of her gifts but because of who she really is
I had no issues getting into THE PLEDGE. The story was interesting, unique and all around catching. Derting ends up switching between characters as the story is narrated. I had no problems following along between the switches and I always felt that the character speaking at the time was a good fit for that particular part of the story. There are some fabulous twist and turns throughout the entire book, just when I thought a part of the story was revealed to its fullest there was something else that shocked me. The world that Kimberly built was super easy to picture. The characters all had different sides that were revealed throughout the story and I enjoyed looking back to see the clues that might have come up and I missed. A lot happened in THE PLEDGE, whether it was expected or unexpected I enjoyed it all the same and will be continuing the series.
I gave it 4/5 stars