As you might have noticed from the dire cry for help on the sidebar on my blog, I am taking graduate classes for a certificate and needless to say, it is a LOT of work. Oh, I am reading all right, but not what I really want to read (I can’t wait for Christmas break!) Jezebel from Jez’s Bookcase has been kind enough to volunteer to do guest reviews and posts for Reading with ABC.
From Jez’s blog :” I'm a girl from a small, small country (north of Thailand, south of Singapore. You guess) who's simply addicted to books. I enjoy reading books of all genres quietly (which means no background music). Learning to draw and play decent music at the same time.” Now without further ado, here is Jez’s review of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting:
Title: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Published: November 15th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Courtesy of Simon and Schuster Galley Grab program
Grade Rate: B (my interpretation of Jez's four star rating)
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 love The Pledge. Love. It. A little dystopian and a little fantasy. The idea that languages can separate you into classes and you can't change which class you're born into is quite interesting. Harsh, I know. Too bad Derting didn't create new languages like what Christopher Paolini did in Eragon.
The novel is well paced, there wasn't a page lacking of suspense and thrill. Language flowing and descriptive. It's told in Charlie's voice and the all-knowing narrator, since some of the moments crucial for understanding the plot doesn't happen to Charlie. I couldn't flip through (or rather, click through) the pages fast enough.
Charlie strikes me as a very protective sister, and she has a very strong and clear voice. She's brave with very few flaws. She's in love with the prince, but I don't find the immediate irresistible draw to a stranger convincing. And I don't get why the prince likes her so much, even when he barely knows her. Perhaps a few more scenes from Derting could explain the romance. Charlie just wasn't as lively as Katniss Everdeen in the The Hunger Games (my review here). Angelina is just lovable, and honestly, I like her a little(just a little) more than the older sister. I would like to see Charlie's magical power develop in the sequel, since her power is so limited in The Pledge.
The ending is sort of a closure for The Pledge, but written in a way that you're sure that there will be a sequel. Precise and gripping, I just can't wait for the next novel in the trilogy(yes, you heard me right : it's a trilogy!).
Overall, The Pledge is a decent novel. However, I read the novel because of it's plot instead of the characters.
The cover is so dang gorgeous! Black, my sort of cover! Just the image of Charlie wasn't the one I imagined and there's no mention of a dress with hood made out of black silk.
Thank you Jez!