Friday 27 April 2012

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Series: The Pledge, Book One
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Format: ARC
Published: 26th March 2012
Number of Pages: 352
Book: For Review*
Genre: Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Dark Romance, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Alcohol References
No Drug References
Author's Blog: Kimberly Derting

Seventeen-year-old Charlaina knows she has exceptional but perilous powers.
In the far future, in a land controlled by an aged and ruthless queen, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak.  Even acknowledging a member of the ruling class while they are speaking their native tongue is punishable by death.  Charlie can understand all languages, a secret she must protect to stay alive.
When she meets the alluringly handsome Max, who speaks in a language she hasn’t heard before, she is intensely attracted to him.  Max believes that Charlie is the key to something bigger and he pledges to protect her.  But as war descends, can she trust him?

“I pledge to keep you safe.”
In Ludania, the people are divided by the language they speak and the class they are born into. To look at someone in a higher class whilst they are speaking their own language leads to death.
17-year-old Charlie can understand all languages, a secret she protects above all else, because if she's found out, she's dead.
In a land where parents betray their own children to gain the favour of their ruthless old Queen, Charlie seeks the freedom of underground clubs, where there are no rules and no divisions. It's there she meets Max.  Gorgeous, mysterious Max, who Charlie instantly feels a connection with, who speaks a language she's never heard before. Who guesses she's different and pledges to protect her.
But with a rebellion threatening and the old Queen ruling as ruthlessly as ever, can Max keep his promise, keep Charlie safe...?
I'd never read anything by Derting before, though I do have her two Body Finder books on my TBR pile.  After The Pledge, I simply cannot wait to read them!  I was sucked right into the world, hooked from start to finish.  I loved it and quite frankly need the next book.  And not because I want more Max. Obviously...
Charlie had all the traits I like in my lead girls: cheeky, caring, smart and brave.  She loved her little sister to pieces and went out of her way to help others.  Feisty, strong and so, so brave, I just loved her!  As for Max, he was self-confident, charming, protective and mysterious. And so perceptive.  And just yu-um-my!  Cute, loyal, gorgeous... I loved him!
The relationship between Charlie and Max was just perfect too! I could feel the chemistry.  And I loved seeing it become more.  And the kisses?  Wow.  Kimberly sure can write a good romance!
All the characters were all so real to me and I loved them all!  I loved how padded out they felt, how I completely misjudged many of them to begin with.  Of course, I had favourites, naming no names. *Max*  I really liked Brook, or at least liked how I had to get to know her twice, though I preferred the wild and cheeky Brook.  Angelina, Charlie’s sister, was so cute; if I had a little sister, I would want Angelina!  Xander was another intriguing character: super mysterious, cheeky and brave, he was either “insolent” or spirited, depending on whether you listen to one of the other characters or to me! 
The world was just amazing - unlike anything I'd read before.  All the classes and jobs were exaggerated by separate languages for each level.  And there was magic!  This is the first dystopian I've read that has paranormal tie-ins!  I loved learning all the history and found myself smiling at the Queen's desperation for a female heir (the only ones strong enough to rule), the complete opposite of our own history.  It was all so new, so rich, so detailed, so utterly unique. More please!
And the writing was beautiful, addictive, descriptive; I fell in love with the style, with Charlie.  I loved how it was divided up - mostly told in 1st person by Charlie with the occasional chapter told in 3rd person by some of the other characters. I loved this, even if it threw me off at first. But I really got into Charlie's head, fell in love with her, got to see the whole world.  The plot was also completely unique and utterly addictive.  Fast-paced, twisty and unlike any dystopian I'd read before, I truly loved the story.  I just could not put it down! As for the ending... Well, I am most eagerly anticipating the next book! And by anticipating, I mean needing!
One ruthless queen, one queendom on the verge of war, one girl with a huge secret, a secret to protect at all costs... The Pledge was a book I loved, one I was sucked into from the word go.  A dystopian like no other.  I can't wait for the next in the series!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The Mortal Instruments by Cassanadra Clare
Partials by Dan Wells

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from Allison & Busby in exchange for an honest review


roro said...

tnx 4 review
love languages

Cliona said...

Amazing review!!!! I NEED this! I've seen a few good reviews for it lately but your one has just convinced me :)

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Roro: Ditto! Thanks! :)
Cliona: Thank you!! It's great - if you love dystopia, paranormal and historical you'll love this to pieces! Happy reading! :D

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really do not like that top cover, which has the girl's face at an odd angle IMO and which makes it seem almost more of a contemporary to me.

Saying that, I flew through this book because the writing was just so smooth and easy. I had to find out what was happening next and I can't wait for the next book!