My breath is my pledge to obey the laws of my country.
My breath is my pledge to respect my superiors.
My breath is my pledge to contribute to the progress of my class.
My breath is my pledge to report all who would do harm to my queen and country,
As I breathe, I pledge.I love it when a book comes along that really excites you and then even better, does not disappoint. I’m talking about the kind of book where you only mean to read the first chapter before going to bed and then find yourself stumbling into bed a couple of hours later, the kind of book you take to work with you in case you get a quiet moment, the kind of book you start reading as soon as you get home, forsaking all chores AND dinner because you simply cannot .put. it. down. And there you have it; I’ve just described The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, a dystopian novel set for release this November. I was extremely lucky to be able to read this early thanks to a very kind fellow book blogger who let me borrow the book. This is my first foray into Derting’s writing and I have to say that I am impressed. The main concept of the novel was genius, GENIUS I tell you and really appealed to my love of languages and words. Here’s the synopsis:
“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 loved this book. A lot. I would basically describe it as a dystopian fantasy for young adults that will appeal quite nicely to the crossover market. The plot was wonderful and there were a couple of “open mouthed” moments in the book, times when I was caught by surprise by sudden revelations and I still love when a book can do that as with movies for example, there are only a select few that I don’t guess what’s going to happen next.
The characters were brought to life really well and I loved how fiercely protective Charlaina is over her younger sister. Everyone is hiding secrets because the punishment for any wrongdoing it would seem is death, always death. The queen is one of the most evil, unmerciful characters I’ve seen in a long time and she is once scary mofo let me tell you. Thank god for Max who provides the necessary swoon in this book. He’s a mysterious, confident, strong and yet gentle military figure who becomes interested in Charlaina when they meet in an underground club. YOU KNOW he’s already been added to my list of literary boyfriends.
There’s twists and turns in this book that you may not be able to see coming right away and I think the ending concludes the current situation quite nicely whilst still leaving the possibilities open for further books and I for one am hoping for a sequel. I can’t tell you how much I adore this book and as if you needed any other proof, I’ve already hit the pre order button. Do yourself a favour and do the same as you’re not going to want to miss out.
The Pledge is published on 15th November, 2011. To find out more about Kimberly Derting and her books, please click here to visit her website. She is also active on Facebook and Twitter.