I read this book back in 2012 and never got around to reading the sequel (mostly because it wasn't at the library). I now have the sequel available, so it was time for a reread. While I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first time, I did like this dystopian.
Charlie lives in a world where each class system speaks a different language and there are many rules and regulation involving class and even looking at someone while they are speaking their class language. The issue is that Charlie has developed an ability to understand every language, an ability she much keep hidden. Charlie ends up meeting a boy named Max, who has his own secrets. It is them that Charlie begins to wonder what secrets is everyone hiding--Max, the queen, her parents--and what does it all have to do with her.
What I find very interesting about this book was the unique world. Not only does this take place in a completely different world and a dystopian-esque society, but the take on the language was something that I have never seen before in a dystopian novel and loved the take on it. Sadly, this book did feel like most dystopian and fantasy novels in the way it was formatting, but I still enjoyed reading it and I did like it. There's nothing wrong with it really, I've just read so many YA books that I can detect the similarities.
I think my main issues lie with Charlie and how quickly things seemed to go, or how quickly she seemed to trust others. Especially Max. There was a very short interaction with Max in the club and then Charlie wouldn't stop thinking about him. I really thought that was really quick, as they hardly said anything at all to each other.
I know I'm saying more I disliked than liked, but I really did enjoy reading this book. For the most part, this book is your run-of-the-mill dystopian with fantasy elements thrown in and a very fascinating premise. Again, not that that's a bad thing. I really did like this book and I recommend this to fans of both dystopian and fantasy, as well as fans of Kimberly Derting. Also, I plan on continuing the series. In fact, I've already read The Essence!
I had never heard of this series before, so I had no idea what I was getting into. I was pleasantly surprised though. Here is a short run down of what I enjoyed the most:
1. The magic. There was a slight magical element that I was not expecting. The idea of a long-lost royal line that has been in hiding was intriguing. Add in that the daughters of the royal heirs have secret abilities, and the interest factor jumps. I would be crazy if I didn't mention the freaky Queen. She had some sick abilities that made my skin crawl!
2. The characters. Charlie was a pretty resourceful gal. I enjoyed her cleverness. Her friends, eh. Some of them did not have large enough roles, and others hard too much presence. Max was also a delight. He was mysterious and brooding. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Charlie in Max as the series progresses.
3. The story telling. The pages flew by as I read. This was an easy read, but it didn't come across as being an amateur read. It was fun. A perfect light, enjoyable read. It's one of those books that you can just get lost in.
Overall, I enjoyed The Pledge. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and a series I will continue to read.
There’s a certain allure to The Pledge that kept me reading till the end. I had to reach that last page. There was a huge lag in the beginning, and it took me a few weeks to actually comb through the book, but I finished it because some part of me was sucked into the story.
The dystopian world was riddled with terrors (hangings!) and a power struggle for the queendom. I particularly liked how the society was set as a queendom rather than the kingdom that we all know and usually see. The gender reversal was pretty refreshing and very interesting to read. Social classes are divided by languages, which I found very clever. The execution of this great world fell flat for me. I had a hard time understanding whether the society was a regressive one (no technology) or a futuristic one. At times the description said that the Vendor class is not allowed electric lights or motorized cars. But then the Royals, who use more technology, prefer wielding archaic weapons rather than guns? The confusion actually made it hard to picture the world. The term “marketplace” was thrown out a lot, so I pictured everything like a Camelot set with no paved roads. I’m not sure that’s how the book was intended to be read.
Then we have Charlie Hart, who I actually adored, especially her relationship with Angelina, her little sister. Charlie never grated on me. She was simply a good, strong character, which is one reason why I kept reading. Though, I wasn’t sure why she liked Max. It seemed like that attraction came from leftfield. For the most part I was drawn to Max, but I was very confused about his position in the Royal court. It never really got cleared up as to why he stayed under the power of the queen.
The whole book is based off the resistance versus the current queen’s rule. I had a hard time trusting the resistance. I’m not sure that was the correct way to look at it either. But I was rooting for the evil queen, which was slightly disturbing on my part. Not until a little twist came out about the queen did I take a step back. Overall, I didn’t know which side I was supposed to like because neither had a true appeal. In a dystopian society, that reaction is probably pretty realistic. Overall, it was an engaging book and could be sped through once you get into it. I give it 3 stars and would suggest it for those who really, really love dystopian novels like The Handmaid’s Tale with dark, troubling societies.