The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads: 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….
My take: This is a dystopia that begins with a queen transferring her soul into a female heir which caught my attention quickly. Interesting.
Years later we meet Charlie, the nondescript protagonist that has secret gifts like understanding all the languages which separates the classes. We also meet her sister, Angelina, who doesn't speak but has gifts of her own. We are quickly introduced to Aron and Brook, Charlie's best friends and Sydney, an enemy. Hurry, quick, here are Charlie's parents. 'Nuff said.
Now enter Handsome Mystery Man who makes Kimberly's thoughts unchaste and chemistry abound. Enter another Mystery Man who seems quite intense and has an agenda. But bad timing for romance, there's a war going on and the Queen is a big, old Meanie.
There are some interesting twists and turns, good fight scenes, solid storyline, and the beginnings of character development. I guess that's really where I wanted more. Max's pledge to Charlie is sweet and all, but a little unrealistic that they are suddenly in love for all of their chance meetings and short interactions. Sweet kiss scenes but why is he so smitten by her? Why is she so smitten by him except that he makes her skin tingle?
I would have liked more character development. Fortunately, I found nothing to dislike about the book, the story, or the characters and it looks like it's going to be a trilogy. This book was fast paced and action packed and the ending had better be hinting there is another book in the works because it was EXCELLENT. My only gripe is that I want to know the characters better.
So I'm not finished reading Derting's work. Oh, no. I'm not.