Monday, April 30, 2012

The Pledge

By Kimberly Derting
323 pages
In Charlie’s world, people are divided by class.  Each class has its own unique language, and if someone makes eye contact with someone of a higher class while they are speaking their language, the punishment is death.  Control is the name of the game, the queen is desperate to keep her citizens in check and keep a tight grip on her throne.  Charlie is in danger every day, because for some reason, she was born understanding all languages.  She manages to keep a low profile and has learned to navigate her world well.  But things are changing, there is massive unrest and the rules are becoming stricter.  Even more disturbing, two strange men have both seemed to take an interest in Charlie, and she is not sure what that means.  What she discovers about her world and her identity will change her life forever.
I am torn with this book.  First, the good: This has a very intriguing concept.  The structure of the country and the control the monarch has over the subjects with language is gripping.  Charlie’s power and the truth about her identity also grabbed my attention.  But overall, the book fell a bit short.  I very much wanted to know more about the world Charlie lives in.  How did the current situation come to be?  Why is the queen so evil?  How does the magic come in to play?  Derting really didn’t delve in to any of that.  The romance was a bit distracting too, aside from being unbelievable (the guy is a bit stalkerish versus romantic) once that romance started to play out it was as though the rest of the storytelling stopped and the story focused primarily on that.  It was hard to truly sympathize with the characters too, I just didn’t feel like I understood them.  I didn’t dislike the book, but I was disappointed that such a great idea wasn’t supported throughout the entire story.

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