Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: 'The Pledge' by Kimberly Derting

In Charlie's world every person's fate is determined by the class they are born into and constrained by language they are allowed to speak.  Meeting the gaze of a person who outranks you while they speak the tongue of their class is an crime punishable by public execution.  Acknowledging that you understand a language other than that of your class will get you killed.  Which is a problem for Charlie: she has never encountered a language she doesn't understand.  This secret defines her existence, the looming threat of discovery a shadow over her family.  But when Charlie meets a mysterious boy who speaks a language she has never heard before the fragile strands of her secret begin to come unwound leading to a destiny she could never have imagined.

The world of The Pledge comes alive from the first page, leaping into the conciousness of the reader and enveloping in the constant fear of life under tyrannical rule.  Personal freedoms are few in this place and civil unrest is brewing beyond the city's walls, threatening the power of an aging but still powerful queen.  A queen who will do everything in her power to maintian her place.  Derting has creating characters with foibles, backgrounds and motivations that are rich and textured.  Her characters come to life, dragging the reader through the pages long after she should have put the book down for the night.  Recomended for readers who enjoy dystopian fiction.

Discussion points:
  • Class division
  • Civil disobedience
Recommended for Readers of:
Suzanne Collins
Veronica Roth
Lauren Oliver
James Dashner