Google+ Reading Teen: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting: Book Review

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting: Book Review

Title:  The Pledge
Author:  Kimberly Derting
Series:  Book 1 in a trilogy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry BooksPublication Date:  November 15, 2011
Source:  The Library
Buy the Book:  Hardcover | Kindle

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….
At a Glance:

The Pledge had a very interesting and original concept, and I enjoyed the story, but for me, there was something missing.  I found much of it predictable and lacking in that believability you still have to have even in fantasy.


I am a huge fan of Kimberly Derting, and of her Body Finder books, so I was really looking forward to reading The Pledge.  I've been on the waiting list at the library for awhile for this one, and dropped my TBR pile when it was finally my turn.  I have to say that I was a little disappointed.  It just didn't click with me the way her other books have.  I'm not comparing it to the other series at all, I'm actually glad that it had a completely different feel to it, and I did enjoy it, but there were just a few of things that just didn't work for me.

I liked the setting quite a lot, but I never truly had a grasp on exactly when/where it was supposed to be.  It was a mix of past, present, future, fantasy and dystopia, which is great, though I didn't know if it was set in our future, or if it was an alternate universe, present time.  The times it talked about the past, it always mentioned a past that didn't exist in our world.  If it was set in our future, it just didn't seem like they had progressed from our time period at all.  I just wish this had been a little more clear.

I loved the feel of the book.  It was a lot different from other books that I've read.  It was such an original concept.  There were things in the story that I just couldn't swallow, though.  Like how rude Charlie was to Max.  Someone please explain to me what on earth he saw in her, because she was never anything but witchy to him.  Was she PMSing or what?  Yet, somehow, he totally fell for her.  Which, I have to say I'm glad for because Max was very much YES.  Also, NO love triangle, so that was a definite plus.  I kept expecting one, like it was just lurking around the corner.....would it be Xander?  Aron?  But, thankfully, no!  Just Max, *sigh.*

The other things I couldn't quite buy into were, first, Charlie's parents.  They had to be about the stupidest people on the planet.  There were times when there were threats, possible invasions or bombs, and her parents would send Charlie off with her sister, while they stayed home.   They said it was to protect her, but that makes zero sense.  How would them sitting in their house like bad-guy-bait protect Charlie at all?  Dumb.  They made me really mad.  Then there was Charlie's friend.  Let's call her Candy (to protect the innocent....).  There's something that happens with Candy later in the book that I just couldn't buy into.  I can't really go into details without giving away major spoilerishness, but, for me, it wasn't believable.  Then there was the predictability of the plot.  I just felt like I saw everything coming a mile away (well....except Candy's part).

Overall, I'd say that this book had a LOT of potential, and I did enjoy it, but it just lacked a little something for me.  I feel like every point could have been explored deeper, the setting, the characters, the special powers only the queens have, the lack of respect for males, the countries they're supposed to be at war with.  I feel like there was so much going on, but none of it was really explored.  I guess maybe that's why there are going to be sequels.  However, I did feel like this book was wrapped up really well.  I seriously loved the ending, it was great!  It could easily be a stand-alone, and one of my favorite parts was how cryptic the epilogue was.

Want a different take?  Check out Mundie Moms review!

Book Doppelgangers:  

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (loved), Cinder by Merissa Meyer, The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

  • Sexual Content: Moderate*
  • Profanity: Mild
  • Violence: Moderate
  • Other Notables: Underage drinking, clubbing, a stamp at a club has some kind of drug in it that loosens people up and lowers inhibitions. 
For more details, check out The Pledge on


  1. When this book came out I was really excited about it too. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I liked it, and I will read the next book, but I was a bit disappointed.

    1. Yeah, that's exactly how I felt. I haven't decided if I'll read the second yet. It probably depends on what other books I have at the time, or what reviews are saying about it. I'm sad because The Body Finder was one of my favorite books!

  2. I was also really excited about this book, but when I started it I really didn't find myself liking it, though I really wanted to. I'm glad I didn't read the rest. Thanks for the review! :)


    1. I know! That was me! I really WANTED to like it SO much. But it ended up just being ok (for me).

  3. Oh no - I've been looking forward to this one. The plot just seems really compelling. Disappointing to hear that it's not so well executed.

    1. I know! I'd been wanting to read this one for SO long! And it seems perfect for me, Dystopia and Fantasy are my absolute favorites, but it just didn't live up to my hopes, sadly. Who knows, though, you may love it. I'd suggest checking it out from the library! :D

  4. I didn't see a lot of rave reviews about it so I didn't rush out to get it. But The Last Echo is already on my auto buy from Amazon! Love that series!!
    Great review explaining why you didn't like it.


    1. Thanks, Heather! I've heard mixed things. Nobody seemed to hate it, though. People seem to either love it, or feel just ok about it.

  5. The characters in this just did not work for me; however I ate up the writing and sped through the story so that was a plus. But it's definitely not an awesome read in my mind.

    1. Yeah, I just couldn't connect with the characters either!


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