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on 2 January 2016
After reading a variety of Young Adult Distopian Kindle ebooks (which appears to have its own section in Amazon now too), I was becoming a bit fed up with them. Often, they have a good concept which gets lost in annoying, headstrong, Mary-Sue like protagonists that are never, ever wrong and the plot gets lost in pages and pages of ill-thought out dialogue. That's all before the story comes to head too quickly and you feel completely let down, considering you've spent a good few hours wanting to know what's going to happen and battled your way through the sloppy writing to get there.

Okay, rant over. This book is quite the opposite of what I've written above. The writing in this book is very good. The protagonist, Charlie, has her flaws but I feel that this makes her a well rounded character. She can be annoying at times but you can understand her thought process and why she does what she does.

The other characters in the book are pretty good too but Charlie, considering she's still a teenager, is pretty self-focused for most part and not in a bad way. I was dying to know more about Max and the fantasy country they live in and the language-barriers within that country, and these curiosities of mine were answered slowly, which kept me reading.

However, I again feel a little let down by how quickly the novel came to a head. It was a little slow to start but everything starts moving pretty quickly and I finished the last 60% of this book in a few hours. As you're reading, you can quite easily guess what's going to happen but it doesn't take away from the book itself.

All in all, The Pledge is much better than a good few of these kind of ebooks on Amazon and very good for the price. It felt more like a real book rather than some of the strange self-published-through-Amazon books around, which was a major relief.

I really do recommend this if you're look for a quick yet exciting read.
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on 13 November 2011
The story kicks off right away as Kimberly Derting throws us into this dystopian world that she's created. There's a lot of mystery during the first few chapters, especially surrounding Charlie, and even after we find out exactly what is different about her there is still an immense amount of information to be discovered.

The plot is fast paced, and I couldn't get enough. There are plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming, and I was genuinely surprised about. I applaud Kimberly Derting for tricking me! I loved the adventure that Charlie was forced into, and meeting all of the new characters along the way was an added bonus, because I loved every single one of them. There was a particular scene that involved almost all the main characters, which included Charlie being attacked for being playful. And I found this hysterical, although I can't say why!

Charlie is the main protagonist, and I must say that I really enjoyed reading about her character. The story is told from her perspective for the most part, and I loved being inside her head. She had a lot of struggles going on in there, and while she didn't particularly have any flaws that stood out, she did have a lot of problems that made it fun to watch her pull through or fail.

The synopsis tells you that Max is the love interest in this book, so that's not a spoiler. If you're my friend on Goodreads then you may have read that Max annoyed me in the beginning. He came across as very controlling and a bit of a git. However, as Charlie got to know him more his character opened up and we got to see what he was really like. He reminded me a tiny bit of Damon Salvatore (TV version!) if any of you want a comparison.

Xander also deserves a special mention, because Xander is awesome. *hugs him tight and never lets go*

I'm sure most of you have probably read The Body Finder and its sequel, Desires of the Dead, because they're pretty popular books. For those of you that have, I don't think I need to tell you that Kimberly Derting has a fantastic writing style that just flows off the page as you read. For those of you who haven't read any books by Kimberly Derting, I just told you all that you need to know.

I will definitely be recommending this book to all of my blogger friends - after you've picked up my other recommendations, of course - as well as others. It's a great dystopian novel with great world building and back-story, with lots of action and surprises thrown in!
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on 6 April 2012
I like the idea of this book, the blurb was interesting and hooked me in and I was excited to start reading. The plot was good with plenty of twists and new ideas, this doesn't just rehash the genre. However, I just finished this book yesterday and already I've forgotton the main character's name, she wasn't that memborable and honestly I didn't like her that much. Maybe because I didn't feel like I knew much about her. The other characters were a little flat, Max was likeable enough and Xander was cool but no where near fleshed out enough for me. For a movement of resistance that was supposed to be huge we didn't see much of the 'rebels' etc; I wish we could have spent more time with them and really learned more about the state of the Queens reign and what she was doing. The book itself was very fast paced, and while good for adding momentum to the story I think it meant the author missed chances to add depth to the characters.
However, its not all bad I liked reading this book and would recommend 'The Pledge' if you want a quick read. It ended on such a sinster note and I look forward to a sequel to find out what happens next!
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on 4 March 2015
Intriguing and suspenseful, The Pledge is a fantastic story woven behind a realistic fantasy/dystopia setting.

Charliana lives in a world that is divided by the language they speak and judged by status – the lower and higher class. If the lower class ever looks a member of the higher class in the eye while speaking their own language, the penalty for this is death. As Charliana and her family try to keep under the radar and work to the best of their ability to help her families restaurant stay afloat. But Charliana is hiding a secret. Somehow she can decipher any language or text from any other class, when she’s only supposed to know her own class’s language. If anyone finds out her secret, she knows she will be in danger. So when she meets the mysterious Max who talks in a language she’s never heard before, her secret is nearly revealed, but what Charliana doesn’t know is that there is something much bigger going on and she and her family are in more danger than ever.

Why ‘o’ why did I not read The Pledge sooner? I seem to be wishing this more and more lately while I’m trying to tackle some of my own books rather around my review books. I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf since it first released – I remember one of my friends gifting it to me and me being so excited to read it and here I am like 3 years later JUST reading it. If you haven’t already guessed, yes I loved it. It was amazing and that was totally unexpected because I’ve read both of the first books of Kimberly Derting’s other series and yeah they were okay, but nothing like The Pledge. Nothing! I guess this is third times the charm right?

As I mentioned before The Pledge is a very intriguing read. From the moment I started it I didn’t want to put it down. Charlie’s world is dark and brutal and I immediately felt sorry for her. She has this gift that she can’t share with anyone other than family and being able to hear every different language, she had to be careful every minute of the day in case she slipped up. There is a lot of mystery to the story and surrounding Charlie and her family. It was pretty easy to see why the Queen wanted Charlie but then trying to discover how Max fit in to the story and who some of the other characters were and their reasoning’s, weren’t so easy. The story is full of suspense and there are so many good qualities to the story that makes it a truly enjoyable read.

So in all The Pledge is a totally awesome read and you must read it.
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on 28 April 2012
I did like this book very much; I like the world the author has created and the characters within it. Charlie is a very likeable character, her friends are very interesting, her parents are what parents should be and her little sister is so cute.

The world that it is set in is very clever. I am a big believer in knowledge being power and in this world that idea rings true. Charlie has a supernatural ability to understand all the languages she hears and in a world where the language you speak defines your class system that is a very powerful ability, but also an incredibly dangerous one as Charlie constantly risks her secret being exposed by understanding more than she should and not looking away when she is spoken to in a higher ranking language, which could mean a death sentence.

The ideals of this world were very interesting to me, it was like an extreme of our society, where you cannot ever escape the class you are born into and everyone knows exactly what class you are in by what you wear and how you speak. I also liked the idea that the women monarchs were the ones in control and men were seen as irrelevant. Obviously I would not want a society where women rule over men but it is interesting to see the roles reversed from our society (complain all you want the western world is still male dominated.)

I liked how Charlie acted around Max, she was not an insta-love girl, she even got plenty angry at him for lying to her and kept pushing him away; more worried about her friends and family then some strange boy interested in her, but I felt like Max was a very insta-love character and I didn't understand his need to protect her from the second he saw her.

I liked how the book switched from characters perspective, and not just the girl and her love interest but other important characters. It gave the book a more `this is an epic dystopian novel about a revolution ` feel rather than a `this is a novel about a girl falling in love with a guy while a war rages around them' I don't know why but the latter has never really appealed to me, I like romance, but I prefer characters to be involved in the war rather than their relationships be the driving force behind a war.

So in general I really liked this book, it is a young adult book which dips its toes in to the sci-fi/ dystopian/ fantasy genres and does it well. Although I do feel like it did it a bit fast and there could have been more time for some character development. The twist you find out about Charlie is not a particularly original one and I would have preferred it if the book had had another reasoning but whatever. This book is definitely worth a read; however I will say one thing and I hope I'm not alone in thinking this, why the bloody hell is It getting a sequel? I mean really. You don't need to make a trilogy just because everyone else is doing it. This would have been a great standalone book or even a book in a series about the world but not with the same characters all the time. But alas the trend of trilogies continues. At least there wasn't a love triangle.
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on 25 April 2012
I think I was expecting a dystopian story, but I'd say it's definitely more of a fantasy novel. The concept isn't that our own society has devolved into this environment, instead this is a YA fantasy story where each class has it's own language that cannot be understood by others. There's an ageing Queen with her own magic and other nearby Kingdoms vying to take over when she dies. It was actually quite a pleasant surprise to discover all the elements of a great fantasy book!.

I loved the concept - there's kind of a Tower of Babel thing going on. There's no actual reference to the Bible story, but that's the vibe I took from it. I can't think of any other novels that have used this idea and it intrigued me from the moment I read the synopsis last year.

Kimberley Derting is clearly a talented world-builder. The Kingdom of Ludania is wonderfully described, and its history is explained clearly to give us a thorough understanding of how the classes came to be divided in such a way. The troubles and disadvantages caused by such a decision are subtly worked into the narration, but they're obvious nevertheless. Nothing annoys me more than an attempted fantasy novel where little effort has been put into the world creation, but The Pledge succeeds spectacularly.

I do wish certain plot aspects had been explained quite as well though. For example, Charlie's history lessons tell us that each class has it's own language to avoid the threat of rebellion against the Queen - if they can't communicate, then they can't plot together. But then if there's been one central, universal language right from the beginning, that seems to defeat the purpose somewhat. Angelina's lack of speech was never explained either and that irritated me quite a lot too.

Explanation niggles aside, the plot is very fast-paced. There's not a lot of time to rest between action scenes, rebellion and fights and at times I was desperate to know what happened next. Characterisation is sacrificed a tiny bit to pull this off, but not to a great extent.

There's nothing particularly special about Charlie herself, other than her ability to understand all languages. She's not irritating, but not overly likeable either. I actually preferred her younger sister, Angelina. Xander deserves a mention however - he's by far my favourite character. As leader of the rebels, he's charismatic and energised and I loved his whole backstory and moral views.

I did notice that a lot of the characters weren't actually necessary to the plot. I was expecting a love triangle to build-up with two characters, but then it didn't happen, rendering one of the boys kind of redundant. It reads as though Ms Derting had actually planned to write it and then changed her mind. The romance that did happen isn't wonderful either - there is the most Instant of Insta-Love. You know, where the character just suddenly decide they love each other without any reason or explanation. When does this happen in the real world, when!?

Long story short, I really enjoyed The Pledge. There are a few faults, but these are mostly overshadowed by the unique premise and wonderful world-building. It has that amazing true fantasy atmosphere and it makes a nice change to read a novel that doesn't require a sequel to finish the story.
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on 26 January 2016
Kimberly Derting’s new dystopian novel ‘The Pledge’ was a very enjoyable book and a great start to what I think is promising new series. With a fascinating premise the story is set in the kingdom of Ludania, where the people are divided by social class, language and the Queens strict, suppressive laws – violation of which are punishable by death.

But seventeen-year old Charlaina (Charlie) has been breaking the laws her entire life. Unbeknown to anyone but her family, Charlie was born with the ability to understand and speak all the languages of Ludania. However as the lowly daughter of a vendor, she is only permitted to understand the language of the serving class and the universal common tongue of ‘Englasise’. It is a gift that could cost her her life.

But then Charlie meets Max, a handsome and mysterious soldier who not only knows her name, but speaks a language that she has never heard before. Moreover, he seems to suspect her secret and despite her better judgement, Charlie can’t seem to stay away from him, nor he from her. But Max has secrets of his own.
Now with country on the brink of war, the revolutionaries are rising up against the oppressive conditions set down by Ludania’s Queen, plotting to put an end to her long rule of tyranny – and Charlie finds there is more to her gift than she ever believed possible as to her dismay, she discovers that the future of her country may very well be in her hands…

So overall ‘The Pledge’ was a very well written book. Fast and smooth paced, it made for a quick and easy read and I have to say it, the UK cover is absolutely gorgeous! With a unique plot and some interesting (and often unforeseen) twists and turns it made an intriguing story, and it had a nice cast of characters. Also although it’s labelled dystopian, there are plenty of elements of fantasy, romance and fairy-tale like qualities threaded throughout the book, so even if dystopian isn’t your thing, I would reccomend giving this book a go.

Charlie herself is a great heroine. Cautious and clever, she does everything she can to hide her ability, quelling her rebelliousness and defiant thoughts so as not to draw attention to her or her family. Her protectiveness and compassion towards other people, particularly her younger sister, is also very moving and one of her best traits.

I also liked Max’s character, but I couldn’t help feel like the romance between him and Charlie was a little undercooked. I enjoyed their moments together but thought their falling in love was somewhat premature so I must admit, I hoping for a little more depth between them in the next book.
And as for the villain of the tale – the queen was superb and you really couldn’t help but hate her. She was just so evil and took real pleasure in killing others. From her opening scene at the beginning of the book, I was hooked.

So all in all Kimberly Derting has pieced together a really good story. Admittedly this is the first of her books that I have read but I wasn’t disappointed and I will definitely be checking out her other works real soon.

Also, with the threatening promise of sinister things to come – I look forward to the continuation of Charlie’s story in book two. Gripping, thought-provoking and imaginative, ‘The Pledge’ was a really enjoyable read!
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on 21 October 2014
Pledge tells the story of Charlaina, a 17 year old girl who lives in the violent, controlling country of ludania where the different social/economical classes are separated by the language they speak. Apart from the English which everyone speaks, all ludania residents only understand and speak to family and friends in their native class tongue, but charlaina is different she can understand all languages.
Having this extra gift has been a lifelong curse for charlaina as any sign of understanding another classes tongue is punishable by death.
Everyday Charlaina works in her families restaurant which has customers from all social classes. As charlaina can understand all the customer conversations she battles to bite her tongue when they make nasty remarks.
To let of steam one night charlaina goes to an underground club with her best friend, while there she meets a handsome boy named max, for the first time she hears a language she's unfamiliar with, who is this guy? And what is that la gnu age he spoke? These are the questions that start charlaina on her turbulent journey to save the people of ludania.
I really enjoyed the pledge, it was fast paced, edgy with a touch of romance. I enjoyed seeing each character develop and bonds cement throughout the story, there are even some friendships formed in unlikely places.
The story was well written and kept my attention throughout, for this I can't wait to continue the series.
I hope this review has helped you, can you please rate it positively if you liked it as it really means a lot to me, Many Thanks for reading:)
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on 18 May 2012
This is a great dystopian story! It's different to any other I've ever read and its written really really well.

What I really love about the Pledge is the way that the story reads very easily. Its complex yes but it doesn't seem so in the way that Kimberly tells it. She has created an opressive, scary world of classes and languages and royalty.

Our protagonist, Charlie is in the vendor class. She is only permitted to learn and speak the language of her class, plus the universal language Englaise. If someone from a class above yours speaks in the language of their own class then you must bow your head and not look them in the eye whilst they are speaking! The penalty for breaking this rule is death.

However, Charlie can understand ALL the languages. She does not know why but she and her parents have to keep this fact a secret or it would mean her execution. I found this really intreaguing. I enjoyed finding out the true reason for Charlie's gift and how it was all pieced together.

I also really love the characters in this story. Charlie is very relatable and likeable and her relationship with her family is very realistic. From being told off for swearing by her parents to going to night clubs with her best friend and meeting guys, I just found it all very refreshing in comparison to your usual YA heroin. And of course she meets a boy, Max. But he speaks a language she has never heard before and this is what originally draws her to him. But Max has his own problems and secrets and seeing small sections of the story from his POV really helped to bring together all the elements of the tale.

Another thing that impressed me about The Pledge was the way that it was not predictable. I kept coming up with theories in my head about what was going to happen and I was so sure that it was obvious but nothing I came up with was right! There are so many twists and turns that I only just managed to catch my breath before something else was sprung on me and I loved it!

All in all then a very good dystopian story indeed. There is even a small element of magic, something that you don't usually find in dystopian books and this just added to the uniqueness of this book! If you are a fan of dystopia then I suggest you pick this one up!
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on 26 April 2012
I wasn't sure what to expect from Kimberly Derting's The Pledge. The premise of it sounded absolutely fantastic, but I didn't know whether it'd be able to hold my attention - it sounded slightly confusing, what with the mish-mash of themes. There is a feel to this book that I haven't experienced with others and I found it difficult to categorise it. There are both dystopian and historical elements to this book as well as others and thankfully, they all worked together in a very interesting and compelling way.

The story is set in Ludania, a country which is divided by the different languages that the different classes speak. The country is overruled by a tyrannical Queen who has no hesitation to execute anyone who looks into the eye of someone who speaks a different language to their own. We soon discover that our main character, Charlaina (Charlie), has the ability to understand every language, which is deathly dangerous. Things start to get slightly confusing for Charlie when she meets two guys - Max and Xander. Max seems to know something about Charlie, and it's not just her ability to comprehend different languages. The story gets very addictive as things start to unravel and we get to learn more about Charlie, the Royalty and the society in general. The setting, plot and subplots were very inventive and enthralling.

All of the characters in this book were mysterious. Although the characters certainly weren't poorly developed, it was clear that we weren't getting the full picture which was very intriguing. I really liked Charlie - she wasn't overly confident, nor was she a pushover, she was just like an average teenage girl, but one with a secret. Her relationship with her family felt natural, despite it being strained due to her 'gift'. Angelina, Charlie's younger and mute sister, was certainly special - I adored her and her bond with Charlie. Angelina's development is something that I can't wait to see. I loved Charlie's best male friend too, Aron, and it's a shame we didn't get to hear that much from him, I'd love to see him developed more in the next books. I didn't, however, like her best girl friend, Brooklyn (Brook), all that much. I found Brook to be a little too out-there and she didn't seem very loyal - I certainly wouldn't want to be friends with her. I also found her transformation to be unrealistic, one of the weak points of the book. I did find the love interest, Max, to be a bit one-dimensional - the storyline seemed to take more of a lead than his character development, and perhaps his romance with Charlie was a little too fast. Both Max and Xander were fascinating though and so I'd love to find out more about them.

The Pledge has given me a great introduction to a very different setting and to some characters with great potential. This is the book by Kimberly Derting that I've read, but it certainly will not be the last! She has a fantastic imagination and I can't wait to delve deeper inside it with the next instalment of this series. This is a book that I'd recommend to anyone who likes young adult literature, regardless of whether you prefer historical, dystopian or other story lines - this series will hopefully appeal to most of you. I am really looking forward to seeing how this series will progress.
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