Have you ever listened to the weather forecast, expected sunshine and wound up drenched while hiking? We want predictability in our lives, to a degree. It’s disappointing when you expect sunshine and get rain. There is one area of our lives where we absolutely do not want any predicability at all. Our reading lives. When a book is predictable it disappoints us.
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
Kimberly Derting created an interesting world and she described it so well that I could picture the setting. The characters were interesting and I felt sympathy for them. However, I anticipated every step of the plot. Clues and hints were so obvious that I didn’t hesitate to ‘predict’ what would happen.
The characters could have used more development. It seemed Derting feared to delve too deep into the minds and motivations of her creations. The possibilities for a fantastic story were there, but remained unexecuted.
While The Pledge is written well and created a unobjectionable diversion, it disappointed me on a deeper level.