This is for all you considering reading The Pledge:
Do you want:
1. a) A thrilling story that grips you from page one?
b) A story that first after 150 pages begins to get interesting?
2. a) Dystopian novel placed in a world with complex history for dividing the citizens into castes?
b) Dystopian novel where background and history for the regime is loose and unsatisfying?
3. a) Plot twists that leaves you hyperventilate from the surprise?
b) Plot twists that makes you go, Oh, that's cute. Better luck next time.
4. a) A kick-ass heroine that can make decisions on her own?
b) A girl ignorant to everything around her, unable to make coherent thoughts as a guy she met two days ago touches her hand?
5. a) A beautiful love story, with emotional background for the feelings on both ends?
b) An insta love never explained to why either part finds the other even remotely interesting?
Got most b's? Then you should definitely go for The Pledge right away!
This is my first Kimberly Derting book, as I haven't read her other series The Body Finder that some of my friends have said to be great. However, The Pledge did not impress me at all, even with the premise being intriguing and unique from what I've read so far.
Despite this, the first half of the book is drawn out, and it takes more than half the book to get to the point and here I'd already begun to loose most of my interest in both characters and plot. The first half is all about... barely anything. Charlaina goes to school and introduces us to the current world of rebellion towards the queen, and also the castes. Except for this, it's also about not being sure about this strange guy, Max, who may or may not be someone to be cautious for.
At the point when things begin to get interesting, when Charlie is introduced to the rebellion and such, most of the plot is too predictable to draw me back into the story. Poor character development is also one big reason for the boredom that is The Pledge. No character is described to get any bigger, deeper, or more complex backstory; thus a lack of connection between the reader and the characters.
The world building is at first interesting, but it needed to be executed better. The history for why the castes were initiated is loose, and unsatisfying by it being a little too easy. It works, but for a dystopian novel, I expected much, much more than just a few paragraphs explaining earlier rebellions and the chaos it left the world in. For such a drastic change I would want more information this. I don't like my books easy, especially not dystopian novels, which almost always relies on world building and in extent, history.
Also, for a dystopian novel, it leans towards fantasy a lot. As every country is always ruled by a queen because of their royal blood and special powers, there is magic involved in the story. I could have been fine with this, but as the history behind the royals and their magic is never even mentioned, I didn't appreciate it in this setting. That, and the fact that the countries are always ruled by a queen, never a male descendant, are two topics never indulged in even the slightest. Perhaps this will be more explored in the other books in this series. I might read the next book to see if it gets more interesting, but it won't be for a while.