The Pledge is a different kind of dystopia and certainly not the type I'm accustomed to reading. Set sometime in the future, long gone are the days of democracy and back is the monarchy. Queens, not Kings, rule and classes are determined by the language you speak. A person like Charlie, the main character and someone who grew up poor in Ludania, is not supposed to be able to understand any other language but Parshon (the language of the working/merchant class) or Englaise (the universal language). The problem is that Charlie is able to understand every single word in every single language she's ever heard, including the mysterious language that Max, a boy she met at a club, speaks. This mysterious language holds the key to Charlie's past and even her future.
This book, although interesting and entertaining, had me confused half the time. I couldn't grasp the concept of why a person wouldn't be able to learn a language with time. Even if they were not allowed to speak it, wouldn't a person, after hearing it their whole lives from other people, at least be able to understand it? Maybe it was just the fact that I grew up listening to different languages that sort of made this personal for me, and unable to understand how this can actually happen. Then again, this novel has a magical element to it and maybe the language barrier is one of those things controlled by the magic of the Queen, but that's just me trying to rationalize it.
Other than the language issue, I felt that everything else going on in the story was very well written and well put together. The characters are intriguing and the plot kept me interested. Even though I was confused, I kept going because I really wanted to understand, and I really wanted to know how the story was going to end. The writing was also very descriptive. I could imagine exactly how Charlie and Max looked, and I even had a vague idea of the beauty of her friend Brooklyn, and the large size of Xander's stature. I also could feel the fear towards the evil Queen and how she manipulated her kingdom. I give this book 3 stars and recommend it for anyone looking for a different type of dystopia and a quick, action-packed, read.
(Originally reviewed at JJiReads.blogspot.com)