Okay, I am TRYING to get back on track with blogging (still a bit buried, so emphasis on TRYING) but I'm so glad I was able to find time to fit in Bookanista Review this week. Especially since I get feature a new book by the ever-fabulous Kimberly Derting. THE PLEDGE.
Here's how the publisher describes the story:
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….
If you don't already know, Kim is also the author of THE BODY FINDER and DESIRES OF THE DEAD--two books I absolutely love. She's a complete master of suspense--and oh mans can she create romantic chemistry. Love, love, LOVE her writing. So of course I was super excited to get my hands on an ARC of THE PLEDGE.
But I'll confess, I was also a tad nervous. THE PLEDGE is a new direction for Kim. A Dystopian direction. And--as I'm pretty sure you're all aware by now--I'm a bit Dystopian-ed out and a tad curmudgeon-y about them at the moment. So basically I started reading this book WANTING to like it, but worrying that I wouldn't.
Thankfully, my worries were COMPLETELY unfounded!
THE PLEDGE puts a VERY refreshing new twist on the genre. Yes, we have an oppressive Dystopian society and a character struggling against it--but we also have medieval elements to the culture and a hint of magic (specifically the power of words and language). Even better, we do NOT have to try and visualize all kinds of high tech gadgets and innovations. Better still, we have a character who is actually super-determined NOT to stand out/break the rules and is basically forced into the situation, rather than the character who is tired of the oppression and decides to rebel scenario that--to me--is starting to feel a *tad* overused in dystopian novel after dystopian novel.
(Though of course I have read--and LOVED--several Dystopain novels that have those elements so I am not knocking them per se. I'm just pointing out that it's refreshing to have something DIFFERENT.)
AND--because this is Kim--we also have a heckofa steamy love interest to root for and plenty of OMG WOULD YOU JUST KISS ALREADY--I'M DYING HERE!!!! moments.
I don't think I can say much more without giving anything away. So I'll just add that the PLEDGE is compulsively readable (I had a VERY hard time putting it down--and only surrendered because my horrible jet lag demanded it) and I highly recommend you give it a chance. Even better? You don't have to wait! THE PLEDGE came out on Tuesday and is available NOW!
But, since I realize not everyone's budget has room for a new book in it, I'm also giving away a copy today. To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, November 26th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, November 27th. International entries welcome.
For more fabulous book recommendations, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are talking about: