Book Summery (Via Goodreads): 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.
Wow. Well first of all, I can't believe how many low reviews I've read of this book. I was pleasantly surprised at the complexity of the world building. For some reason, I was expecting this novel to take place in the Czech Republic or Austria or Bulgaria or some such place. I loved the fictional setting that Derting created. She did a fabulous job of creating the setting of the story. I noticed that several people complained that they couldn't connect with the characters. I didn't seem to have this problem. I connected easily to Charlie. It was nice to see a strong female protagonist who knew her limits...she wasn't an unstoppable, martial arts expert, but she had a strong moral sense of right and wrong and did the best she could, as her circumstances allowed. Charlie's unwavering love and compassion for her sister is what really made me fall in love with her. I really, really enjoyed Max's character. I want to learn more about him and Xander in the following books. Sure, there were some predictable areas in the plot, and Charlie's resistance to Max was a bit odd at times, but those were such minor issues. Overall, I enjoyed this book from page one and can not wait for the next two books to be released!
“I loved voices, I always had. Words held meaning, but voices held emotion.”
Cover Art Commentary:
I really love this cover. It's dark and mysterious. I love the word "pledge" is displayed two different ways. Not your everyday YA cover (which is a good thing)! :)