Author Kimberly Derting
Genre Young Adult, Dystopia, Urban Fantasy
My Average 40 pages a day
Reading Difficulty 2
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)
A pledge to the queen, to the country and to a young girl
In a futuristic, dystopian society where class is devised by language, one girl stands out above the rest. Charlaina knows the queen would have any person even pretending to understand the language of a higher class hanged, that is why she keeps her secret. Though seventeen-year old Charlie is borne of the merchant class, she has always been able to understand all of the languages, even those she is not permitted to learn. Her whole life, she has held her secret so close her best friend doesn't even know. Her parents would do anything to keep her secret, but when a strange boy, who speaks an even stranger language begins to follow Charlie her secret is almost exposed. As Charlie's attraction to this strange boy grows stronger, a routine drill becomes a real emergency and he sweeps her away into the safety below ground. The flood gates open for the underground resistant fighters and it seems that Charlie is a big part of their plans for freedom from the tyrant queen.
What I liked:
I really enjoyed the story line. A fantasy where only a select few people hold special powers, and the main character's power is the fluency of speech seems truly unique. A dystopian society where people are forced to learn only their class language and skill add's to the interest this book drew. Since I was young, I have always been interested in dystopian novels like A Brave New World or Nineteen-Eighty-Four (which are two of my favorite classic novels). There is something that really makes you reconsider your actions after reading futuristic novels where society has become repressed for their own good or for some other reason.
Though the novel starts off a little slow in the beginning, the action hits hard and fast after the turning point. I found myself reading until my eyes glossed over. As I quote from one of my favorite movies, "I have been weighed, I have been measured and I have been found wanting." When I was not reading, I found myself thinking about the book and when I reached the end, I thought about how the sequel would go.
What I didn't Like:
If you don't count the prologue - Which blew my socks off - the first part of the novel started a little slow. I couldn't find the main characters purpose in the novel until much further into the novel. There was also a lot of inner turmoil and thoughts that distracted from the plot. I found myself wanting to skip threw Charlie's thoughts to get to dialogue or action.
Some parts of the novel didn't add up, like the author just skimmed over the details in an attempt to get to the end of the novel. for example, there is a scene where the characters are in the underground layer of the rebel fighters. The part that confuses me is that many citizens are also hiding underground from the war above and somehow have no idea that there is an entire city right next to them.
Also, the POV gets a little confusing at time, it is all over the place from first person to third POV. I am a stickler for holding your POV constant throughout your novel. It confuses people to jump around like that. At least in this novel, the POV change happened at chapters, the title let you know who and even the type of POV, and didn't change back until a new chapter. Charlie's chapters were numbered and in first person while the Queen, Max and Xander had their chapters named after them and were in third person POV.
Lastly (and this had no affect on the grade scale), I despise hardback book covers. The cover art has nothing to do with it, I actually liked the cover art for this novel. I cant stand it when I'm reading and the book slips out from the cover. The cover always ends up on the floor, crumpled under the cat or in the trash. I usually avoid hardback books… or toss the cover immediately after the purchase.
About the Author
Kimberly Derting is also the author of the well loved Body Finder series. At an early age, she has been interested in publishing, and even stapled hand-made coloring books which she attempted to sell door to door. Derting now lives in the Northwest with her family. She credits the gloomy weather as well as her "mouthy" children as inspiration for her novels.
Stay Tuned for the next book