Series Review: The Pledge Trilogy by Kimberly Derting

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite reads of 2012 (The Pledge)
Series: The Pledge Trilogy
Author: Kimberly Derting
# of Books: 3 (The Pledge, The Essence, The Offering)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Point of View: Multiple POV (combination of First Person and Third Person)


I read Kimberely Derting’s Body Finder series and when I was creeping her website to find out when the 3rd book of that series was going to be released, I came across her announcement for this new series. It sounded really interesting and at the time I was just getting into dystopian fiction so I was intrigued. I find it ironic that I kept up with this series more than the Body Finder series (I have yet to read the 3rd book :P) because I like it so much more than the Body Finder series.

I read The Pledge in a day: I just couldn’t put it down! It drew me in and kept me there. I was reading it between classes, holding it while I ate and using every spare moment I had to read it. I’m not sure what it was exactly that kept me there: it’s hard to name just one thing so I’ll create a list of sorts…

1) I really liked Charlie. While she isn’t the strongest or bravest heroine ever (and I could see how some people might find her annoying because she is very pliable) I just liked her character. It was a nice change to have a heroine of a dystopian novel who wasn’t a natural born rebel but one who really develops into it.

2) Overall, I just found the novel to be refreshing. The segregation based on languages is really simple when you think about it, but it’s super different from the other ways people are split up in other novels (ex. abilities, resources, money, etc).

3) The magic element is really cool. It adds another dimension to it all that keeps the story interesting–especially in The Essence.

4) Max and Charlie have great chemistry–which is probably why I read The Pledge so quickly when I think about it: because I loved every seen they had together! Their romance doesn’t dominate the story but is present enough to keep romance reads happy and nonromance readers interested in still reading the book.

5) The plot twists are great! As I said, the magic elements help keep the story interesting. I found with The Essence I would think something was going to happen one way and it would happen another way. These books always keep me on my toes.

I will admit that The Essence took me a lot longer to read. I mostly blame my hectic life which caused me not to read as much overall as I wanted this past fall; but I had to take this book out twice from the library to read it. It’s not the book’s fault though. Although it started a little slow, it really picks up and I was very satisfied with this sequel!

I recommend that you read these books as close together as possible. While the major plot points of each book wrap up within their respective novels, I found it hard to keep track of everyone and the little twists that happen in The Pledge because I read it the day it came out nearly two years prior. I actually decided to reread it before I read The Essence I am glad that I did because I was able to enjoy it a lot more and remember the little cliff-hangers that were left unresolved.

UPDATED (May 11/14): Like the inaugural book of this trilogy, I read the final novel, The Offering, in a day. Compared to the rest of the series, I found this book to be the slowest. There isn’t much else going on plot-wise so it feels slower. But, the last third of the book moves super quickly and is very captivating. Overall, I am very satisfied with how this series ended even though The Offering didn’t particular “wow” me. Still, this series is definitely worth the read because all the novels are great in their own way and The Offering wraps up everything from the previous novels very well.


If you want to read a dystopian series that isn’t solely focused on fighting or one that features a touch of magic, try this series out! It has a very different feel from other dystopian novels out in the Young Adult genre. With a dash of romance, science fiction and magic, this series is a refreshing read!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy #1) and Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (Mystic City Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for The Pledge (from 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

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