Friday, February 24, 2012

Masterpiece Failure: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Just the Facts:

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

Addiction Level: I read it every waking moment.

Believe-ability: The setting was believable.

Dystopia Factor: The world is starting to disintegrate.


As a child I would spend a lot of my time with my neighbors doing really cool family-like-type things. One of those activities was creating Pysanky eggs. It is a cooler way to color Easter eggs than the traditional dying. It is a tedious process of applying color and wax to create designs and artwork. The final step is poking a small hole to release the egg innards and sealing it up with an ornament hanger. Once you are done you have a beautiful, delicate masterpiece.

The Pledge reminds me of Pysanky eggs. It is obvious that Derting took great care to construct her novel and the world it exists in. Her world consists of female tyrants, and she plays around with the strong/weak female stereotype. It leaves you wondering who is in control: the female or her circumstances.

I am not sure if a love triangle romance is a requirement for dystopian novels with female protagonists, but The Pledge did not leave it out. There are times when I suspended disbelief. Many more times than I am willing to admit. Heck, I spent three days reading it. Will they get together? Can they make it work? Will true love triumph over evil? Of course you’ll have to read to figure out which characters I am talking about.

There is something else I must remind you about Pysanky eggs. They are very fragile and should be handled with care. If someone had carelessly dropped my egg, no matter how flawed, when I was a kid, I would have been crushed. For me it would have been worse than dropping the last piece of Grandma’s precious china. It would have been the end of the world!

Derting did this with The Pledge. In an effort to tie up all the loose ends to have a happy ending, she did just that. The first book in a series should have a resolution but not a conclusion. She left one loose thread, but it is not enough to convince me to read book two. She took my egg and did the Mexican hat dance on it twice.

However, we do have options. 1) We can try to glue our Pysanky egg back together. 2) Fan fiction people can reconstruct the ending. 3) Walk away…far, far away.

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