ARC Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James


*I read this in May-June 2017, I reviewed it then. I read it as an arc. As always, this is my honest opinion.

This was a strange one to read. One that made me think that maybe I shouldn’t read anymore Dystopians.


Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.
Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?
A boy dreams of revolution.
Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

It’s hard to review this because I started this and read 150 pages before Flame in the Mist came and I read that instead. So today I picked this back up and read the last 150 pages.

I didn’t really understand what was going on in the story. Like, there was a lot of information missing for me to get involved in the story. The Equals are gifted…but how are they gifted? Are they the same gifts? Exactly how do these powers work? Somethings became clearer as the story went on, but a lot was left out and it honestly made the story confusing.

Obviously, you do want to see slavery ended and a better balance established, but you only want it because you know it’s the right thing. None of the narratives were particularly interesting to me. I liked everyone decently enough, but I didn’t really get into their characters too well.

Everything was just so odd. The concept of slavedays was strange and it’s essentially thrown at you with no context. The plot didn’t seem to go anywhere quickly and I have so many questions that are unresolved, and quite frankly, no interest in reading the rest of the series.

It’s not an awful book, though at times it can be hard to follow what’s going on. But it’s not the kind of book that makes me feel all the things and keeps me turning the pages. Instead, it just left me detached from the story and waiting for it to be over.


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