Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James

From Goodreads: 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. 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? 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. [There] is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate - or destroy?

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Gilded Cage by Vic James was the 2017 debut I was probably most excited about reading. The prologue did nothing to decrease my excitement either – with a slave trying to escape with her baby off an estate and then getting shot by her master (who also happens to be the baby’s father).

The premise is supposed to be simple: In an alternate Britain, the aristocrats are now people with Skill – known as Equals – and all those that lack Skill have to serve them for ten years as slaves before they can become full citizens. When you choose to serve is up to you, but you can’t own property, travel abroad or have certain jobs until you've completed your slavedays. Despite this, Luke and Abi’s parents appear to have their own house and jobs. Considering you’re pretty much allowed to do everything you want then without fulfilling your slavedays (e.g. go to university, marry, have kids, own assets, etc.), I’m not sure why everybody wouldn’t wait until they’re about to die before doing their slavedays.

Besides the confusing worldbuilding, there were quite a few POVs as well. This is something I normally avoid because I find that characters’ voices often blend together … and this was the case in Gilded Cage. It also didn’t help that the storyline kept jumping back and forth between Millmoor, a slavetown, and Kyneston, the estate of the founding family.

Finally, I never connected with the characters. Luke was basically a pawn, and I just wanted to slap Abi because for someone who was supposedly smart, she developed an instant crush on Jenner, whose family essentially owned her and her family. Moreover, Abi continued to lust after Jenner even after finding out that he witnessed her memories being tampered with and didn't tell her what happened!

A disappointing read, Gilded Cage was released by Del Ray Books in February 2017. 

Comments About the Cover: To me, the cover makes it seem like the story is set in the Victorian era, even though it isn’t.


  1. Not gonna lie, I'm totally down with that prologue. Ack multiple POVs are not my thing either but I'm really curious about this.

  2. I've seen this book all around the blogosphere last year as anticipated reads but it never grabbed my attention. I'm glad I decided to take a pass on it.

  3. I'm sorry this wasn't a great read for you - since you were hoping for me! It doesn't sound like a good fit for me too.

  4. It sucks this one didn't work for you. I am totally curious about it. It sounds pretty intriguing. I kind of like when a story is told through multiple POVs, but I agree, it's tricky to get them all to have their own unique voice. I am still a little curious about this one. Maybe someday.

  5. That is an interesting premise, but I totally hear you on the certain nonsensical parts of it. It's weird when the author and editor haven't entirely thought through the world building and there are holes like that.

  6. I agree with you on everything. I really struggled with the world-building, it was so confusing and it made no sense that people wouldn't wait until they were really old to do their slavedays. Plus the Abi and Jenner storyline made me roll my eyes so much. I'm glad to find someone who shares my thoughts on this, because I've seen so many positive reviews for this one!

  7. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this! I heard some not so great things about this so I've been putting off reading it and the story line seems quite generic too!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

  8. Bummer you didn't enjoy this one. It has a really interesting premise. But if you can't connect to the characters and it has confusing world building, it would be hard to like.

  9. I'm so sad to have heard from more than one place that this is disappointing to read :( It had such potential

  10. Amazing review! I'm glad that I read this review before I attempted to read it.

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor


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