categories: fiction, young-adult, dystopia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Warning: Spoilers? I personally don’t think I’ve spilled anything but please proceed at your own risk haha.
I’ve just finished Gilded Cage by Vic James and I think it is an okay story. Apparently, it’s a whole series and I have yet to read the other books online. The characters and what they do are quite generic in a regular dystopian world where there’s got to be a cruel authority (that happens to acquire magical powers of course), good guys turned fugitives, an uprising from the lowest of social class, a forbidden couple (each from different sides of the war; the girl is obviously at the lower hand) and a cunning, mysterious and brilliant younger brother of the antagonist family (you know what I’m saying).
Reminds me of The Lunar Chronicles and Red Queen series.
Things I liked:
1) Plot twists:
The number of plot twists towards the end is exciting. When I think one surprise couldn’t be one-upped, there’s another jaw-dropping one. I applaud James for his creativity when coming up with those while not wrapping the first book up with utter nonsense.
2) Humour: It’s not a comedy story, don’t worry it’s very dramatic and all that, but some parts of the author’s writing did make me laugh. Not nearly as funny as Rick Riordon but enough for me to acknowledge in this review.
Speaking of nonsense, there are some things that didn’t make sense to me:
1) The normal lives that is in stark contrast with the supposedly dystopian world co-existing together: This is so weird bcs how could normal people living normal lives are okay with this?? Like oh 10 years of slavery no big deal (there were mentions of locals going loco and splurged all their money into bankruptcy right before serving their “quick 10 years” but it’s like the majority have come to terms with it. The author wrote that you’re not a real citizen unless you did your slave days but I -and Luke, protagonist boy- hardly agree with being allowed international travel in exchange of 10 freaking years of unpaid labour. Not to mention the possibility of death is very high.
2) Unless it’s my incompetent thought-processing skills, the information on back stories and recounts were kind of a mess in the first half of the book. I was like “wait what why” in almost every chapter. But I guess this is what authors do to readers for the everything-is-coming-together-in-the-end effect.
3) Technology: isn’t this supposed to be set in the future or something? Humans have evolved and yet I don’t see any significance in tech development in the normal side of the world at least. But how do the aristocrats communicate among themselves? All that free labour for what?
4) When I said they’re cruel, they’re really cruel.
I guess that’s all that I can babble about for now. Despite my nonsense list having more bullets and words than the list before, I do like the book. If it were on the scale of 1-10, I’d give a solid 8. Will defo read the second one soon 🙂
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