Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
published by Del Ray Books
release date: February 14, 2017
genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
**e-galley received from netGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Summary (Goodreads): Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.
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?
My Thoughts: I didn't think I would like this book after the first few chapters due to all the different POVs. Ended up really enjoying the world the author created along and their stories. Unfortunately, the happy feelings and looking forward to book 2 ended with the last two pages. I'll start with the things I did like.
Luke, he started as a typical teenage boy doing typical teenage boy things. This ended quickly when he is separated from his family and sent to a factory slave town. Luke had the most evolution as a character and you could really believe he had become the person he was at the end of the book. All the decisions he made fit into his character, even when the outcome was not what he expected.
The Jardine brothers. Even as evil as they can seem, well at least one seems evil, one crazy, and one not like the others, I still liked them. I wanted to know more, especially about Silyen, crazy and powerful, definitely an interesting combination. Gavar seems to be more than what you see on the surface. His care for his child and even for Daisy in his own way. Granted it's only because she takes care of the baby but still it shows there is more there.
Bouda, she's another that I should hate (and mostly do) but I want to see what she does going forward. She clearly is willing to do anything that gives her more power including marrying Gavar and possibly being in league with his dad. I'm most interested in her mystery contact that seems to have info that is counter to everything that we learn in this book.
Abi, the character that ruined the whole book for me. It's necessarily her but where the author took her in the last two pages. Throughout the whole book Abi is kinda forgettable even as a main character. She's smart, book smart but too much of a fairytale daydreamer. She would think about the fact that she needed to find a way to get Luke out of the slave town and then 2 seconds later she would be dreaming about Jenner and how great it would be if they could only be together. This is pretty much how all her chapters go with some variation here or there but she never actually does anything. Then all of the sudden the story is over, the servant and master are in love and sharing a kiss, then Abi does something that is so far out of character that it made no sense to me. It literally ruined everything for me, I was so looking forward to reading book two and finding out what happens next. But if these last pages are an indication of where the author is going then I don't know if I'll be reading. Continuation is a big part of any series and it fell apart for this character in one book. With Luke it was easy to believe that he became the man he was at the end because of what happened to him throughout the book both in the slave town and when he ended up at the Jardine's. Abi on the other hand had no growth but suddenly we are supposed to believe she went from a smart daydreamer to a UF kick-ass heroine. It just doesn't fit. Most won't have a problem with this but for me it just didn't make sense.
I don't usually read preview chapters but if there are any released for book two (Tarnished City) I may give them a try to see where the author goes with the book and Abi's character. Something will have to happen to Abi and her sudden plans to make me want to read the whole book.
Rating: 4 based on the book as a whole and not the part that bothered me at the end.