Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
By Vic James
Genre: Science Fiction/Alternate Universe/Fantasy
Expected Publication: February 14, 2017
Bang Bang Rating: 3/4
In this contemporary alternate universe London, all citizens who are not an Equal (wealthy, influential, magical) are required by law to participate in slavedays-serving ten years as a slave.
Abi Hadley was able to get her parents, her seventeen year old brother, and her ten year old sister to complete their slavedays at the house of one of the most wealthiest families in London, the Jardines. Although two of the Jardine boys are powerful and mean, the third brother is kind and has caught the eye of Abi. While servitude in the Jardine house is peaceful, there’s an uprising in one of the slave towns and the Jardine’s and the other wealthy families who make the laws will do anything to keep slavedays law.
Gilded Cage is an allegory to what our world could have looked like if slavery had not been abolished. In this book, the lawmakers are Skilled and have immense magical powers and although our lawmakers do not posses magic; they still posses the power to oppress. The powerful ones on the outside think slavedays are not that bad because the slaves have jobs and are fed so therefore life is good for them until someone sheds light on reality-hunger, police brutality, and sloven conditions. Similar to the start of the Civil Rights Movement where the North witnessed the fire hoses on TV, people began to take action to end slavery and this where Gilded Cage begins.
In addition to the politics, there are feminist themes and themes of unconditional love. Wonderful character development considering there are a lot of characters and James has created an interesting world. Gilded Cage was thrilling and exciting and I can’t wait to see what happens in book two.
My only issue was the family tree. The Parva-Jardine family is quite extensive and confusing so a glossary or a simple family tree would be a helpful addition to the final book.