Reviewed by Micky Barnard
This was a book with big aspirations but patchy execution. I thought I was getting into some kind of dystopia with ‘special skilled people’. On the one hand, that’s what I got, on the other it was much more than this, almost too much of many other things. This is a hugely political read, which I am not adverse to but it was inherently confusing due to an overly large cast of characters, many of similar importance; I didn’t know where to place my focus.
The start to the book is gentle (post-prologue), introducing a family who are about to do their ten years time in subservience. Hierarchy is the name of the game in GILDED CAGE and if you’re not skilled then you have to forfeit your rights as a person and serve the skilled for ten years in slavedays. This family were from Manchester and as a Mancunian myself, I was piqued at this facet to the book. Manchester had a slaveday town called Millsmoor and this was described as a dark, pre-industrial revolution kind of inhuman place; definitely a contrast to life outside.
Lots about this book interested me, the Equals (skilled) and their way of life. What I found was that almost all of the Equals in this book were obnoxious in one way or another. There was no upstairs/downstairs feel to the story, despite some suggestion of kind dispositions. Do not get me started on the sadomasochistic keeping of a man-dog.
Whilst this is the first book in a trilogy and there is much more to come, the story did not weave together for me at all. I don’t feel invested enough to continue with the rest of the series.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through netgalley in return for an honest review.
Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.