Tarnished City

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

WHY DID I LISTEN TO TARNISHED CITY BY VIC JAMES?
Tarnished City by Vic James is a book that I ABSOLUTELY had to listen to. This book is the sequel to Gilded Cage. With the way that Gilded Cage ends, there’s no way I am not continuing. And so, as I said I above, I immediately put a hold on this audiobook at the library. I could have read a physical copy, either as an eARC or a Hardcover. I just wanted to continue reading in the same format that I had already become accustomed to, however. Now I am ready for book three to see how everything plays out and ends for the Dark Gifts trilogy.

WHAT’S THE STORY HERE?
Okay, so, Tarnished City takes the dark nice of Gilded Cage and brings it up a...

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Tarnished City is an outstanding sequel to Gilded Cage. The story is darker and even more exciting. The stakes are high. This is a hard one to get into the plot for fear of spoiling the series, but just know it holds up. The series gets better from here. It is fast-paced and unputdownable. Highly recommended!
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This is the second book in Vic James Dark Gifts exciting trilogy. It picks up where we left off . Luke is now a prisoner , Abi is on the run . I will say you need to read the first book to get the whole story for these characters . The story takes place in Britain where the world is governed by Equals upper Gentry with magical skills. If you are an ordinary citizen you have to be a slave for 10 years . The characters are so intriguing and the book is so well written you become enthralled with the story. You will be angry and sad at some injustices . All in all this a thrilling series and I cannot wait for the third
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I struggled through Gilded Cage because I found it to be an intriguing but very bleak read. This second volume in the series was a real page-turner, though.

The action picks up right where the previous book left off, with slaves Luke and Abi facing their fates as a prisoner and a newly minted revolutionary, respectively. Luke has to adjust to an unusual prison that consists of mind games as well as casual cruelty. Abi and Luke’s friends plot his rescue before turning their attention to overthrowing the Slave Days system and the rule of the Equals. Meanwhile, brothers Gavar and Silyen both also chafe at the Equal regime now led by their father, if for different reasons.

Part of my...

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I'm really enjoying this series and cannot wait for the third!
I think it's really unique in what the author does with magic and the characters are so twisty it's hard to grasp who are the good guys vs the bad guys. I maintain my opinion from book 1, Silyen is my favorite brother and I'm excited to see where his story goes in book 3!
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I love the plot idea, but the execution was severely lacking.
-Too many characters and told from too many perspectives.  No emotional connection could be made with any character because you do not get to spend more than a handful of pages with anyone.
-Too much "telling" rather than showing.
-Poor world building, info-dumping only when it is convenient to the plot.
-Personal pet peeve: always saying each characters first and last name.  Silyen Jardine. Bouda Matravers. Luke Hadley.  Maybe if you focused on 3 characters instead of 30, the readers wouldn't need to be reminded who they are all the time.

Disappointing.  Won't be continuing this series.
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I'm a bit disappointed with Tarnished City. The first in the series, Gilded Cage, held potential to kick off a great series but much like many a sequel, this book fell short. And it begins with the plot.

Have you ever read a book that didn't really go anywhere? I felt that way with Tarnished City, as if I was being turned in circles until the very end when FINALLY something big happened. The last quarter of the book (maybe not even that much, to be honest) was fantastic. Not only were tensions high but things were happening, I was intrigued. I needed more. And THAT ENDING. I was finally hooked. 

A little too late.

The first 75% of the book lacked that excitement. I'm not...

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An impressive sequel!
I loved diving back into the world of the Skilled and Skilless. Strong characters in a fascinating world that resonated with me, especially in light of recent events. Family, love, loyalty, morality all play a part. I can’t wait to see where this fascinating tale leads next.
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When I read Gilded Cage, the first book in the Dark Gifts series, I found it to be quite enjoyable but thought that it fell a bit short of what it could be. Tarnished City is one of the rare sequels that is better than the original. It is darker, more twisty, and overall much more interesting. Tarnished City shines a more critical eye on the power structure and imbalances inherent to this world while also expanding the focus of the series beyond the main characters. This book started off a bit slow but by the time I'd read a few chapters, I was completely and utterly hooked.

After the events of Gilded Cage, Luke has been condemned for the murder of Chancellor Zelston. Taken away from...

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4.5/5 *

TARNISHED CITY is an amazing follow-up to last year's GILDED CAGE. In fact, I think I liked this one just a little bit more!

Even though I see this listed and shelved as YA, it's much darker than most YA I've tried, (which admittedly is not a lot because it's usually too angst-y for me.) In this case however, the author nixes a lot of the extraneous stuff and focuses on the characters and the intricately plotted story.

It took me a little while to get back into the flow, (it's been just over a year since I've visited this world), but once I did, I was so happy to be there! There's no real re-cap, which I appreciated. I feel that if an...

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Just published this week, TARNISHED CITY by Vic James is the second book (after Gilded Cage) in the Dark Gifts Trilogy. Taking place in a futuristic Britain, this work of fantasy concentrates on the power struggle between the privileged, led by the magically proficient and power-hungry Jardine family, and their rebellious slaves, called the Unskilled. The latter group includes Abi Hadley, currently a fugitive, and her brother, Luke, condemned to prison in Scotland for an assassination he did not commit. Author James describes a harrowing existence filled with betrayal, secrets, and political intrigue. These books are dark, cruel, and complicated. If you like dystopian action adventure...

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I really enjoyed this. I thought the first book was creepy, but this installment totally raises the standards. The writing style sets the mood of those old Victorian vibes but with a horrible class gap that sets people apart. Whether they like it or not. Then you have those with special abilities, who either are forced to do without or get a huge enhancement without warning. You'd think that's exciting enough, but then you have the whole mental torture feel with one of the character's journeys and it's just all near-overwhelming and... wow. You know? The best part is the author doesn't even have to resort to profanity or gory descriptions. She totally relies on the...

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Vic James continues to blow me away with this series! Every time I thought I knew where things were going, a new surprise or twist would throw everything out the window. The action picks up right where book 1, Gilded Cage, left off, so readers should be aware that this is book 2 in a trilogy and is not a standalone.

There were some truly amazing and wonderful moments in this book, but there were also some horrible lows and heartbreaking losses. The overall feel of Tarnished City was darker and grittier than the previous book, which really amped up the intensity and emotion. Told in multiple POVs, we are privy to the inner thoughts, fears, and hopes of both our heroes and villains. We...

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4.5 stars. Tarnished City, the second book in Vic James’s DARK GIFTS YA fantasy series, is a hard-hitting novel that picks right up where Gilded Cage left off, without any infodumping to remind the reader what happened in the first book. In this alternate version of our world, England is controlled by a minority group, the ironically-named Equals, who have magical powers and brutally use them to enforce their rule on everyone who isn’t magically skilled. The heaviest burden is the slavedays, a ten year period that each ordinary person is required to spend serving at the whim of the Equals.

In Gilded Cage (here’s your warning of some spoilers for that book), the Hadley family decided to...

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I loved this book! It was just as enthralling as The Gilded Cage. Perhaps the best part of this book, to me, was seeing the character development. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just say that some of the characters shocked me, while others made me proud to see growth. I was happy to see more of certain Equals' thought processes. I can't wait for the third and final book!
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Thank you to Netgalley and Delray for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.

Fair Warning this is Book 2 in the Dark Gifts series, I highly suggest you read Gilded Cage before you read this review.

So our favorites are back and new additions. This is told from even more points of view than the first one. Luke has been condemned for assassinating the Chancellor. He is taken by Lord Crovan up north to a prison that no one can escape from. He finds himself stuck in a horrible and twisted place. He makes friends with a young woman who has been on the island since she was a child.

Abi finds her way to Heir Meilyr who has been stripped of his Skill in some horrible fashion. They...

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My mind is reeling, and I'm still decompressing my thoughts and feelings about Tarnished City. What a sequel...

Luke is locked up for something he didn't do. Abi is on the run trying to find a way to get her brother back. And the Jardines are more powerful than ever. 

Tarnished City is darker than book 1, and it reveals how cruel society can be. It's a complicated mess, and I can't wait for the next book to find out how everything ends.
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Delightfully dark and twisted, Tarnished City is a phenomenal second installment in Vic James’ Dark Gifts trilogy. Gilded Cage introduced a high-stakes storyline centering around the imbalance of power and what life is when you’re power-less. Political machinations, cruelty, and magic aplenty in Tarnished City, but the heart of this tale is the price of freedom and how it’s often just a word without hope.

Gilded Cage left readers with the mother of all cliffhangers and Tarnished City picks up right after the events with Luke and Winterbourn Zelston, and now Luke finds himself in the worst place imaginable — Eilean Dòchais, Crovan’s estate. When it comes to Equals, Crovan is the worst of...

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Sequels are such tricky things for trilogies. They have to bridge the gap between the (hopefully) exciting end with all the answers and the intriguing beginning with all of the questions. In many cases, authors use sequels to develop characters and further establish the setting. However, they still run the risk of creating imbalance in the series. Give away too much and the ending suffers. Do too little and readers lose interest in the series at large. It is my opinion that Tarnished City suffers more from too much explanation which creates more questions and will disappoint fans hoping for a bit more action and more answers.

Vic James does not spend much time on character development as...

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