Tarnished City

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Tarnished City
by Vic James
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
Courtesy Netgalley
Tarnished City is the sequel to Gilded Cage. You must read Gilded Cage first or there will be major spoilers in this review. Gilded Cage is amazing so go read it.
Tarnished City continues with the same lush detail that I enjoyed so much in Gilded Cage. Every event, person and thing merits a second look because nothing is what it seems at all. The Skilled and the Unskilled both have unexpected reactions to the events that culminated in Gilded Cage. Abbey goes on the run in an attempt to find the truth and free her brother, Luke. Luke is taken captive and delivered into the...

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"Tarnished City" is a powerful sequel to "Gilded Cage," a dark YA fantasy. This series takes place in an alternate reality, where Equals, people will extraordinary Skills (think X-Men type powers) rule several countries, including Britain, where Abi and her family live. All the Commoners (people without Skills/powers) are required to do slave days, which are 10 years spent in horrible conditions, doing labor for Equals. Equals have all the power because of their Skills. This sequel begins where the first book left off- Abi's family is being separated. Her little sister will be staying with the Jardines to watch over Gavar's illegitimate daughter, while Abi and...

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I was a huge fan of Gilded Cage when I read it. So when I saw that Tarnished City was up for review, I jumped at the chance to get it. I am so glad I did because Tarnished City exceeded my expectations for it. To be honest, I was expecting the sophomore slump, which is very common. Usually, 2nd books in a trilogy or series fall way short of book 1. I have read series where book 1 was fantastic and book 2 sucked. This isn’t the case with Tarnished City. The author keeps the same sense of urgency throughout the entire book. Not an easy feat but it was done.

Tarnished City starts off shortly after the end of events of Gilded Cage. Luke has been accused of murder. He is going with a man who is...

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Thanks to the publisher for access to this title.

Luke and his family are in more danger than ever. His sister Abi is on the run, and Luke is in prison for committing a murder he didn't do. . . or did he?

Old characters make a reappearance, and new ones come into play as those who do not have powers struggle against the growing rebellion for freedom and equality. Alliances are forged, and as more people die, it is clear that more is on the line than just life and death.

A great middle book for a series, this has plenty of action and keeps the plot moving forward. It's a little more of a complexity than the first in the way the plots are intertwined, but still easy to follow and...

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This sequel to Guilded Cage begins right where the first book left off. Luke has been convicted of killing the Chancellor and is turned over to a cruel Equal who will manage his imprisonment. The Equals are the aristocracy and they have skills or magical powers. The Unskilled are the commoners and they are at the mercy of the Equals. Luke knows his act of murder was committed under the total control of an Equal and yet he will be the one to suffer. His sister Abi has been sent with her parents to live in the slavetown Millmoor. Determined to prove Luke’s innocence, Abi escapes and looks to the rebels to help save her brother. The Equals get even crueler in this book. They actually relish in...

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I was invited by NetGalley to read and review this ARC edition. I didn't realize it was the second book of a series and have discovered after about 30 pages that one MUST read book one! 

Therefore, I will NOT be reviewing or rating this book! it is unfair to the author, the book and myself to do otherwise.
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Opening line:
"Jenner reined his horse to a halt, and it stamped and snorted in the long blue-black shadow of the trees."

YES! You know how sometimes the second book reads a little weak in a trilogy? This one does NOT. If anything, this book is stronger than the first and maybe a little jam packed with characters, crazy twists and magic system details. WHOA and WOW.
What the heck Gavar, Jenner, Sylyen? So. Many. Secrets.
All is not as it seems with the story, the landscape, the characters, and magic. The chapters change point of view, which I really enjoyed. I liked getting insight into different aspects of the story and the lives of the people affected by Skill and Unskilled...

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Tarnished City is the second installment in author Vic James Dark Gifts trilogy. This story picks up right exactly where Gilded Cage left off, so if you haven't yet read that story, make haste and do so now. This series is set in a sort of modern Britain with a very dystopian feel to it. Magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

Unquestionably, this story is about two main families; the Jarden's and the Hadley's. Most especially Luke and...

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Rating 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars.
In this second book in the Dark Gifts series, which should not be read apart from the first book, commoners Abigail and Luke have been separated- Luke has been framed for the murder of the leader of the Skilled class, and sent to live as a prisoner of the sadistic Lord Crovan, whose home is on an island, protected with devilish wards and traps. The novel follows Luke's sister Abigails attempt to free her brother, and to network with other Equals and commoners to mount a rebellion against the leadership of the Skilled class who rule in this alternate-history version of modern England.

In this world, the ruling class, or Equals, have developed...

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The first book in this series was high on my list of favorite YA reads last year, and Tarnished City is quite possibly better.  

This is a darker, grittier read, and the world-building continues to be phenomenal.  Every character is so well-drawn - the depth is exceptional.  Be prepared - deaths, betrayals, and surprises abound, and my jaw drops to page number ratio was exceedingly high.

As with the first novel, many of these characters aren't what they initially seem, but Silyen continues to intrigue me the most.  I feel like there's a clue right in front of me, but he remains an enigma.

Such a complex storyline - politics, rebellion, power struggles - a YA read that...

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This is an amazing series that I have suggested that all of my friends must read!!
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Well, lets start off with the fact that I loved the first book and I was super excited to be approved to review this book. Too bad the feeling didn't last. 

I felt like there was little world building, and I know that this is the second book in the series and world building has already been done, but there was literally no descriptions of the world around me. It was all action and story and nothing to help me build a picture. 

With that being said, the story was still great and I will definitely read the next book.   
 
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) Kindle Edition
by Vic James (Author)
I voluntarily received a copy of this book for review.
Tarnished City is a book for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent, with strong female leads trying desperately to save her family and her people. Addictive as it is a fast and dark read, I can't recommend it enough. A darkly troubling story, filled with intrigue an the most dangerous emotion – hope, it was impossible to put it down as you can never tell who will be the hero and who will be the villain. However, this is not a book for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, as some scenes make the original Wicker Man seem like a Disney movie.
Having never had...

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I loved the first book in this series, Gilded Cage, and Tarnished City is a great follow up!  So many twists and turns made this a very fast-paced, exciting sequel.  I absolutely love the way Vic James takes you on an awesome adventure and then leaves you begging for more!  I cannot wait for the third book!!  I need to know what is going to happen to Abi!  Why did Jenner betray her?  Is Silyen's newfound power too much?  So many new questions I cannot wait to learn the answers to!
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Picking up exactly where Gilded Cage ends, this book continues the story of this alternate England in which the Equals have political and personal power through their magical Skill, and everyone else - the commoners - must serve as a slave with no human rights for ten years, which may turn into more or even a lifetime due to ridiculous rules.

Abigail Hadley moves from a minor character, with a rather pasted-on unsuitable romance, into more of a main character and an interesting figure in her own right, with agency and a stake in the commoner rebellion. Yes, the slavetown riots of the first book have given way to open rebellion, which is something I was hoping to see and that is the second...

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** spoiler alert ** I was very excited for the second installment of the Dark Gifts series to come out, and Netgalley and the author/publisher gifted me an advanced copy. However, all opinions are my own - yada, yada, yada.

While I found this second novel interesting, it was slower-paced and seemed more disorganized than the first. Let me explain... While the first novel, Gilded Cage, really allowed us to get to know the characters of Abi and Luke, Tarnished City only barely expanded on the personalities and didn't give readers much insight into the newer characters, such as Coira and Dina. I felt that the story, much like Abi's storyline, was adrift in flying to and fro and...

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I didn't think it was possible, a middle book that is even better than the first one but this one is and once again being limited to 5 stars it is impossible to give this series the praise it deserves.  I picked this book up and didn't stop reading until the last word on the last page.  How am I going to survive the year or more before the final book in this amazon trilogy is available?  

Rulers used to believe that they ruled by divine right, that they were God's appointed here on earth to rule over those who were lesser than they (I'm not too sure that they and the wealthy still don't feel that way even if they don't say it aloud). Most Equals believe that...

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I was captivated by the book, Tarnished City, from the beginning. Author Vic James offers a sprawling science fiction work that uses multiples characters and a fairly complex dystopian world in an entertaining way. I appreciated this book as quality science fiction writing.

What I really mean by this is that James does not feel the need to drop us into the gears of a machine, describing the mechanistic science to put the "science" in her fiction, nor does she offer a blankly vacuous story that could have just as easily been set in a place two years, save a few words here and there.

This was a lovely and well-developed read, and one that I would gladly place on my bookshelf...

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What I think these books do incredibly well is their exploration of human nature. It was certainly a theme in Gilded Cage and it becomes even more important in Tarnished City. The idea of complacency is also important and ties in with that issue. These would actually make excellent books to read alongside an ethics course or something. What concerns me is how they are becoming increasingly similar to real life (that’s more of a critique of real life as opposed to the fantasy realm).

But enough pontificating. You want to know what the book is like! It’s similar to Gilded Cage as you follow the same characters with each chapter following a different person, often ending on a cliffhanger that...

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I'm not done with Tarnished City by Vic James yet, but I already feel we have made the turn towards a darker and more adult book than the first book, Gilded Cage. I liked the first book very much because I thought that it broached some really weighty issues that would spark good conversations with teens within the format of a dystopian society. In the second book, while not overly graphic, a main character has submitted to sexual aggression as a means to an end. I take issue with that and it is the main reason for my two stars. When writing a book that will be read by young adults I think the author has a responsibility to think long and hard about the message they are sending out. We...

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