The Gilded King | By Josie Jaffrey
Thank you #TheWriteReads for including me in this #blogtour.
Thank you Josie Jaffrey for providing us with a copy of The Gilded King in exchange for an honest review.
Narrative and Plot
The Gilded King has two parallel storylines. One that is told from Julia's perspective and the other from Cameron's perspective. How these stories merge into one eventually is what you're gong to find out in the book. Apparently, there's a prequel to this book, which explains the lack of clarity to the events mentioned in the book. Or it may come up in the next book. I'm not aware of the entire series. But all my opinions are based on the current book and for the moment, we're treating it as a single book.
There is a lot going on in the plot. On one hand, we have Julia who is a human, living in the post-apocalyptic world that has created its own convenient social class. And on the other side we have Cameron who is on a mission. This story never slows down. It is fast paced- a bit too fast at times- but it has a lot of elements for a gripping plot. Even so, the basic concept of a zombie or vampire story is to clearly define the rules of this fantasy world. Here, those rules were spread out and a bit fuzzy. Other than that, the plot was well developed if we ignore the references that are not explained in this book.
Characters and Conflict
Most of the times, a strong plot leads to strong characters. However, the one thing Gilded King seems to be lacking is the presence of characters with a strong personality. Most of them felt plain and a bit one-dimensional. As a reader, you are all-accepting when the characters are ignorant about the bigger picture in the beginning. But you want to see them learning, as the plot moves along. Here we had no such luck. Julia remained as ignorant as she was at the beginning of the book. Lucas, even with all his mystery, could not put two and two together. Cameron, well he has a very straight line goal apparently. The only impressive character amidst the lot is Felix. He is mysterious and has layers to him. I wanted more of that.
As for conflicts, characters that don't hook you with their emotions cannot provide a good conflict. On the contrary, here we find our characters in complicated and twisted situations. However, their response to it is what lets us down. For instance, Cam is in search of someone. He is determined to find her. But other than the mission and his determination, there is a detachment to the whole relationship aspect. We never hear, why it was so important to Cam.
The brief love stories had some depth except for the way it started, as if on cue.
This is quite an interesting read. Although, I would I say if you want to dive in, start from the prequel series. It will give you more context. I enjoyed the concept of vampires and zombies and the ever present dangers in this world. The ending was unexpected and it definitely piques my interest to look into the next book. However, before I proceed I want to go through the whole Sol Invicti series in time so that I understand the characters and their motives better.