I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Cage #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 26th, 2015
Genres: Aliens, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughtertrilogy.
When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.
Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.
As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?
Cora wakes up in a desert, with no knowledge of who put her there. Thinking the impossible, she ventures out only to meet a boy her age. Both have no memories of how they got there. As they explore the area, certain things don’t make any sense. How different parts are different seasons, how the town square is a mash-up of different cultures and how the other three people who are also locked up are also hiding secrets of their own.
I found Cora to be the most realistic viewpoint considering how accepting the other characters were of how they ended up being locked up in a cage. But what I didn’t like was how she’s always talking about how gorgeous Cassian is. And how attracted she is to him with no real control over how she felt. But maybe that’s why she did fall for him? I just found their eyes to be creepy to be honest, having no pupils? EEPS. The other characters tended to annoy me, but their various viewpoints were very interesting. Megan Shepherd deals with a bit of their back-story and that was quite informative as well.
I found the concept quite interesting, and a little unique, having humans taken in as an experiment. Only for it to go wrong. The puzzles they had to solve in order to get prizes that they would otherwise receive at home was also a neat concept. What I didn’t really fully understand were the various alien species. I wanted more about their world, and I wanted the teens to venture out and escape, but maybe that’s for another book?
I liked the book and the writing, but the focus on romance was just okay for me. I’m still interested in reading the sequel just to see if any or all the characters will be going back home to earth.
An interesting take on the kidnapped-by-an-alien story-line, The Cage will have you thinking of all the twists and turns because you’ll be guessing who the Warden really is.