Author: Megan Shepherd
Series: The Cage #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
This was my first Megan Shepherd book; I’ve had The Madman’sDaughter
on my Kindle forever but as usual, just haven’t gotten around to it. But this book definitely made me want to move it up the list. The Cage
is about a group of teens who are taken from Earth and thrown into a cage by aliens called the Kindred. In the cage, their minds are tested and pressured, though they’re told the reason they’re there is to save humanity. They must obey the rules, one of them being to procreate with their chosen partner. But the main character Cora refuses to give in so easily. She’s determined to escape, but escape may be impossible and pointless if what the Kindred say is true.
This book was deliciously creepy in the way that everyone talks about Megan’s other books. It was dark and gritty and she doesn’t shy away from the hard subjects like slavery, prostitution, drugs, etc. The world these teens are brought to is not a nice place and nothing is sugarcoated. I loved learning about the different alien species and am dying to learn more about the Kindred and about what’s going on back on Earth.
The characters were all interesting, though I did find myself having a little trouble really connecting to them because we were head-hopping quite a bit. But the main character Cora was really cool. She was strong and defiant, never giving up or giving in to the Kindred’s wishes. I loved how resilient she was and how determined she was to have a life even when everyone around her seemed to just be accepting their new fate.
Leon and Mali were the other two characters that I really enjoyed. Leon was so complex and I really want to learn more about him. Coming from a rough around the edges family, he has a dark past and you can tell he carries a lot of guilt on his shoulders, but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye and I’m hoping we get to see more of him in book two. Mali was a strange girl who basically grew up with the Kindred. Because of that she wasn’t quite human, but wasn’t exactly Kindred either. She added a really nice dimension to the group and I loved seeing her puzzle different things out.
And then there’s Cassian, the captor. Man, I love captor-prisoner relationships. Sorry not sorry. There’s just something so sexy about it to me. Kelly
understands. Cassian was so mysterious and so forbidden. I think that’s what I love about these relationships, the forbidden nature of them. I loved seeing the glimpses of humanity in Cassian, the emotions that were buried so deep. I was dying to learn what his motives were, what made him tick, why he paid special attention to Cora. I want to know even more and I want them to just make out all the time.
The plot is really interesting although if I’m being honest, not too much happens in this book. But I didn’t really mind that it wasn’t super high action because we were constantly learning new things like how the Kindred world works, what other species of aliens there are, etc. There are plot twists and mysteries to unravel and the author will definitely keep you on your toes while reading. You won’t be able to put it down because every time you say “after this chapter I’m done”, that chapter will end on a cliffhanger and you’ll just keep going until it’s over. And of course, the book ends on a cliffhanger and now I’m dying to get my hands on the next one. If you liked The Maze Runner
by James Dashner, I think you’ll really enjoy this book. It had that kind of feel to it, but with the unique aspect of aliens and telekinesis. An exciting start to a new science fiction series!
Have you read this one yet? What did you think? Did you love Cassian and Cora like I did?