Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Cage
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Science Fiction
Release date: May 26th, 2015
Pages: 400 (eGalley)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
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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?

The Cage will captivate readers from the beginning, with Cora waking up in another world, completely alone.  Soon she finds others her age, an even mix of boys and girls, if you include the dead girl on the beach.  Without knowing what happened or who to trust, everyone is kept on their toes.  As they get used to the environment, exploring each area for a way out, they realize that no matter what, each direction leads them directly to the town in the center of it all.  Eventually, the five of them realize that there is no getting out, but Cora never gives up hope.

I loved the premise of this one, and I was so intrigued to find out more.  It was unlike anything I've read up until this point.  The only complaint is that the characters weren't very likable.  Usually I can empathize with at least one, but out of the five people trapped in the cage, I didn't really care about anyone.  The rules were simple, according to the captor- or as he called himself, the Caretaker- they were to get along, maintain their health, and procreate within a certain amount of time or they would be removed with no guarantee that they would return home.  For the first few days, everyone put their heads together in order to find a way out, but as time went by with no results, some of them gave in and began to pair up just as the captors wanted.  While I didn't care for Cora, I did like her persistence when it came to trying to figure a way out, even when everyone began to turn against her.

This was one story I was hoping not to see a romance form, and that's saying a lot.  I just felt that the story was so good without one, but from the beginning, you could see a hint of attraction between Cora and the alien Caretaker named Cassian.  It actually made me a little uncomfortable, because the way I was picturing him isn't something that most people would typically find attractive, with completely black eyes and metallic skin.  There's also the fact that you never know who he really is, and while you get to read everyone else's perspectives, he remains a mystery.

Overall, The Cage was interesting and imaginative, but I still can't put my finger on what I'm feeling after finishing it.  It does end on a cliffhanger, which left me curious, but maybe not curious enough to continue with the series.  I suppose we'll see if that changes once a sequel comes out.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I preordered this one...and then canceled the order...and now I'm kind of happy about it. I'm a character driven reader/writer, so it's hard for me to stay in a book if I don't like the characters, whether as characters or as people. If the characters are well-developed enough, I might still love it...but who knows!

    Thanks for the insight ;)

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read