ARC REVIEW: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Format: Print ARC, 385 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance
Series: The Cage, #1

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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 Daughter trilogy.

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?

*Thank you so much to Harper Collins for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.*

   When I first read "an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans," I was instantly intrigued and had to get my hands on it. It gave me the vibes that this would have something to do with extraterrestrial life of some kind. And I love alien books and there doesn't seem to be enough of them.

  When Cora Mason wakes up, she finds herself in a desert; dressed in someone else's clothes that she wasn't in before; a girl is dead; she has these marks on her skin; and she has been taken from her hometown, Virginia. Soon she finds four other teens in the same situation as her. And worse of all, they find this very small deserted town that they can't leave. When they try to go in the opposite direction from the town. They are looped and redirected back to it. They have all been taken as some sort of test for this species called The Kindred. And they aren't so sure if they're intentions are good or not. They agree they must work together to escape and return to their home. But they start to question each other as they start to feel like there is a traitor in the midst.

   What I really liked is that it got right to the point. It starts right when Cora wakes up in the desert and it doesn't take long for her to meet up with the rest of the taken teenagers. But what I wasn't so sure is if I was going to like the alternating points of views because it switches between everyone that was taken. I was wary but I ended up enjoying that they all had some pasts and it was added nicely to the story.

   At first, I was sort of creeped out since I was reading this at night. It was really mysterious at the beginning and you know, I had lots of questions. Plus the fact that I didn't really know which character to trust. But once we get to meet The Kindred and learn more about them, it becomes a little more clearer. And a little repulsive at what they expect Cora and the group to do with one another.

   What didn't really appeal to me was how Cora kept saying that Cassian was attractive and get lost admiring him, then say how he's a monster. It would get annoying at times. And the seemingly brewing romance didn't interest me. It was very obvious that something would go down between them since Cassian seemed to favor her. But the romance parts of the story just didn't work for me.

   I felt that some characters were far more interesting than others like Mali and Leon. They seemed to form a cute pairing. I kind of wished that they were the main characters as I was more compelled to them than Cora and Lucky's past connection.
   While I did find the plot to be very intriguing and curious inducing, I found the world building to be lacking. It was very hard to grasp the world of The Kindred and the other species. And there were times when it was very confusing and slow to get into. 

   The ending was a bit disorienting for me. There were things that were more clear but still confusing. And to be honest, I'm not sure if I would even care about reading the sequel. And I felt like the summary in the back was misleading. The story just didn't live up to my expectations. And I'm really sad to say that because I really tried to get into it but I couldn't.

2 Stars: It Was Okay


  1. Aw, I'm sorry that you ended up not really liking it overall. This was a three star for me - I liked the writing, but I couldn't get the romance between the captor and the captive. Her continuous gawking at Cassian's attractiveness really was tiring after a while, huh? I also didn't find their reactions to learning certain important info realistic :/

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. I was debating whether to give it three stars but I realized that the ending wasn't really holding my interest like in the beginning. And the whole world building wasn't making sense to either. And yeah, the whole romance plot was getting tiring too :(


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