Saturday, 23 May 2015

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Cage (The Cage #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd

Release date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 308

Source: Edelweiss

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?

The Cage does slightly remind me of The Maze Runner, in the sense that the characters have no idea what's going on at first (including where they are) and they have to figure it all out. I enjoyed the premise of this, and I'm definitely curious about what happens next. But I had issues with characters and minor details, so there were things I didn't like as well.

Out of nowhere, Cora finds herself in a desert with no recollection of how she got there. She meets only four other people - Lucky, Rolf, Nok, and Leon. All five of them are very different from each other, but they have one thing in common - they're trapped in an unknown place with no idea how to get out. Using their wits and survival skills, aided by information from Cassian, their guard, they realize they are basically like animals in a zoo to an alien species. But they aren't mistreated at all, and slowly, one by one, they begin to accept their fate. All but Cora. Will she find a way out before she's removed by the aliens for her rebelliousness?

I think Cora was the only likeable character throughout the novel, and even she can get annoying at times. She's strong-willed and determined, and I liked that she never gives up. But she makes some stupid decisions and she's incredibly naive for someone who's seemingly smart. Also, her attraction to Cassian, the guard, kind of reminds me of Stockholm syndrome, which makes the whole thing kind of creepy.

I did like the other characters at first, especially Lucky. He seems like a natural leader and he's the one who holds the group together. Lucky and Cora begin to have a bit of a romance, until circumstances get in the way. Even Lucky, with all his strength, succumbs to his fate in the 'zoo'. Neither him nor the other captives want to leave anymore. They just want to obey the rules set by the aliens. I thought that was pretty pathetic, regardless of what made them feel that way. If Cora can keep a level head and have the sense to remember that she doesn't belong and she needs to go home, why can't they?

There are a lot of things that aren't explained enough, and I ended up with a bunch of unanswered questions. Ideas were introduced and then just left there, so the plot gets kind of messy sometimes. On the whole, I think it was a little overcomplicated. If some aspects were taken out or maybe introduced in the sequel instead, I would have enjoyed this more.

If you're not a fan of sci-fi, I don't think you'll want to stick through finishing this one. I adore sci-fi and that's why I will be continuing this series, to find out more about this world. I'm also hoping for a lot more character development, because I can't sit through another novel of Lucky and the rest blindly accepting everything they're told and Cora running around aware but helpless.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

  1. I really loved The Madman’s Daughter (try reading it unless you hate historical fiction...but it’s kinda gothic and creepy so maybe you’ll like it? Idk lol) series so I’ll definitely be reading this one, but sad that you didn’t like some of this one Pichu... oh well :P

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