Saturday, 23 April 2016

Review: The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Hunt (The Cage #2)
Author: Megan Shepherd

Release date: May 24th 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 284

Source: Edelweiss

They’ve left the cage—but they’re not free yet.

After their failed escape attempt, Cora, Lucky, and Mali have been demoted to the lowest level of human captives and placed in a safari-themed environment called the Hunt, along with wild animals and other human outcasts. They must serve new Kindred masters—Cora as a lounge singer, Lucky as an animal wrangler, and Mali as a safari guide—and follow new rules or face dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, Nok and Rolf have been moved into an enormous dollhouse, observed around the clock by Kindred scientists interested in Nok’s pregnancy. And Leon, the only one who successfully escaped, has teamed up with villainous Mosca black-market traders.

The former inhabitants of the Cage are threatened on all fronts—and maybe worst of all, one of the Hunt’s Kindred safari guests begins to play a twisted game of cat and mouse with Cora. Separated and constantly under watch, she and the others must struggle to stay alive, never mind find a way back to each other. When Cassian secretly offers to train Cora to develop her psychic abilities—to prove the worthiness of humanity in a series of tests called the Gauntlet—she’ll have to decide fast if she dares to trust the Kindred who betrayed her, or if she can forge her own way to freedom.

I enjoyed this one a lot more than The Cage - the characters have more depth, the plot is advancing, and though the book mostly seemed like a set-up for the final book, I found myself really engrossed in it. I read it all in one sitting since the length is perfect and there's always something happening, something that makes you want to turn the page.

The Hunt picks up where the previous book left off, so Cora, Lucky and Mali are in the clutches of the Kindred again, placed in a different habitat than Nok and Rolf. Leon, in his freedom, finds a place with the Mosca. Cora's job isn't too terrible - she's a singer in a bar. Lucky takes care of the animals being hunted, and Mali is a guide in the safari. Though they have different jobs, the three of them team up to figure out how they're going to get out of there, and get the other humans out too. To do this, Cora needs to find it in herself to trust Cassian again after he betrayed her, or at least pretend to. She also has to deal with figuring out her newfound perceptive abilities, a.k.a. telekinesis and telepathy, and decide whether to take part in the Gauntlet to save humankind. Yes, that's a lot riding on her shoulders, but ultimately she's the only one who can make the decision.

I have to say I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book. I know we met and got to know them in The Cage, but there the place messed with their minds and twisted them until they were utterly unlikeable. In this, we get to see who they really are. And I've got to say my favourite is Lucky. I still cannot accept how he acted in the previous book but then again, they weren't really his actions. We get to see the real Lucky here, and he's a kind, brave, and compassionate guy. Good-hearted, strong, willful... someone who really shouldn't be there amongst all that twisted hate.

I did like Cora too, and sympathized with her a lot due to her situation. She doesn't deserve to have the fate of all humanity resting on her shoulders! She's tough, though, and we see that in this book. I liked her interactions with Cassian especially, because though she tries to hate him, she really can't. Cassian cares so much for her, even loves her, and Cora would have to be blind not to see that.

Speaking of Cassian, I wish we'd got to see more of him uncloaked, because that's when we see his emotions. Otherwise, he's mostly a blank mask. Okay fine, even uncloaked he's hard to read, so basically I just want to know more about him. He's done a lot of things he regrets, but I think he more than makes up for them in this book, especially towards the end.

I found myself liking Leon a lot - mostly because he finds a moral code within himself that clearly he didn't know he had. And he definitely lightens the mood of the book, which is pretty dark because of everything that's happening. There is so much danger at every turn, and so much suspense! Rolf and Nok, I'm kind of unsure about. They're better in this book, but they still really annoy me. I'm definitely curious to see how Nok's pregnancy pans out, though.

The plot is a lot darker, with some pretty messed up things happening, especially on Cora's side. The animals, the humans, everything about the Hunt. And some new characters who are particularly creepy. There are a lot of plot twists too, some I saw coming and some I didn't, so thankfully the book wasn't predictable. I don't want to say much about the ending, but, well, it was cruel! And with a huge cliffhanger, too. After an explosive concluding chapters, I was eager for the final book anyway, but the ending just makes me want it even more. For those of you who read The Cage and felt a bit iffy about it, you need to pick up this sequel - trust me. You won't regret it.

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

Rating: 4/5

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I love reading your comments :) Make sure to link your blog (if you have one) so I can visit you back!