Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Cage ~ Megan Shepherd review [@megan_shepherd @harperteen]

The Cage (The Cage #1)
Balzer + Bray
May 26, 2015
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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?

After reading The Madman's Daughter, I knew I wanted to read The Cage. Of course, the 'human zoo' aspect of it didn't hurt either. It was surprising just how different The Cage is from The Madman's Daughter and just how much I loved it.

It reminded me a bit of if you took this (from The 100):

and mixed in the Supernatural episode, 'All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 1)' with Sam and the other characters waking up in the abandoned town, not knowing where they are, why they are there, who brought them there, who the others are and if they're safe or to be trusted.

It's great that we readers start out just as confused and lost as the characters. They've woken up in a confusing, unexplaineable place and we don't knows any more than they do. Then everyone gets to try to piece everything together as they explore their new 'world'

With chapters narrated by different characters, we see their differing views of not only their surroundings but of each other - and get to learn about who they are, or were. That they are each keeping secrets, from the world as a whole and now from each other adds a nice layer to the story.
While they struggle to discover where they are (not to mention why) and if they can get home, they also have to function (or fail) as a group. The different trials they face, individually and together, along with those secrets and who they want the others to see them as combine for some believable and interesting tension.

Where they end up being, why and who put them there was unexpected (okay, not if you read the full summary) and I am looking forward to seeing more of that explored in the latter books

Plus when you have a character who reminds me of this guy, looks-wise, that's just fun.

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