Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

The CageThe Cage by
Series: The Cage #1
Published by: Balzer & Bray on
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads
Rating: 4.5/5

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 is like my diamond in the rough. I almost didn’t even request this book. I downloaded all the HarperCollins books I wanted on Edelweiss and passed on The Cage. A few days later, I decided to come back and grab it. I’M SO GLAD I DID!!

Things I liked

I was hooked!

The Cage hooked me right from the beginning. Each of the characters were different and had their own unique voices. With one exception, I also loved their developments and how they changed throughout the story.

A perfect love triangle? Is it possible?!

Oh delicioussss romance! I think this is the first time where I’ve actually LIKED a love triangle! I think it’s because it doesn’t really feel like a love triangle. Or maybe it’s because I was so there with Cora. I think I felt all the things she was feeling.

Cora clearly has this awesome, forbidden connection with Cassian. But then there’s Lucky—one of the guys imprisoned with her. He’s really nice and kind of has a history with Cora.

So there is a love triangle, but it’s extremely subtle. There’s never really a period when Cora is torn between the two of them, it’s more like one romance builds as the other one fades. It was pretty perfect. And Cassian was seeeeexy!

Mysteries and HOLY SHITS!

This book is largely one big mindfuck. There’s a huge mystery, but then there are also tons of smaller mysteries. Then there’s this HUGE EPIC BOMB DROP at the end that I soooo didn’t see coming O_O It got me so riled up and excited and I LOVE THAT FEELING!

Things I didn’t like

What happened to Rolf?

I was really disappointed in Rolf’s development. He’s the “secretive genius” in the synopsis. At the beginning he’s this really dorky, awkward, genius guy. But then as the story goes on, the environment starts driving all the characters crazy. And I really didn’t like how Rolf changed. View Spoiler » He might have been my favourite character at the beginning, then by the end he was my absolute least favourite.

Sometimes Cora was stupid

For the most part I really liked Cora, but she had her idiotic moments. For instance:

They’re in this enclosure created by aliens. These aliens are highly intelligent and have made escape possible. But they’ve given the humans some toys and other Earth items to play with, one of which was a mallet. And Cora insists on getting the mallet so she could smash through the enclosure “windows”. OBVIOUSLY that wasn’t going to work.

There were a few other moments like this where Cora was obsessed with getting something done (related to escaping) that was just stupid and pointless.

Awkward explanations

At one point in the book, there’s a “big reveal”. But it was like… the shittiest reveal ever. It kind of ended up sorting itself out in the end, but in the moment I was like… WTF. View Spoiler »

The ending rocked my universe

Things wrapped up quite nicely for book one, but then I was SO PUMPED UP for book two! It ends on this really intense, powerful note and I’m just like OH MY GOD GIVE ME MORE!!! I love that feeling.

Overall

  • It was so interesting and different.
  • ALIENS!
  • There was a sort-of love triangle that I actually really liked.
  • Some characters were sometimes annoying.
  • One of the huge reveals was very under-explained and WTF.
  • I could not put this sucker down. I was GLUUUUED to those pages. Until like 4am. Yikes.
  • The ending had me CLAWING for more. But it was still a satisfying ending (not open-ended or annoyingly cliffhangery).
  • The Verdict

    lovedit

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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8 comments

  1. Interesting. I’ve been iffy about this one because I assume part of the “humans in a zoo” thing is that said humans will be expected to breed, and I have yet to read a YA book that handled that topic particularly well. I think there’s some tension where YA lets authors talk about sex…but only to a certain degree. So all the “reproduction dystopias” have bombed for me.

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