Published: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins
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 Daughtertrilogy.
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?
Now this book I really enjoyed. Megan Shepherd has a way of writing that just draws me in and keeps me reading. Very early on I was firmly inside this odd environment along with Cora and the others and I was rooting for them all from the beginning. The blurb above tells you all you need to know about the story, but doesn't tell you about the ongoing tension that pervades the story.
I almost felt jittery reading 'The Cage'. The reader is aware early on that Cora is not in Kansas any more - so to speak - but as events unfold the suspense doesn't let up. There is a humdinger of a surprise towards the end that I felt I should have seen coming, but nope and the ending itself had me pulling my hair out. I want to know what happens next, please!
Is the story science fiction or is it fantasy? Well it's really the best of both. Ultimately, it's a fascinating story with great characters and suspensful narration that will keep you guessing. Lots of fun.