Author: Megan Shepherd
Publication Date: May 26th 2015
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
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 is rather...weird. That's one word for it, different is another. You'd think weird and different would be right up my street, and usually it is, but this one...not so much. Not because of the actual story or world or plot or even characters, because for the most part of all of it, all of that worked.
The "Cage" was interesting in the fact that it feels like a paradox. Things look right, but they're wrong. Things look wrong, but they're right. The towns made up of different pieces of the countries from where the six characters lived. There's a beach, a jungle, mountains, a swamp, different temperatures and climates, all in a circle, all near each other but can take hours to get to, but then when returning to the centre of the town, it can take five minutes to get back.
And the whole thing feels like an human experiment, some things there as a way to push buttons, to raise emotions and increase paranoia, it's like a habitat., and actually, it is really clever, even though it's not exactly about the humanity side of things as a whole, but more to do with something else, which, obviously I can't tell you about but, it's clever. It's very, very clever.
The characters were great...in the beginning, I can't say too much about their deterioration because again, spoilers, but it just shows how being taken away from an environment and thrown into a new one, can show who you really are. Some become stronger for it, and some show their true nature, and the exact depths of what they would do and sacrifice to save themselves. It's funny, since, as I said, a few things were there to push buttons, but the rest they created themselves. Human nature.
Now, you know there's a but waiting, don't you?
Of course there is.
So of course every time he popped into the story, all I kept picturing was that. And then Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight said a cross between an Oscar award and something from a Will Smith movie, and I latched onto iRobot, so they were forming like this...
The Cage makes you think about humanity and human rights, they're experiencing what an animal is experiencing in a zoo, and while most of the story it didn't feel like there was any plot, and the yucky romance, the last 10% saved it for me.