“When Cora returned to the diner, the ideas Mali had alluded to–private owners and abducted children–churned in her stomach. She’d though, after Bay Pines, that she could face anything. That was when the only monsters in her life were bad-tempered guards and other juvie girls who stole her stuff while she was in the shower.”
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Star rating: ★★★★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Summary: Cora wakes up in a strange environment with four other teens. There is a desert, jungle, mountains, ocean, farm, forest and others all in a small area. They soon discover they are specimens in a zoo for the entertainment of an alien species. Cora starts to put together a plan for escape and at the same time develops feelings for their caretaker, Cassian.
Reasons for picking this book: I received this book in my Yureka book box (use referral code: BECKYMCMANNIS for 10% off your first month) and wanted to read it, I realized it would work for a dystopian novel.
Review: This was a pretty exciting book that kept surprising me throughout the whole thing. There were so many twists that I didn’t see coming. I really like that I was never sure what was coming next. At first it wasn’t obvious that it was a dystopian book to me (despite being described as such) but as it went on it started to develop it slowly showed it, it was a pretty neat change from other dystopian books I’ve read.
The concept of a human zoo kept by aliens was fascinating. It was creepy and unsettling to think of. Especially as they all seemed to be children and teens. The menageries were super creepy, how the children kept there were performing tricks for tokens and many of them drugged. It’s also implied there are brothels being kept as well, we don’t see them but there’s a good chance the humans there are underage as well.
I didn’t buy the romance between Cora and Cassian. I just never saw chemistry and didn’t understand when Cora was suddenly saying she’d been having a growing attraction and feelings for him. I was just like ‘uh, okay since when??’, I just didn’t buy it for one moment. It felt super forced. Especially when compared with Nok and Rolf who were pretty cute and seemed genuine, plus there was chemistry with them.
I wish the romance between Cora and Cassian hadn’t been in the novel at all. If it hadn’t I think I would rate it five stars but it just bugged me enough I couldn’t fully enjoy the book to its full potential.
I also got tired of hearing about the constant headaches the teens in the cage had. It might be because I do have migraines myself, I just felt like it was too much hearing almost every paragraph about the headaches. I just feel after so long in the story we don’t need constant reminders.
I really liked the slow reveal of the whole book, it was really well done and kept me engaged in the book. I do have a lot of questions after reading this but I know there is a sequel so hopefully those would be answered in there.
Overall it’s a good, fun and exciting book. I really enjoyed it a lot and I think it’s a nice change to the dystopian genre.
Recommendations: This book is a great sci-fi and dystopian novel and felt new and refreshing to me. I think fans of those genres would greatly enjoy this book.
Up next: Me Before You – a book becoming a movie this year