Review of: The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Cora Mason is headed to a ski lodge with her brother, where she hopes that their divorced parents will be able to keep it together just long enough to have a pleasant holiday together, like a real family should. The daughter of a politician, she has been warned and coached about what to do in a kidnapping situation, but all of that information doesn’t really seem relevant when she wakes up in the middle of a desert. Even more puzzling is the variety in terrain around her, and the 5 other young people who are just as startled to be there as she is. What exactly happened? As Cora attempts to unravel the mystery of how she ended up away from her family and in this bizarre environment, she comes to the bone-chilling conclusion that they are being held in an elaborate human zoo. The revelation that they are not even on earth any more, and being held hostage by aliens seals her determination to leave, one way or another. She wants nothing more than to escape, but her companions seem all too willing to settle into the sham of a life laid out before them. Her jailer, Cassian, is the only one who might be able to help her, but will she be able to leave her companions to their own devices, even at the price of her own freedom?
A few months ago I read The Madman’s Daughter series, by Megan Shepherd (read my review of it here). I enjoyed it quite enough to snap up The Cage, when I realized the author was one and the same. That said, one can’t really fairly compare The Madman’s Daughter and The Cage because they are completely different books in different genres. I do really enjoy Shepherd’s writing style, and that is true of both books.
Moving on to the direct review of this book… I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I don’t usually read much sci-fi. I think I should read more, because I always enjoy it. Cora was a good character. She made a lot of sense, and the story fit nicely around her. Throughout the course of the book though, the viewpoint flips from character to character, going through 5 in all. That messed with the continuity for me. I would be whizzing through a chapter, getting more and more confused, only to belatedly realize that it was from a different character’s viewpoint.
I didn’t dislike the other characters, I just think the story would have worked better with a little more continuity.
Besides that mini-gripe, I really appreciated this book. It had a lively pace, and plenty of plot twists. The ending especially threw me for a loop, and placed this book well outside the arena of predictable YA novels.
I’m sure it’s the first in the series–a fact made doubly difficult by the fact that it only just came out, so any sequel will be at least a year away. Guess we have books to look forward to!
If you’re a fan of YA fiction, especially the Dystopian/Sci-fi genres, definitely give this book a whirl!
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.