Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd The Cage Series: The Cage #1
on May 26th 2015
Pages: 400

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?


Remember that post from a few weeks ago, about whether you review with your head or your heart? Keep that in mind, because this one is really not coming from my head, or any logical place. For a logical breakdown, I am sending you over to Kirsty-Marie @ Studio Reads, because her review has logic and explains how she feels, and I agree with a lot of what she says.

My review? Well…. I really, really liked this book. It was addicting to me, basically. At first I wasn’t sure about it, because it is seriously an alien race abducting teens and putting them in a human, earth-like zoo. That sounds odd, obviously. And at first, I suppose it was, but since I was quite curious, the oddness was a good thing. Each of the characters had very different backstories and perspectives as well, which definitely added to my interest and the mystery in general.

But then some characters started making some very questionable decisions, and I felt like maybe it was going to delve too far into unbelievability territory. I mean, a few were even starting to be fine with being in a human zoo. As I read, though, I realized that a lot of these strange choices may have had to do with the psychological torment that these characters are facing. They’re basically completely unsure who they can trust, and this includes among themselves. That aspect fascinated me to no end, and led to a lot of turmoil within the group. Also, I am pretty sure certain group members are completely insane which absolutely added to the intrigue.

Then there’s the romance, which when I first heard of it, my answer was basically: No-GIF_3

Because there is a human boy who at first, our main character Cora has affections for. Not deep ones, mind you, since they kind of just met and were thrown in a zoo, but he is the one she thinks she can trust the most, and likes the most. Enter Cassian, the Robot/Oscar Statue that is the caretaker of the humans. He seems to be protective over Cora, but is he trustworthy? Who cares, because Cora’s got a case of the swoons! Okay, from the sound of it… it’s a lot of nope. But. I can’t even help it, by the end, I shipped them, and I don’t even mind admitting it. They just had some kind of chemistry that worked for me completely.tumblr_m94k3sHnBh1qc3nl6o1_500

This is basically what I loved about this book, condensed:

  • Insanely unique plot and worldbuilding.
  • Very complex characters and fabulous psychological questions were raised.
  • Quite thought provoking and exciting, which to me, is the best of both worlds.
  • I liked the romance, even though everyone else likely thinks it’s creepy.

Bottom Line: I had no idea that The Cage would be so psychologically compelling! While I definitely enjoyed the action and plot twists, the character twists were equally incredible. I adored, and I need the next book immediately. Please and thank you. 5str

You’re in an alien zoo for humans. What’s your next move? 

Posted May 11, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , , / 18 Comments

18 responses to “Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

  1. I completely understand why you liked the romance, Shannon! If it weren’t for a few parts in this book that left me feeling quite uncomfortabe, I probably would have given this 4 stars or more. Plus, the writing was incredibly atmospheric, wasn’t it? It was weird to see them “whisked” away by an alien race, but it just worked somehow, and the creepy setting was written so well!

  2. That’s exactly what I did love about it, the feel of experiment about it, and how it brought out their animalistic instincts, because if you put animals into an enclosed space together, and make them comfortable, give them food and water, and then slowly take away that, what are they going to do? Turn on one another. Which is realistic (even if I couldn’t stand Nox and her scheming ways, but I guess, that’s what she learned the way she grew up, and what’s his face, the dude she sleeps with (okay, that doesn’t really narrow things down, does it? But the smart one. I really wanted to poke him in the eye. Badly).
    Yeah, I totally didn’t like the romance, but there was a reason for the romance being there (which holy crap, because I did not guess that he was, you know what) so I can forgive the romance, partly, haha.

    • It is so very true! It was really realistic, and I found that while at first their behavior was appalling, it made SO much sense after looking at it from that perspective! Nok was a mess, BUT after all she’d been through, it made sense. I totally didn’t understand Rolf, except that he has to be completely, 100% batshit crazy. Seriously, in my notes, it says “Um, Rolf is freaking INSANE, right?” hahhaha.

  3. Omgg yayy finally a five star review for this one<3 The mixed reviews are sorta scaring me off. Here's to hoping I like this book, I will probably pick it up over the weekend. Lovely review Shannon 🙂

    • I really hope you like it too! Now, it wasn’t flawless, but it was very well written and I LOVED it, so I had to give it five stars honestly. I sat on the rating for a few days, because I was torn- head versus heart, of course!- so I ended up going with my heart 😉

  4. Well, well, well… look at you getting all hyped up about this novel! I’m glad it turned out so great for you. Unfortunately, I thought it was just okay. I thought the story to be promising, at first, but I didn’t ship any couple, unlike you, and found all characters to be tedious. The writing was lovely though. Anyway, super review!! xoxo

    • I seriously loved it. I know it won’t be a hit for everyone, but I figured a disclaimer would do the trick 😉 I think a lot of people will dislike all the couples. Like Nok and… all the dudes? Hhahah. And Cora and… oddly, also most of the dudes. So yes, I totally see the problem! 😀

  5. Woah there I thought this review was going somewhere else with that beginning. BUT I AM GLAD YOU LIKED IT A LOT. The concept sounds really, really weird and it’s definitely something I wouldn’t read, but I’m glad you liked it hahahha.

  6. I love the idea of this book! I’ve actually imagine a similar situation before. Glad you liked this one. I really want it!


    Anyway. I am SO happy to hear you loved this. I’ve definitely read some mixed reviews, but I have so much hope for this one because ALIENS. After the last two disappointing ones I read, I really hope this one will be one I can love! The zoo concept is cool enough and I would have read just for that, but when you put aliens in?? I’M SOLD. And also not really all that put off by that romance aspect. What does that say about me? Probably bad things.

    • Hahhahaha that is exactly how I feel about the romance thing! Like, maybe there is something wrong with ME that I loved it, but I can’t help it, I did! I really hope you like this one- the aliens are not like, SUPER different either, so it is pretty interesting. AND I think a lot more will be uncovered about all the weirdness during the course of the series, which makes sense, because if the characters are in a ZOO, they are only going to find out things intermittently!

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