An alien zoo

1432650301376The 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? (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

I had high hopes for this. I thought The Madman’s Daughter wasn’t all that great, but everyone was saying that they liked The Cage better. It was the opposite for me. This felt (as much as I hate to use the word), shallow.

Let me put it this way: there are three rules:

1. Decode the puzzles hidden inside their custody
2. Provide their body everything necessary in order to stay healthy
3. Reproduce

The characters are told that there are puzzles hidden around the enclosure that, if solved, will give you tokens to buy stuff that the aliens brought back from Earth for them. But do the characters do that? It’s mentioned a couple of times, and sometimes there are scenes where they’re lugging bags full of tokens around, but mostly they wander around doing nothing. They regularly skip meals, expect for one girl who seems to live off of candy. Guess which rule is the only one they regularly follow? Exactly. Not only that, but the author turned to stereotyping. The pretty model is the one who cheats on her “boyfriend”.

Not only that, there’s a love triangle between the heroine, the human boy she was “matched” too, and their alien captor. AND IT WASN’T EVEN A GOOD ROMANCE. There is pretty much no character development because the characters seem to change personalities on a dime. Just as I think, “Oh, I might start to like you a little bit,” they suddenly become a jerk, or whiny, or just plan annoying.

The only semi-interesting character, Mali, is only around for like a quarter of the book, it’s all focused on Cora and her need to escape, but, oh wait, she doesn’t have a plan other than “I want to escape”. Lucky, her “love interest” (and I say that on the broadest terms because I felt like nothing ever clicked between them), is boring and two-dimensional, and his personalty is pretty typical in terms of bad romance. The brooding cute guy who has this big, dark secret. Ug.

On that same note, whenever a character has to describe another character for whatever strange reason, guess what they describe. That’s right, their good looks. Not their personality, not the way they move or how they talk, but their “gorgeous eyes”, and “handsome smile” and so on and so forth. If I’m asked to describe people, especially people that I’ve known for longer than a few days, I barely describe how they look (short, curly blond hair and a few freckles), but then I describe their personality.

Basically, the one thing that’s saving this book from a one-star review is that I only give one-star reviews to books I was unable to finish.

TwoStarsI am currently trying to find all the reviews I’ve written on here so I can make a list so they’re easier to find. Partly for you guys, but mostly for me (I tend to read the review I wrote of a previous book before I write the second one. Helps me remember the storyline in the first).

I am also trying to figure out the best way to display all different social media stuff I’m on. But so far, I’m kind of out of luck.

Happy Saturday,


2 thoughts on “An alien zoo

  1. Sorry to hear there were so many plotholes and awful tropes in the book. This one sounded quite interesting, too.


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