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 super annoying because it's one of those books that had all of the elements that should have made it an amazing, asskicking book but it concentrated on all of the wrong bits and totally lost out on that opportunity. The premise sort of reminded me of The Maze Runner because of the whole teens being stuck in an arena of sorts being tested on something that they don't know. The whole aliens bit was unbelievable but I guess it worked in context, but I would have loved more explanation because we're told things but they aren't explained well - as far as wordbuilding goes I feel like The Cage was a bit of a let down.
Now lets get to the romance - ignoring the human boy Lucky who isn't actually all that relevant despite his place in the love triangle I have to say that I was a little bit creeped out by Cassian's obsession with Cora and how Cora fell for the creepy alien guy who was holding her hostage. Sure, he comes across as sympathetic but it was just... Creepy to me. Not swoonworthy and nothing that I could really care about.
The other kids stuck in the cage were pretty forgettable - I guess they were annoying more than anything. There were so many petty arguments and stuff that really just pulled me away from the story in itself and that was pretty annoying for me, I felt that without the little teen arguments and romances this book would have been much better. Either that or more development on the sex and reproduction side of things, so more of a higher age group.
Finally, I found the pace pretty weird. At some times the book moved at a glacial pace and at some it moved just way too quickly.
Overall, I feel that The Cage was a great premise that fell flat in pretty much every other area. It could have been much better book but I feel like the focus was on the exact opposite aspects that it should have been.
Overall Rating: d
Book released 26th May 2015 by Balzer+Bray
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review