The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the second novel in this gripping and romantic YA series about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race—from Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of the Madman’s Daughter series. They’ve left the cage—but they’re not free yet. After their failed escape attempt, Cora, Lucky, and Mali have been demoted to the lowest level of human captives and placed in a safari-themed environment called the Hunt, along with wild animals and other human outcasts. They must serve new Kindred masters—Cora as a lounge singer, Lucky as an animal wrangler, and Mali as a safari guide—and follow new rules or face dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, Nok and Rolf have been moved into an enormous dollhouse, observed around the clock by Kindred scientists interested in Nok’s pregnancy. And Leon, the only one who successfully escaped, has teamed up with villainous Mosca black-market traders. The former inhabitants of the Cage are threatened on all fronts—and maybe worst of all, one of the Hunt’s Kindred safari guests begins to play a twisted game of cat and mouse with Cora. Separated and constantly under watch, she and the others must struggle to stay alive, never mind find a way back to each other. When Cassian secretly offers to train Cora to develop her psychic abilities—to prove the worthiness of humanity in a series of tests called the Gauntlet—she’ll have to decide fast if she dares to trust the Kindred who betrayed her, or if she can forge her own way to freedom.
The Hunt (The Cage #2)Featured
Once again, we see the cage through the eyes of Cora, Lucky, Mali, and the others. Mostly though I feel this is Cora's story. The biggest conflict she deals with is her desire to get back to Earth but she hates to admit that she actually has feeling for her captor Cassian. I think this transcends the whole Stockholm symptom-where a victim falls in love with her kidnapper. Cassian shows his own vulnerabilities whenever he's uncloaked. The chemistry and desire is intense and pushes aside any romantic feelings she might have for Lucky.
In THE CAGE readers get a glimpse of the cage the teens are put in. Think a human zoo set on an alien planet. THE HUNT though is more descriptive with the horrors that befall Cora, Mali, and Lucky when they are set in a Safari type cage which involves real animals. These scenes were tough for me to read as I abhor anything that deals with animal cruelty. What works though is how the character's tough exteriors are broken down and we witness acts of kindness towards the animals that are captured. To the Kindred, Earthens are no better than animals.
Readers also see other aliens which include the treacherous Mosca--they kind of reminded me the doctors in the recent Teen Wolf series. All is not what it seems. Even the so-called allies of Cassian have their own secrets. The scene where Nok and Rolf are placed in a human doll house are very similar to an old Twilight Zone episode. Only in this case, the one Kindred doctor has her own plans for the unborn baby.
If there was one thing I wanted more of though had to be more on how the teens ended up in the cage. We get hints of Mali's story but not much more.
There's suspense, horror, action, and romance in this Twilight Zone meets The Maze Runner. Be prepared for some wicked twists and reveals. Guaranteed to keep readers reading and wanting more!
2. Dystopia meets Twilight Zone
I was really excited for this book since I enjoyed the first one and I was eager to see how the character would react to the huge reveals that happened and how they would come back from going a little ‘Lord of the Flies’ in the first book. There were so many questions that needed to be answered and likely more questions that would come up while reading this sequel.
The book was told mainly through Cora’s POV but the other four teens all got a few chapters to themselves. I liked that we still got to check in with the others since everyone was so separated. Cora had a lot she went through in the first book and she wasn’t done being put through tests in this one. The environment they were place in during the first book where they were mostly just observed seemed like a cakewalk compared to the safari and the dollhouse. There was a sleaziness to the some Kindred who frequented the Safari and Cora was supposed to entertain them by singing or dancing or playing with them. She wanted out, she wanted to get her friends out, and the only way seemed to be trusting Cassian again. She pushed herself in her training, knowing she was their best hope. Trusting Cassian again was difficult, both for her and for me as a reader, and I liked that it wasn’t a trust that would be easily rebuilt. He would have to work for it.
There were many small moments where I felt a connection to all the characters. From Lucky being concerned about the animals the Kindred hunted with tranquilizer guns so as not to kill their entertainment, to Nok and Rolf being worried about bringing a child into this world – if they even got to keep the baby after it was born. I worried for Leon working with people who would betray him for the right price. There wasn’t a moment to relax. There wasn’t a moment to feel like they were safe. Every time I felt lulled into any kind of sense of security, it was false. These kids could not catch a break.
The whole concept of the series is strange and I really love it. Being kidnapped by an alien race to be observed the way scientists on earth observe their own experiments, and said alien race just might be on the brink of some kind of civil war that involves the worthiness of humans. Strange and creepy and definitely something I don’t regret picking up. The sequel was even more of a roller-coaster ride than the first was so I can only imagine what the third will be like. I definitely think I’ll like where the plot seems to be heading and I’m excited for it. But these cliffhangers might kill me!