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New YA SciFi | Book Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

The Cage is a new venture for Megan Shepherd; one of science fiction, stranded teens and mysterious captors.

Book Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

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the cage megan shepherd book review

Title & Author: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction

Release Date: May 26, 2014

Series: The Cage #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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?”

Something Different in YA Science Fiction

The Cage is self-described as “The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld.” I’m not how much the story lives up to that comparison, but it definitely has some Maze Runner-ish similarities.

Cora wakes up in a completely new and strange environment, far away from her home and family. As she explores her new surroundings, she finds four other teens stranded in a weird town that mixes iconic settings from different eras (an 80s arcade, a French saloon, a Western diner).

As they learn more about each other, the teens realize they have a purpose in their new prison – one they never could have imagined as a reality.

What The Cage has going for it:

  • Interesting relationship dynamics
  • Mystery of unknown trials
  • Fast-paced science fiction fun

The suspense of not being able to guess what would happen next was the most exciting part of reading this book. There were some new science fiction elements in play that I found intriguing and worthwhile.

However, there were a few things that took away from my overall enjoyment.

One was a back and forth momentum. The plot pattern took place about a third into the book, and I found it to be repetitive and unnecessary. It was a distraction that wasn’t really needed.

And, I also didn’t think this book needed a sequel, which it’s definitely getting. The way things were left at the end require a better conclusion, but I think this story would have definitely benefitted from being a standalone.

This is one of those tough calls where although I definitely enjoyed The Cage, it didn’t blow me away. It was a good, solid read.


If you love science fiction or are in the mood for something different, then I’d definitely recommend checking out this book. It is not, however, for those who are not fans of love triangles or who are easily bothered by ambling plots. The Cage had an interesting premise and is a good book overall – I just wasn’t overly excited or impressed by it.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Kati

    Thanks for the review, Lisa! I must admit the story does sound a bit far-fetched … 😉 But as there are soooo many other books waiting to be read I might skip this one … Have nice weekend!