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Published: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Source: MeL Cat
Read June 17, 2015
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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?
Those two tiny words were what caught my eye. I mean... HUMANS in a ZOO.
That's kind of different! By the way, don't look up human zoos. It's super depressing and makes you hate people. A lot.
One moment Cora is in a car with her brother, the next she's waking up in the middle of the desert in strange clothes. And there's no one there. She then realizes that the desert she woke up in is right next to a forest, next to snowy mountains, next to an ocean. She soon finds four other teens there. And none of them know what's going on.
After exploring their new surroundings, the five find out that they are being held captive, and they're not on Earth. They're captors are aliens, and they're captives in a zoo. And there are certain rules that they must follow, unless they want to be taken out of the experiment, and that means death. While trying to form a leadership, they get along at first, but then everyone's true colors show.
This book was so fascinating. I was worried that it wouldn't be able to compare to The Madman's Daughter trilogy, but this book didn't let me down! Yeah, it took a little while to get used to everything, but once it was all explained, I was sucked right in!
I immediately really liked Cora. From the beginning, she refused to stay. Whereas everyone else just decided to not fight and build a life in the zoo, Cora was constantly fighting to get back to Earth and her family. Rolf, Nok, and Leon choose from the beginning to stay, and Lucky is the only one to side with her, but you find out why later on. And why he knows so much about her, yet she's never met him. So many secrets!
A new character, Mali, is introduced. She's lived among the aliens and has lived in their habitats, so she knows a lot more than everyone else. And she's just as secretive. However, she's not opposed to helping Cora escape, and she knows how to do it.
I hated Rolf. I understand how he got picked on, but he was such an asshole. He was a megalomaniac or had a superiority complex or something. Nok was a compulsive liar, telling everyone she was super rich and successful when she really wasn't. She was just using everyone around her in the cage. Leon pretty much hated everyone. Lucky was a liar as well, but not as bad as Cora. He sees her as a victim because of her path, whereas Cora doesn't think of herself as a victim.
So the synopsis sets up a love triangle, but there really wasn't much of one. Yeah, Cora and Lucky are paired up, but there really isn't anything between Cora and Cassian, their alien captor. It's obvious that he favors Cora, but it's not like there's a romantic relationship going on. Maybe it will be expanded upon in the sequel, so we might have to wait until then.
I love how she was trying to keep herself sane while going through such a crazy situation. It didn't help that no one was really agreeing with her at all. But even with everything that was going on, she was still do determined. It will be interesting to see how she gets out of the situation she ends up in at the end of the book!
I wanted to like him, but he lied so much! Maybe if he had been honest from the beginning there wouldn't be so many issues. I can't wait to see how the relationship between him and Cora changes in the sequel.
He's very strange. Not simply because he's an alien, but because he doesn't show any emotion, like the aliens. It's so hard to tell what he's thinking.
Overall, I loved the concept of this book! I haven't heard of something like this, so this book was a breath of fresh air. So different from others that I've read! I'm excited to see how Cora gets herself out of the situation she ends up in, and how her relationships with Lucky, Cassian, and the other captives change!