The Cage by Megan Shepherd

the cage

I was provided with an ARC of this book.

4 out of 5 stars.

This book is straight up science fiction. A group of teens is abducted by aliens and placed in a  habitat made up of different Earth biomes. They have to figure out if it is a zoo, experiment, or something more sinister as well as try to work together as a group and not go crazy and murder each other. Escape may or may not be an option.

This book is written from several different viewpoints and I really found it interesting to watch the personalities of the captive teens play off of each other, as well as slowly deteriorate under pressure. Some characters have histories linking them, some are strangers. They are expected to eventually mate and raise the next generation. They each deal with stress differently and watching the group try to stabilize itself as some try to escape and others want to stay safe was great.

Trying to figure out whether changes in the environment were internal sabotage or alien influence was also a good part of the book. One or more of the captives may be a spy for the aliens and a lot of the book is puzzling out the alliances and the motives of the characters. Also, alien abduction into a zoo-like environment seems like such an old sci-fi trope, but I haven’t really seen it done that often in the recent teen lit. that it was enjoyable seeing someone address it. I loved the character interactions in this novel, and trying to keep track of who may or may not snap was engaging.

I kind of regret reading this one so early because now I have to wait even longer for the sequel :(.

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