Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

Series: The Cage (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: aliens, extraterrestrials, psychic ability,

Setting: In an enclosure called the Hunt, and also the alien space station it’s in.

POV/Tense: 3rd person POV limited and past tense, rotating between the human characters: Cora (mainly), Lucky, Rolf, Nok, Leon and Mali

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 359 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Balzer + Bray

Summary/ product description: “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.”

My Review:  The Hunt is the sequel to Megan Shepherd’s sci-fi book, The Cage. Like in the Cage, we get to read chapters in 3rd person limited perspectives of Cora (the main protagonist), Lucky, Leon, Rolf, Nok, and Mali. In the Cage, they we stuck in a large menagerie with 8 biomes (desert, tundra, mountains, ocean, farm, swamp, jungle, and grasslands), as well as a fake town with store and restaurant in which the could play games and get rewarded. The Kindred (the tall human-like aliens with metallic bronze skin, black hair and all black eye when cloaked) observed and studied their interaction and paired them up as mating partners, but Nok and Rolf were the only ones to procreate. Cassian, who had said he was their caretaker turned out to be the warden and also seems to be attracted to Cora.

In the Hunt, after trying to escape the cage and being caught, Cora is send to a different menagerie called the Hunt. It’s place where Kindred go usually for entertainment and drinks and also to experience the thrill of an African safari hunt usually synthetic non-lethal rifles. Cora is forced to sing and interact with guests. Cassian has deemed this menagerie to be the safest and most private option for him and Cora to talk and make plans.

Cora feels betrayed by Cassian because he used the escape to push her or “break her.” He wanted to see her potential to use psychic abilities that could help humans evolve into “intelligent” beings. He’s part if a secret movement called the Fifth of Five, trying to free humans from slavery and oppression by the four intelligent alien races. He wants to train her in perceptive abilities so she can run the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a computer run test of physical abilities, intelligence, morality and perceptive/psychic abilities. Other humans have tried and failed to succeed, often losing their mind or even dying. This would be a huge risk for Cora, but Cassian believes she has the potential to succeed.

Lucky and Malia are also sent to work in the Hunt. Leon is working with Mosca black-market traders because unlike the Mosca, he can crawl through tunnels and also they have alcohol. Nok is pregnant with a girl, who she wants to call sparrow. Nok and Rolf are sent to live in a dollhouse with one missing wall that kindred can watch their interactions though. Nok is afraid that her baby will be taken from her.

This was a really great sequel. It feels very unique. We get to see a lot more of this alien space station than the first book. The characters are all unique and different from each other. They’re very diverse since they’re different nationalities and races. I love all the sci-fi stuff, and especially the psychic abilities. There’s even a little romance. I’m not a big fan of 3rd person perspective, but Megan made it work well. She’s the author that wrote a historical fiction series I actually enjoyed, so I can’t wait to see what she write next. I can’t wait to read the 3rd and final book in the Cage trilogy. There was a bit of a cliffhanger ending in the Hunt.

I recommend this book to fans of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, The Taking by Kimberly Derting, Gone by Michael Grant, and The 100 by Kass Morgan.

Cover Art Review: The cover cool, but maybe a little busy and I’m not a fan of the plain glossy paper.

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