Step-by-Step Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Cage (The Cage #1) 
Author: Megan Shepherd 
Genre: Science Fiction 
Format: eBook, 385 pages 
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Publication Date: May 26th 2015

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?

Thoughts before Reading:  

I love Megan Shepherd's writing (and not just because we have the same last name) but her writing is dark, mysterious and drags me right in. I was super excited when I heard news of The Cage, and couldn't wait to start it. Sadly, I didn't get to start it until after Christmas. I was really excited to see how this all was going to play out! 


Cora: A majority of the chapters are Cora, but they do change as the story continues on. Initially I felt bad for Cora. We learn that she has been in juvie for the last eighteen months, and longs for her life to go back to normal. As the story went on, it was easy to see that Cora was the only one seeing through the mind games that the Kindred were putting them through. She has a few quirks that irritated me, but as I whole she was really the only character (Besides Cassian that I liked!) 
Lucky: Lucky and Cora have a history together that they don't know about. Lucky is the reason that Cora was imprisoned anyway. After the death of his mother and racked with grief he attempted to shoot Cora's father (A senator) but his guards caught him and offered him a deal. Initially I really liked Lucky, and shipped him and Cora together pretty hard. But as more things were revealed my taste for that ship lessened as well as my liking of him.
Rolf: I.HATE.ROLF. Seriously. I hate know it alls and he is the biggest one of all time. Pretty quick in the book he develops feelings for Nok. Her is overly protective, jealous and quick to turn everyone against Cora. He actually wants to stay in the cage. 
Nok: I hated her more then Rolf (It depends) She knew how to manipulate men and she had Rolf wrapped around her finger and then Leon. Siding with Rolf she blamed Cora for much of the unfairness among the group, and that Cora was overall a bad person. I had very little pity for Nok (For her past yes, but as far as the cage goes no.) 
Leon: I don't have much to say for him. He was just there. My heart broke for some of his chapters, but there wasn't much I felt towards him. I hope he makes a reappearance in the next book though. His end was very open ended.

World Building:  

I think Shepherd did a pretty good job with creating the biosphere, there are multiple locations in one, that are geographically impossible. But besides the biosphere she created several new and interesting life forms (The Kindred being one of them) that aren't as "pleasant" as the Kindred. The Kindred were really well developed and you learn a lot about them through out The Cage. We learn minor details about the other alien species, but that was just a taste. I can't wait to find out more in the next books! 


Originally I shipped Lucky and Cora but that quickly changed. It is easy to see that in Cassian's and Cora's interactions that he does care about her (On some level) At first Cora hates Cassian but as time goes on she develops and attraction towards him. It was slow burn romance, and not much of anything until the end of the book. But I hope their relationship continues on in the next book. I really do like them together. 

Thoughts after Reading:

I was really impressed with The Cage and I am excited for the next book. The ending wasn't as much as a cliffhanger as I expected it to be. But there is still a lot of curiosity with what is going to happen next. 


Why 4 stars?: I liked everything about this book but some of the characters. If they were more enjoyable it would have been a 5 star book. 


  1. I am sooooo excited to read The Hunt! I hate that this is yet another Shepherd series with a love triangle, but I am with you on the Cassian/Cora ship. I didn't totally love this book so I'm not as invested in it, but I do have The Hunt and will be reading it next month (I think?)! I hope it's good. *crosses fingers*

    Lovely review, Amber!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. That is another one I am waiting on to be approved for! I am really eager to read it! I don't think this one have as bad love triangle wise then her other books, that was the only thing I disliked about TMMD book. *Fingers crossed for you*

      Thank you! <3

  2. I LOVE MEGAN SHEPHERD! The Mad Man's Daughter is one of my favorite books of all time. I picked it up without knowing what it was about and I just LOVED it. ...but the series kind of went down hill for me. I hope this new series holds up throughout each book :) I'm going to have to start it!

    1. I loved the series, hated the love triangle. It was very touchy for me because my reasons are a lot different from other people. My issued was more the romance then the triangle. I hope you enjoy it SJ! <3

  3. I've never read anything by this author, but this book actually sounds wonderful! It scares me a little that you only really liked 2 of the characters, but maybe my experience will be different? I'm very interested to learn more of this world she created and to learn more about these characters' secrets! I like the step-by-step review format!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover


Please note that if your comment doesn’t appear right away it’s because we have to approve it & Make sure to clock the "notify me" box so you can check back once your comment has been approved! ❤️