Thursday, May 19, 2016

ARC Review: The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

The Hunt
Author: Megan Shepherd
Series: Cage (Book 2)
Publication: Balzer + Bray (May 24, 2016)

Description: The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the second novel in this gripping and romantic YA series about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race—from Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of the Madman’s Daughter series.

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 Thoughts: If I hadn't been reading this on my beloved Kindle, I would have hurled the book across the room when I got to the final page. Another cliffhanger! After following our heroes from peril to peril wondering who, if anyone, they could trust, I wasn't ready for them to be in even more peril at the end. One advantage to this very uncomfortable ending is that I am ready to pre-order the next book in this series as soon as I see that it is available.

Potential spoilers for those who haven't read book 1 - The Cage.

After their unsuccessful escape attempt from the habitat that the Kindred designed for our heroes, they find themselves split up and in less desirable situations. Nok and Rolf are in a giant doll house being observed by Kindred scientist Serassi who is threatening to take Nok's baby from her as soon as it is viable. Leon has escaped to the drecktubes and found a very unsafe refuge with the Mosca. Mali, Cora and Lucky find themselves in a scenario called the Hunt where they are replicating an African Safari. Lucky is working with the animals who are shot, revived, and shot again. Cora is a singer in the lounge.

Cassian is training her to take part in the Gauntlet which could prove that humans are an intelligent species. However, his opinion that they are is definitely a minority opinion among the Kindred. So her training has to be kept secret. He is training her to use her psychic powers which cause her to have headaches and nosebleeds if she overuses them. Cora is looking for a way to cheat the Gauntlet because, in her opinion, that's what humans do. This is an alien concept to the Kindred.

All of our characters are in great danger as they are treated as specimens in a Kindred zoo,

If you like action, plotting, and characters you don't know if you can trust, this is the book for you. If you hate cliffhangers, buy this one and sit it on a shelf until the next one comes out which will hopefully come to some sort of resolution.

Favorite Quote:
Cora's pulse throbbed in her head, too loud to think. In Bay Pines, the guards had always offered the inmates two choices. It was supposed to teach them to make good decisions. Once, Queenie got into a fight in the cafeteria, and the guards said she could either spend free period cleaning the spilled food, or be dragged straight off to solitary. Queenie had just smiled, and stabbed a fork in her hand, and spent the next two weeks in a cushy bed in the psych hospital watching Friends reruns.

Cora had learned a lesson from Queenie that day, but not the ones the guards wanted: just because someone told you there were only two choices didn't mean they were right.

Sometimes you had to make your own third option.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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