Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cage (The Cage, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Cage (The Cage, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cage

(The Cage #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  6,577 ratings  ·  985 reviews
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 beautifu
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cage, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ash Phoenix I'm unsure about The Hunt (the second novel in the series), but this one isn't too bad: sexual references, but no real gritty or graphic parts; very …more I'm unsure about The Hunt (the second novel in the series), but this one isn't too bad: sexual references, but no real gritty or graphic parts; very little profanity. However, one of the main problems in this is the main character's refusal to procreate according to orders... just so you know.(less)
Emma YES!!! The Cage is absolutely fantastic and innovative. The characters are complex in depth and sometimes unlikable, which I think, is reminiscent of …moreYES!!! The Cage is absolutely fantastic and innovative. The characters are complex in depth and sometimes unlikable, which I think, is reminiscent of "The Hunger Games". If you loved Across The Universe by Beth Revis, you will love this book. I adored it and would say that it is my favorite new release of the year. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,577 ratings  ·  985 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Cage (The Cage, #1)
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I also believe the infinity paradox is responsible for the headaches we’ve all been complaining about. Our minds can’t handle this much predictability.”

In short - Ugh. Just ugh.

This review will contain spoilers from here on… and it won't be pretty.

I didn’t like any of the characters in this book. Cora was irritating. She’s on an alien planet, in a ‘cage’ as she calls it
I am truly surprised at how much I liked this book.

I had read so many negative reviews about it, that I started reading it thinking I wasn't going to like it, that it was going to be a waste of time; I couldn't have imagined how wrong I was.

Despite some shortcomings, this story is quite captivating and entertaining.
I loved how in the beginning, everything indicated (view spoiler), how expected that was and how a well made twist, an unexpectede
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
Everything considered, this is not a bad book at all - the writing is good and flows well, the world building is excellent, and the characters well developed - but I was kind of meh about a large portion of it.

My biggest complaint is how a big part or the book is spent bickering and pointlessly planning an escape. I mean, how do they expect to get back home? They're in some alien world for gods sake and Cora's plan is to make a run for it and hope for the best? It's like she never even takes th
Faye, la Patata
Gah, I'm not sure what to think about this book. One one hand, I feel like it's definitely unique and refreshing, partaking on a sci-fi idea and molding it into something new. On the other hand, it had a lot of things that made me raise my eyebrow, want to bang my head on a wall, and gouge my eyes out.

Let's get one thing straight, though: the writing is mad awesome. It's been a while since I've read such beautiful writing that reads like a sweet harmony, as if reading it is like listening to ang
Trina (Between Chapters)
Rating may lower upon more reflection.

If you asked me what kind of sci-fi I like, this book would fit my criteria perfectly on paper. I LOVE stories about aliens discovering human emotions for the first time and learning what it means to be human. This story does that. But for whatever reason it hit a flat note for me.

I did enjoy that this wasn't an invasion story, but rather focused on why aliens would be interested in humans. But there was a focus on breeding that felt distasteful to me. There
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, sci-fi
A brilliant, exciting tale of what it's like to be human, even when all hope is lost. Shepherd perfectly contrasts freedom and entrapment, humanity and alien nature, loss and love. ...more
Irena BookDustMagic
Actual rating: 2,5

Full review to come.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Book One of The Cage series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 o
Lindsay Cummings
Megan Shepherd can do no wrong.
Jodi Meadows
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this one! It definitely made a 9-hour flight go by quickly.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, sci-fi, fantasy

THE CAGE is such a unique story. What would you do if you woke up in a fake reality with 5 strangers? Cora wakes up in the desert with no recollection of how she got there. She meets a boy there named Lucky and together they find 4 more strangers. One is dead. Together they find out that they are being watched everywhere they go. Soon they are introduced to their captors, a race called Kindred. There are three rules; solve the physical and mental puzzles (that are everywhere in their environment
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.

Cora wakes up in a desert, with no knowledge of who put her there. Thinking the impossible, she ventures out only to meet a boy her age. Both have no memories of how they got there. As they explore the area, certain things don't make any sense. How different parts are different seasons, how the town square is a mash-up of different cultures and how the other three people who are also locked up are also hidi
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating - 3.5

Take a seat children, I have a story to tell.

I am going to try and do my review in a different format this time. Might be a little easier for me.

So I picked this book up a couple days before the release, I do believe my local bookstore was getting sick of me. I was honestly stocking the store for when they got their deliveries and asking if they had it in yet. The Cage was one of my highly anticipated books of 2015.

The Good
- Cassian or "The Caretaker" I loved him throughout this wh
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars


Things I loved:

* It was so interesting and different.


* There was a sort-of love triangle that I actually really liked.

* I could not put this sucker down. I was GLUUUUED to those pages. Until like 4am. Yikes.

* The ending had me CLAWING for more. But it was still a satisfying ending (not open-ended or annoyingly cliffhangery).

Things I didn't like:

* I didn't like Rolf's character development. I loved him at first but HATED him at the end.

* Sometimes Cora could
Today is the day of celebration. I knew this day will come and I waited and waited and waited. I finally met a book where love-triangle ruined the story. It was not just bad, it was catastrophic. I should be glorious and celebrate, but I don't want to, because I actually would've loved this book if not for this ruin of a romance.

Megan Shepherd knows how to write, she knows how to make you sympathize MCs, she knows how to intrigue and how to give you a mouth dropping cliffhanger. The concept of

Sahil Javed
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
The Cage opens up with Cora Mason waking up in a desert, with no idea as to how she got there. When she explores her surroundings, and discovers other people, she finds a mix of environments right next to each other: a farm next to a jungle, a tundra next to a desert. When their jailer, a guard called Cassian, appears, the group realise that they are no longer on Earth, and have been put in a zoo, where the exhibits are humans.
“There was one thing she had learned, living caught between t
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
So promising.

So disappointing.

Megan has a tendency for inconsistency and terrible romance. I love her plot ideas. I like her engaging writing-style, but she fails to deliver the complete package.


Shepherd’s previous series, The madman’s daughter, had its up and downs. I loved her writing, so I had hope for this book. It started as a promising story, but it went downhill and ended up being nothing special.

Cora wakes up in the middle of a dessert. She ha
Initial reaction: 2.5 stars overall, I liked the setup and really liked the beginning, but it dragged its heels far too many times and force fed the relationships far too much for me to really like it more than what I did. I want to follow the series, though.

Full review:

This is another YA sci-fi/dystopian series I've picked up in the past year where the premise had a ton of potential for the set-up, but the way it executed left me feeling exhausted and uber annoyed by the time I finished it. Pre
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
This a cover that is sure to catch the eye and draw you in, The Cage truly has a unique premises.

To say I liked this would be, well it wouldn't quite be enough and maybe more than enough all at the same time.

This was oddly alluring and I don't even know why exactly other than I was intrigued by the gorgeous cover and the promise of an original read that would keep me on my toes.

Constantly wondering if their captures were telling the truth or not about Earth and of course wondering whether the
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Remember that post from a few weeks ago, about whether you review with your head or your heart ? Keep that in mind, because this one is really not coming from my head, or any logical place. For a logical breakdown, I am sending you over to Kirsty-Marie @ Studio Reads, because her review has logic and explains how she feels, and I agree with a lot of what she says.

My review? Well.... I really, really liked this book. It was addicting to me, really. At first I wasn't sure about it, because
Well that was fun.

The Cage by Megan Shepherd is the story of a young girl who awakens and finds herself in a strange place, surrounded by 5 other young adults. They've been kidnapped by an alien race known as the Kindred and they are in a kind of a habitat under 24 hour observation. (Which reminds me of that Star Trek episode where the crew was being watched by those black and white people, but I digress). The kids are told that they need to follow three simple rules: 1)They must solve enrichme
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

The Cage is a good read. But it had the potential to have been a great one - if only it wasn't struck by a severe case of ridiculous instalove.
People fall into the same routines of thinking day after day: toss an apple and it falls to the ground. Pick a flower and it withers. Fall asleep and wake the next morning.
But this? This was like dropping an apple and having it fall toward the sun.
16-year-old Cora and four other teenagers wake up with no idea where they are or how they go
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-releases
*2.75 stars..*

I had really high hopes for this book since I loved The Madman's Daughter by Megan but unfortunately it was pretty disappointing for me. The premise sounded really promising but the execution and the characters I wasn't a huge fan of.

This book could have been suspenseful and mysterious but instead it was just kinda irritating and annoying. All the teenagers in this novel did was sit around doing basically nothing. The only character who didn't irritate me was Cora, I actually read
Brad Sells
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Unique and utterly captivating, The Cage was everything I was hoping for and more. Book two, please!
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it

I'm going to flat out honest right here--I almost didn't read  The Cage. Sure the cover was interesting, but I wasn't a huge fan of  Her Dark Curiosity (though I loved The Madman's daughter), so I was pretty much about to avoid this book. But then after a month of seeing the cover everywhere, I skimmed across the synopsis and all of a sudden this was a read it now or die type of book. So I downloaded. And I read it in one day.

Holy shit guys. Just. Holy shit.

Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers)


THE CAGE was surprisingly an okay read! Not great, but not terrible either. I never read anything by Megan Shepherd so I really didn't know what to expect from her books. But I always thought her synopsis's sounded fantastic and like something I would enjoy. But for whatever reason I never gotten round to reading anything by Shepherd, until THE CAGE. And when I first heard about a human zoo run by Aliens, I was instantly intrigued and knew I had to read it. So of course I HAD to chec
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
What would you do if you woke up as an exhibit in a zoo? Well that's pretty much what happens to Cora Mason and 4 other teenagers that inhabit The Cage.

Taken by an alien race, they must discover the motives behind their captivity to survive the challenges that are put before them. Some want to escape, some are happy with the status quo and some will do anything to create change...but will they all survive?

Cora finds herself attracted to the strange and mysterious ”caretaker”, Cassian. Can her re
Megan Shepherd does it again.

I don't know what's up with these low ratings but don't let that stop you from reading The Cage. PLEASE DON'T! You'll be doing yourself and the author an injustice.

I loved how the book slowly built up the tension and pressure right until the very end. The setting, within and without the cage, is amazing. The characters are diverse with distinct voices and personalities. Cora is a wonderful protagonist and I love her determination. But best of all, the love triangle i
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So boring. Full review to come
Out of nowhere, Shepherd became one of my favorite YA writers. Her debut novel, The Madman's Daughter, was an instant hit with me and while the sequels never quite lived up to the first one, they were very enjoyable and consistently reinforced my impression that Shepherd was one hell of a writer. She just always seemed like the type of writer that's really in tune with her characters and that has perfect control over her storytelling, but my favorite thing about her was just how original her cra ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood, #1)
  • The Path of Thorns
  • Princess of Glass (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #2)
  • Fright Night
  • This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil, #3)
  • Stain
  • This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil, #2)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #3)
  • The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)
  • Alone Out Here
  • What Big Teeth
  • Reaper (Soul Screamers, #3.5)
  • Rise (Eve, #3)
  • The Prey (The Hunt, #2)
  • Taken (Taken, #1)
  • All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1)
  • Pegasus and the New Olympians (Pegasus, #3)
  • Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus (Pegasus, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

Other books in the series

The Cage (3 books)
  • The Hunt (The Cage, #2)
  • The Gauntlet (The Cage, #3)

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
25 likes · 3 comments
“Sometimes mistakes are worth making.” 12 likes
“A smile can hide so much. A smile can be a lie.” 12 likes
More quotes…