Told from the point of view of Cora, and five other teenagers being held captive by an otherworldly race aka aliens, The Hunt, the sequel to The Cage, was SO good that it caught me off guard. Last year when I reviewed The Cage, it didn’t really stand out much to me. Still a very good read, with a great concept, but it lacked certain elements that could have made it a five-star book. So, when I picked up the sequel, I wasn’t expecting much, but boy was I wrong. THIS sequel completely took me by surprise. Comparing the first book to cubic zirconia, The Hunt is a certified diamond 🙂
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.
The Hunt picks up a few weeks after the first book ended with Cora in a cell contemplating over her past mistakes. Unlike the human zoo she was in before, because of her escape attempt, she, Lucky and Mali are put into a new enclosure called The Hunt, a safari-themed environment that houses the lowest of the low human captives. Leon has successfully escaped, but is shacking up with Mosca black-market smugglers while Nok and Rolf live in a dollhouse that is being observed almost 24/7 by alien scientists who are studying Nok’s pregnancy.
All of them want to escape and go back to earth (if there is an earth) but none of them have any idea how until Cassian gives Cora an option—prove humanity’s worthiness by taking and beating The Gauntlet, a series of dangerous tests that test all aspects of an individual or continue to live as she does—as a lower creature. But can she trust the guy who betrayed her so easily before?
I don’t want to give away too much, but this book was way better than the first. Everything that The Cage lacked The Hunt had plus more!
Where The Cage was predictable—The Hunt was topsy-turvy with gut-wrenching twists!
Where The Cage’s multiple viewpoints bothered me—The Hunt made me like it! I usually don’t like reading books with large amounts of multiple viewpoints. 1-3 character viewpoints is fine, but 6? Nope. When I originally read The Cage, two of the characters annoyed me and their viewpoint chapters felt unnecessary and basically added nothing to the story. But now, I completely take that back. The second time around every character had a purpose and every scene/chapter moved the story forward.
Where The Cage’s characters fell flat and lacked growth—The Hunt let us delve deeper into the characters psyche, and really let us see who they were. We got to see a bit more of what makes them who they are, while learning about their past, their desires, wishes and wants. Certain characters like Leon, who I sort of didn’t care for in the first book, I was in love with and rooting for in this book. I feel like each character truly felt unique and had their own voice this time around. I think this is why the large amount of multiple viewpoints didn’t bother me this time around. Each character displayed some sort of growth from their experiences in the first book, which made their personalities shine brighter in the sequel. Especially Cora, the main heroine. The events from The Cage made her a wee bit smarter, and wee bit wiser. While she stood out before, now we see Cora become a more active character, who is growing and learning from her past mistakes.
One of my favorite things about this book was learning more about the aliens aka Kindred. The reader really gets to learn more about the their world, customs and society. It’s truly a unique and fascinating place.
The only thing that bothered me about this book was the love triangle. I was fine when Cora showed favoritism toward one guy—she knew what wanted and let the other guy kind of know. But when the guy she picks betrays her, she runs back to the other one, even though she still likes the original one she picked. THIS is what I didn’t like. Just because the guy you chose turned out to be a douche doesn’t mean you can go running back to the other one who’s clearly in love with you and just play with his emotions until the original guy does something sappy to win you back. Just grow some lady balls and be by yourself for awhile and stand on your own until you figure out what you want. Either forgive the original guy or realize you truly love the second guy (I personally wouldn’t take you back after you rejected me) or just be by yourself and focus on escaping (I like the third option.)
Even with all that, The Hunt did what a good book should do—it entertained me, tugged at my emotions and left me anxiously waiting for the next installment. This sequel had higher stakes, and better action than its predecessor, and I’m hoping book #3 continues this trend!