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Monday, June 13, 2016

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

What a thrilling ride! I really enjoyed the first book of the series, but personally, I think this sequel is even better. I was in the mood for a good sci-fi novel and this book definitely delivered. It's entertaining, fast paced and intelligent.

After failing to escape The Cage in book one, Cora and her friends are scattered throughout a space station, where they're being held as prisoners. Mali, Lucky and Cora are prisoners of The Hunt, a safari and bar where some of the Kindred come to be entertained, while Rolf and expectant mother Nok are playing house while being scientifically scrutinized as part of an alien study. Leon could be considered the lucky one, still prisoner of the space station, but free to roam the ducts and working as a black market agent for Bonebreak, a Mosca. This unlikely band of humans was originally placed together in a cage, but now, despite being separated, they still form a strong bond. I think it shows the importance of solidarity and of human connection when it comes to surviving.

Despite the story being told from multiple views, Cora remains the main character, like she was in the first book. She's being trained by Cassian, a Kindred, in order to enter The Gauntlet, a series of tests that allow subjects to prove their race's intelligence. So far, there are only four intelligent species: Kindred, Mosca, Axion and Gatherers. Cassian, and a few other Kindreds, strongly believe in the Fifth of Five initiative; they strongly believe humans are the fifth intelligent race and he has made it his duty to help Cora pass the Gauntlet. If she succeeds, only then will humans be set free and no longer be slaves. In order to survive the Gauntlet, Cora must train her telekinesis abilities, but with such little time to get ready, she believes the only way to pass is by cheating.

The relationship between Cora and Cassian is a very interesting one. The Kindred are known to be a very cold race, rarely showing emotions, even when "uncloaked." Cassian has studied Cora for a while now, both on Earth and in the cage and it seems like he has developed some strong feelings for his research subject. Originally, Cora and Lucky were abducted as a mating pair, but a strong bond has formed between the alien and Cora. Some people might scream Stockholm syndrome, but I really believe there's something more to it. Cora seems to be using Cassian's feelings to take advantage of the situation, and even now, I have no clue what her true feelings are for her "captor." She probably has no clue how she feels either.

Lucky's story is a sad one. He truly believes he has a duty to protect and save the animals of the safari. He sees them as prisoners too, caged like he and his friends. They're all being used for entertainment or for research, and as fellow beings of Earth, he forms a strong bond with the animals under his care. While Cora might be the leader and the heart of the group, Lucky is the moral one. I wish Cora and Lucky could have discussed and planned more together, to avoid all the trouble they seem to be accumulating.

Ultimately, The Hunt, like The Cage, is a game of survival and human perseverance. The flow of the story is great, the characters are wonderful and I really like the direction the story is heading. I strongly recommend this book to any lover of YA science fiction books. I will definitely be looking out for book 3 next year!

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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