While the concept of this novel appears fresh and unique, the execution falls flat and borders on delirium. Cora and five other teenagers wake up in an alien enclosure, far away from Earth and their families. They are told to pair up and procreate for the survival of their species. If they disobey, they will be eliminated permanently. As expected, some go along with the aliens’ orders, and others put up a fight. Cora is the only one who has any sense throughout the entire novel. She, alone, believes in escaping, and not accepting this fate that has been dealt them. At one point, two other teens become savage and assume positions of leadership amongst the rest. They believe Cora should be eliminated, and manage to convince most of the other teenagers to avoid associating with her.
There is one alien in particular called The Caretaker who regularly visits the teens in their caged enclosure, and develops a fondness for Cora. Cora is inexplicably drawn to him as well, even though he is their captor. This forbidden romance is unexpected and creepy. It sends the wrong message. Overall though, this book’s flaws are evenly matched with its strengths. Worth trying!
|Balzer + Bray
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