“Gripping and addictive—Shepherd has delivered again! A captivating mix of intrigue, deft twists, and complex questions, this is a must-read.”—Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, New York Times bestselling authors of These Broken Stars
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this new series Kirkus Reviews calls “swoon-worthy and thrilling” 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 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 beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer appears—a handsome young guard called Cassian—they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.
Shepherd (The Madman s Daughter) gives a hoary premise alien abduction new life in this twisty tale. Sixteen-year-old Cora Mason, daughter of a powerful Senator, has just gotten out of juvenile detention following a fatal car accident when she is kidnapped by psychic extraterrestrials and dumped in an Earthlike habitat with four other teens. Expected to mate within 21 days to ensure the continuation of species or face a dire fate, the captives including a Norwegian genius, a Thai model, a Maori black marketeer, and a Colombian-American with a mysterious connection to Cora differ in their responses. Cora is determined to escape, but is going home possible or even desirable? While the characters and their cultural backgrounds remain lightly sketched, their complicated relationships with each other ring true. Multiple points of view provide a complex picture of Cora s actions and their impact on the people around her. Shepherd is a master of pacing, and each chapter brings new revelations. First in a series, the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion to the central mystery, while maintaining suspense about Cora s fate. Ages 13 up.