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.
I have very polar opposite feelings about this series. On one hand, I love the concept behind the world, and the overall plotline as well as the suspense that keep me more than hooked. And by hooked I mean that I simply couldn't put the book down, I had to keep reading to see what happened next. However I just can't seem to fully care about the characters, and considering I'm a very character driven reader, it made for a problematic read. While I won't say I dislike the characters, it was more that I was simply ambient to them. I didn't feel any attachment to them, and that just made me feel overall detached from their story. The entire cast felt more to be on the surface level when I wanted to dig further in for a little more depth into these characters.
The exception to this lack of full depth would perhaps be Cora, although I found her to be rather annoying at times, so that didn't help the character "cause" either. She just has a nasty habit of being stubborn and secretive for the sake of being so rather than a good motivation/plan. I'm all for a rebellious character, but when you're in the situation she's in her actions came across as brash and petulant rather than brave. That being said, Cassian did seem to have more clear motivations this time around versus the last book, even if they were "alien" compared to the humans (pun intended). He makes some pretty dire decisions in this that have long reaching consequences that do have me pretty desperate to get my hands on the next book. As for the rest of the cast, while they each play their parts and roles in the story and I cared about them at least on the surface, I felt like they were just playing parts rather than integral pieces of the story. Even though we spend parts of the book in their "heads" I just didn't feel there was enough meat there to attach me to them since everything kept bouncing around perspective-wise.
Speaking of wanting the next book, despite my ambient feelings towards the characters, I was completely hooked by the plot of this book. Combine that with the intriguing and rather horrifying world behind the story, and this is why I felt like I couldn't put the book down. This is saying something as while I wasn't attached to the characters themselves, what was going on around them and the overall plot did have me fully hooked. Not only is it an alien world, but there's so many different facets to that, and I felt like each new chapter brought a new horror and depth to the story, even more in this second installment in the series. There's so many different angles that just kept me wanting more and more as everything was revealed. And that ending cliffhanger? Boy what a doozy that was, and it opened up things for even more possibilities and danger!
Overall despite my character frustrations in the end the intense plot and intriguing world outweighs it all making THE HUNT a good read, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.