So I can’t post about how I’m behind on my book reviews and not actually post a book review. This one will be short. I read the first book in the Cage of Lies series this month — Chained — and found it to be a quick and interesting read. I was happy to find that the second book was already on Amazon. I didn’t read it immediately…as anyone who actually follows my reviews knows, I’m usually a few reviews behind…but I read them close enough. Be forewarned, there are spoilers for Book 1 below!
So without further ado, here’s….
Linked (Cage of Lies 2)
by Susanne Valenti
Review: 3/5 Moose
A Quick Blurb:
Maya continues her adventures a few months later outside the city wall with Coal, Alicia, Taylor, Laurie and Hunter. There are also new characters thrown into the mix, with Luca, Gregor, “Adam” and Crystal.
I had to look up their names, because honestly, most of these characters can be thrown away. Is Luca gay? Can he and Adam/Blane just get together then? Cause I can’t figure out why else someone would be as grumpy as he seems to be about what he seems to be grumpy about. Vague enough? So are his frustrations.
Crystal was a bit stereotypical — I loved Chained because there wasn’t any female bitchiness. Alicia wasn’t a stuck up sister who didn’t want Maya near Coal, and Laurie might be my favorite character of the whole series. So I wasn’t surprised when Crystal (who was hinted at in Chained) joined the group. But honestly, half the time I forgot she was there.
The end of Chained had Maya ready to break into the city to save her parents. So when the story begins and they aren’t on their way…well I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a good thing that they didn’t rush off immediately, especially as Taylor spent all of Book 1 knocked out.
And the whole not knowing the outside world and all. It’s good to prepare. And while Maya seems to be constantly overly confident of her abilities, Hunter is there to knock her on her ass.
All most immediately, Maya’s in trouble and has been kidnapped. Not once (which was resolved quickly) but twice.
Now seriously, I want to like Maya.. I do. She seems smart and typical, but occasionally she is an idiot. (Okay, who isn’t??) But when people are constantly trying to save one character, I get tired. I was almost happy that Laurie got hurt, only from the stand point that it wasn’t just Maya needing saving.
Eventually, after more than half the book, the group finally sets out to save her parents and tell the citizens of the City how everything is really okay. There are a few twists towards the end that keep it interesting.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m no longer the target audience for these kinds of books. I enjoy Susanne’s writing, but I found a portion of the story just lacking. I don’t find Coal to be dreamy or swoon worthy, nor do I dislike him — I just mostly find him underdeveloped. But he’s a pretty typical YA love interest I guess.
My review is reading a little whiny and definitely all over the place. I really didn’t dislike this book, it just left me completely underwhelmed after the first book. Not a lot happens to push the story forward in my opinion, despite a lot of action happening in this book. I would have rather had a tamer book with more character development — I just don’t feel like I know or understand the characters much at all.
TL;DR — Susanne can write some action pretty well. The mutated animals in the book are great…the swamp scene was easily my favorite. If you are looking for a YA dystopia that reads quickly, pick these up. I’ll probably read book 3 when it comes out — I hate leaving series unfinished.