The Gauntlet (The Cage, #3)
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the final novel in the gripping and romantic Cage series, about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race.Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong—a supposed safe haven on a small moon—where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. But Armstrong is no paradise; ruled by a power-hungry sheriff, it’s a violent world where the teens are enslaved and put to work in mines. As Nok’s due date grows closer, and Mali and Leon journey across space to rescue Cassian, the former inhabitants of the cage are up against impossible odds.With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet. But it isn’t just a deranged sheriff she has to overcome: the other intelligent species—the Axion, Kindred, Gatherers, and Mosca—all have their own reasons to stop her. Not knowing who to trust, Cora must rely on her own instincts to win the competition, which could change the world—though it might destroy her in the process.

The Gauntlet (The Cage, #3) Details

TitleThe Gauntlet (The Cage, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 23rd, 2017
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN-139780062243126
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Aliens, Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance

The Gauntlet (The Cage, #3) Review

  • Trina (Between Chapters)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.This was my favorite in the series. It had action, puzzles, I liked the characters more, it was pretty brutal/daring. I really disliked book 2 but am glad I finished out the series and liked the ending.I still don't *love* the series, mainly because I think it juvenilized the characters - like 'I was abducted by aliens and will never go home again but it's fine because OMG CANDY!!!' But there were some good concepts and the audiobook narrator was amazing.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “The wolves are strong. But the rabbits are clever.” This was a YA sci-fi story, and the end to the series.I liked Cora in this story, and I liked how she kept in mind what was best for her species as a whole. It was pretty brave of her to face the gauntlet the way she did, especially knowing that no other human had ever managed to beat it.The storyline in this was about Cora trying to take on the gauntl (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “The wolves are strong. But the rabbits are clever.” This was a YA sci-fi story, and the end to the series.I liked Cora in this story, and I liked how she kept in mind what was best for her species as a whole. It was pretty brave of her to face the gauntlet the way she did, especially knowing that no other human had ever managed to beat it.The storyline in this was about Cora trying to take on the gauntlet in order to prove humanity’s intelligence. We also got quite a lot of fighting going on between species, a couple of heroic deaths, and some sneaky twists thrown in, and I thought the pacing was better than the previous books too. The trials in the gauntlet were done well, and I liked that they weren’t too obvious either.The ending to this was pretty good.7 out of 10
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  • Yusra ✨
    January 1, 1970
    2.5-3ishI didn’t really like it, it was boring and annoying. also Cora shldve died. 😬Leon will forever be my one and only, though. 💗 he was the light in this incredibly horrible book!
  • Hannah (The Curiouser & Curiouser)
    January 1, 1970
    These cliffhanger endings are going to be the death of me, I swear.I want this so, so badly. It's not even funny the amount of want I have for this.Because . . . Cassian.Find me here: https://obsessivereads.wordpress.com/
  • Tracy (Cornerfolds)
    January 1, 1970
    The Cage is a series that I have continued reading despite not actually enjoying it at all. Megan Shepherd had such a fantastic idea with this series, one that pulled me in because of its similarity to my favorite episode of The Twilight Zone. I read the first book expecting to completely love it, especially after loving her Madman's Daughter series, but came away extremely disappointed. Book two was just slightly better and here I am having read book three, even though I swore I wouldn't. I'm h The Cage is a series that I have continued reading despite not actually enjoying it at all. Megan Shepherd had such a fantastic idea with this series, one that pulled me in because of its similarity to my favorite episode of The Twilight Zone. I read the first book expecting to completely love it, especially after loving her Madman's Daughter series, but came away extremely disappointed. Book two was just slightly better and here I am having read book three, even though I swore I wouldn't. I'm happy to report I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.The Gauntlet picks up just after the end of The Hunt, with Cora and Co. on Armstrong, a planet they've been led to believe will be their safe haven. They quickly learn all is not as they've been promised, however, and the action begins again almost immediately. The original crew finds itself split into three different groups all working towards a common goal - save the humans and win their spot among intelligent species.Cora remains a character that I'm not sure whether I love or hate. On the one hand, she's incredibly dense to the point of being annoying to read about. On the other hand, her story is the best one out of all of them. I was totally fascinated by her fight to get to the Gauntlet and run it! I still don't really care at all about her love interest, Cassian, and luckily he wasn't in this book until over halfway through. I could really do without Nok and Rolf (whose name I just had to think for a full minute to remember) and their annoying storyline. I didn't totally hate Leon and Molly, but that's about all I can say for them. As you may have guessed, the characters are far from the highlight of this story.Once again, this book had a lot of good ideas but there were also a lot of really dumb ones. Shepherd's use of evolution and DNA (see spoilers at the end) was so embarrassingly bad I truly can't believe they made it to the final draft of this book. Then there was the awful dues ex machina at the end. I was at least somewhat impressed that one main character died. The Gauntlet itself was pretty cool, although it was WAY too easily beat based on all we've been told for the entire series.Like in the other two books, the world is really the saving grace of this series. I loved reading about all the different worlds Cora visited and I wish I could find fan art that shows the fake towns and buildings used as fronts from all of these books.While this book was tolerable, it could have been a whole lot better. I had so many problems with this series that I was never able to enjoy it, which is a real shame considering all the incredible ideas Megan Shepherd has cooked up. I'll probably read whatever she writes next because I think she has great ideas! I just hope it's better executed than The Cage series.HERE THERE BE SPOILERS(view spoiler)[> I have no idea what the thought process was behind DNA in this book. One of the Kindred puts together a serum made of all the human DNA she's had access to as the officer in charge of genetics research. By injecting this DNA into Cora, Cora then has access to every memory and experience of every human whose DNA was in the serum. Somehow she communicates with them and they help her win the Gauntlet. So basically she cheats. > Similarly, the use of the "evolutionary jump" was ridiculous. Apparently once Cora completes the Gauntlet and humans are officially an intelligent species, all humans magically become smarter. Or something. But it's at different rates based on how far away they are. I don't even know, man. > Cora dies in the Gauntlet, which is required for her to win. She has to be willing to sacrifice herself for the good of the species. But somehow a last minute switcharoo is pulled by people who need her alive for a trade deal and instead of drowning in water, she drowns in some kind of fluid that keeps her alive. I just cannot with the fake dying. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Marcia
    January 1, 1970
    Verrassend spannend einde voor The Cage trilogie. Waar het eerste deel me niet helemaal wist te overtuigen, deden boek twee en drie dat glansrijk. Het verhaal zit vol actie, is origineel en onvoorspelbaar. Ik vond het tof!Mijn complete recensie lees je op Oog op de Toekomst.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. My last two reads? Two three-star reviews of YA science fiction novels? I usually LOVE YA science fiction. :(***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***The Gauntlet by Megan ShepherdBook Three of The Cage seriesPublisher: Balzer + BrayPublication Date: May 23, 2017Rating: 3 starsSource: eARC from EdelweissSummary (from Goodreads):The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the final novel in the gripping and romantic Cage series, about teens abducted from Earth by an oth WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. My last two reads? Two three-star reviews of YA science fiction novels? I usually LOVE YA science fiction. :(***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***The Gauntlet by Megan ShepherdBook Three of The Cage seriesPublisher: Balzer + BrayPublication Date: May 23, 2017Rating: 3 starsSource: eARC from EdelweissSummary (from Goodreads):The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the final novel in the gripping and romantic Cage series, about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race.Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong—a supposed safe haven on a small moon—where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. But Armstrong is no paradise; ruled by a power-hungry sheriff, it’s a violent world where the teens are enslaved and put to work in mines. As Nok’s due date grows closer, and Mali and Leon journey across space to rescue Cassian, the former inhabitants of the cage are up against impossible odds.With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet. But it isn’t just a deranged sheriff she has to overcome: the other intelligent species—the Axion, Kindred, Gatherers, and Mosca—all have their own reasons to stop her. Not knowing who to trust, Cora must rely on her own instincts to win the competition, which could change the world—though it might destroy her in the process.What I Liked:The Gauntlet is the final book in Megan Shepherd's second YA trilogy. I read and neither loved nor hated her debut trilogy, and I had high hopes for this series. Overall, I liked this science fiction trilogy more than I liked her historical fiction trilogy, but I wasn't completely impressed by this conclusion novel. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. It was a decent conclusion though!Cora and the gang have escaped from the Kindred and have made it to Armstrong, a small moon that is supposed to be safe. But when they are stranded there and captured by the Sheriff of Armstrong and her ruthless human army, Cora fears that she will not be able to run the Gauntlet. Meanwhile, Mali and Leon attempt to rescue Cassian, who sacrificed himself to let Cora and the others escape. With a little help, Cora and the gang escape on Armstrong - and Cassian escapes from the Kindred, with Mali and Leon. It all comes down to the Gauntlet. If Cora succeeds, an evolutionary jump will boost humans' natural abilities and help them overthrew the powerful species that is hunting them. If she fails, she'll die, and so will all of the other humans, and the Kindred too. It's do or die, and it all comes down to the Gauntlet.“The wolves are strong. But the rabbits are clever.”That line is my favorite of the book, and probably the series in general. It speaks to me on so many levels. Anya needs to hear it several times throughout the story, and it really is good encouragement. This line holds true for the duration of the book; the wolves are the Kindred, the evil humans, the Axion, and the rabbits are Cora and the other humans who are trying to escape. Like the previous books, this one is written in third-person limited, with POVs of various characters. Cora's POV is the most important and the most common, but we also get to read from Rolf's and Leon's (and maybe Mali's too, if I remember correctly). Cora has shown a lot of character growth from book one to this book, as did Leon, and Rolf, and Nok. Nok surprised me by becoming one of my favorites of the "original" band of humans, from book one. I also adored Leon and his heroic self. Cassian isn't present for about half of this book, and I definitely wanted him to be around more than he was, but I liked his stable presence in the second half of the book. Cassian is a good man and a very important player in the series. I wish the author wrote chapters from his POV though - he's easily the most interesting guy of the cast, but he seems one-dimensional sometimes, because of his mechanical, distant nature. But Cassian is so complex and interesting, and I think chapters from his POV would have the story even more intriguing.In terms of the romance, there are several romances and no love triangles. Rolf and Nok are a solid couple, and despite their current circumstances, I like how they grow to love each other even more. Leon and Mali are adorable together - they're both combative, which is funny to watch. Cassian and Cora are my favorite pair, and I really wish there were more scenes featuring them, in this book.There is a looooot of good science in this book. When I say "good", I mean interesting, noteworthy, and thought-provoking. It's not just the planet-hopping or the space travel or the advanced intelligent species with supernatural abilities. Shepherd includes a variety of scientific issues worth discussing - the treatment of animals, the evolution of humans, mining resources. The setting of this book is purely fictional, but the scientific basis behind it is fascinating.As far as conclusion novels go, the plot of this one wasn't bad. In fact, there was a good amount of action and the stakes were incredibly high. I wasn't bored or uninterested for the most part, though I did start to lose a little interest as the Gauntlet dragged on. The Gauntlet begins around the three-quarter mark (or thereabout), and it seems like it drags on. More on that below. In any case, the first half of the book was gritty and harsh, and the second half of the book was heart-pounding and yet a little predictable. The ending of the book was bittersweet and I didn't particularly love it. But it's not a bad ending.What I Did Not Like:I can't say I was bored while reading this book, because that wouldn't be true, but my interest definitely slowed down as the end got closer. It felt like the closer Cora got to the Gauntlet, the less interested I became. And then the actual Gauntlet course took forever! I started flipping the pages a little faster.The predictability of the ending was a little annoying too. We all knew what was going to happen with the Gauntlet! Why not shake things up a bit? The ending of this book, in terms of the Gauntlet, was very obvious and probably the easiest way out. A little cliche though.Also, you know how at least one main character has to die at the end of a trilogy? In my opinion, the wrong one died. Just my opinion. It wasn't Cora or Cassian, I'll tell you that. But the wrong character died. Speaking of Cora and Cassian... they were hardly together in this book! As in, they didn't really even see each other until the last quarter of the book or so! And when they did finally see each other - man, I was expecting some swoony times! Sexy times! Anything! These two barely even kiss once! I can't help but feel a little disappointed. Cassian and Cora share some borderline steamy moments in The Cage and The Hunt - but the author gave us nothing, in this book. Also, the ending in terms of Cassian/Cora did not leave me happy at all. Just saying. I need an epilogue in which Cora changes her mind of something. I'm trying to be vague, but gah! I'm annoyed and disappointed in the ending (in terms of Cassian and Cora). The ending in general is not bad. Though I did find it a little underwhelming - but I found the entire climax underwhelming. Would I Recommend It:I liked the series overall, definitely more than Shepherd's debut trilogy. I think this series is a good science fiction series, but it's not a life-changing series in general, you know? I do recommend it if you enjoy YA science fiction, but I don't necessarily recommend it in general.However, I recommend this book if you've read the previous books in the series, or even if you've only read the first book. Finish the series! It's a fairly good series, and definitely worth finishing. This conclusion novel wasn't a great finish, but I loved the second book (The Hunt). Rating:3 stars. I'm disappointed in myself, because the last two books I read were YA science fiction, and both got 3 stars from me! I love science fiction and I fully expected to love both books. Maybe it is my mood - though I don't think so! Any have Summer/Fall 2017 YA science fiction recommendations for me? Pre-published is preferred!
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  • Monica Haak
    January 1, 1970
    I loooove deze serie! Alleen kwam t laatste boek wel langzamer op gang en werd de vuurproef echt POEF POEF POEF gespeeld. Maar toch. <3
  • Sarah Louise
    January 1, 1970
    And it's over! As a whole, I really enjoyed this series. From the beginning of The Cage, we had a group of morally ambiguous characters trapped within a zoo-like compound. Their only mission was to escape and return to Earth. Throughout this series, especially within The Gauntlet, it unfolds as a discovery of what it means to be human. As for the actual anticipated Gauntlet, the puzzles were clever, but surprisingly not my favourite moments. This is where the multiple point of views were an espe And it's over! As a whole, I really enjoyed this series. From the beginning of The Cage, we had a group of morally ambiguous characters trapped within a zoo-like compound. Their only mission was to escape and return to Earth. Throughout this series, especially within The Gauntlet, it unfolds as a discovery of what it means to be human. As for the actual anticipated Gauntlet, the puzzles were clever, but surprisingly not my favourite moments. This is where the multiple point of views were an especially great asset. The perspectives outside the Gauntlet, Leon's being my personal favourite, were a nice break from the more intense, Cora focused chapters.With Cassian still held captive, his presence isn't really seen until further in. And that means less Cora and Cassian interaction, which is a shame. I lost slight interest in him during The Hunt, but having him missing this time made me realize how much of an importance he had. There's one major instance where a conveniently placed scientific discovery saves the day, which I can't help but be bothered by. Overall, I'm undecided towards the conclusion. This one was appropriate, and made sense for the characters, but not exactly what I hoped for.
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  • Aneta Bak
    January 1, 1970
    In the final novel of The Cage series, Cora must find her way to the Gauntlet and successfully complete the three levels in order to grant humanity the freedom they deserve. The only problem is that Cora and her friends are trapped on Armstrong, a planet that was supposed to be heaven for humans, but turned out to be worse than hell.I really enjoyed this whole series, from beginning to end. It was a lot different from Megan's last series, and it gave me the Maze Runner feels but had a better fem In the final novel of The Cage series, Cora must find her way to the Gauntlet and successfully complete the three levels in order to grant humanity the freedom they deserve. The only problem is that Cora and her friends are trapped on Armstrong, a planet that was supposed to be heaven for humans, but turned out to be worse than hell.I really enjoyed this whole series, from beginning to end. It was a lot different from Megan's last series, and it gave me the Maze Runner feels but had a better female cast of characters.I haven't necessarily always liked Cora. There were definitely times in the series where she got on my nerves because she was just too stubborn and couldn't agree with any of the other characters. Cora was definitely not a "leader" as the book portrayed her character to be. Even though she has her flaws, that aspect definitely made her feel like more of a real person, and her character development throughout the series was definitely interesting to read about. Even though Cora had the most important story to this novel, I really enjoyed reading from the other character's points of view, my favorites being Nok and Rolf. The character development these two have gone through was a thousand times better than Cora's. The way that these two are able to adapt to their situations and use what they've learned in the past to their advantage in the present is truly amazing. The romance between Mali and Leon was definitely cute, reading their side of the story definitely gave me some feels.The thing I love about this series the most is definitely the world that Megan created and all the different details that went into making it seem realistic. From creating different races of aliens, to creating new planets, space ships and even the gestures and actions of some of the alien races were all so carefully thought out and unique. I really enjoyed reading about this world.Overall, I loved the characters and the world from this story. While I liked Cora, she wasn't really my favorite, which is why I am so glad that this story is told from other's view points as well. This is the second series from Megan that I've read, and I definitely cant wait to see what this author comes up with next.Happy Reading,Aneta
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  • thepessimisticreader
    January 1, 1970
    "The wolves are strong, but the rabbits are clever."This entire series was a meh type of read to me. I really enjoyed The Cage a few years ago but I never got around to continuing with the series. I wish I had back then because nowadays... just meh.The beginning dragged quite a bit, and didn't peak my interest until Cora actually started The Gauntlet. I think the second half of the book is well-thought out and challenges Cora, the protagonist. The puzzles in the Gauntlet seem challenging but rea "The wolves are strong, but the rabbits are clever."This entire series was a meh type of read to me. I really enjoyed The Cage a few years ago but I never got around to continuing with the series. I wish I had back then because nowadays... just meh.The beginning dragged quite a bit, and didn't peak my interest until Cora actually started The Gauntlet. I think the second half of the book is well-thought out and challenges Cora, the protagonist. The puzzles in the Gauntlet seem challenging but really, how hard is it to unscramble a few anagrams in exchange for human evolution?The puzzles are broken up into physical, intellectual, moral, and perceptive. I find it a little hard to believe that a human had not run the Gauntlet with ease before Cora.Cora kind of becomes the hero-of-the-universe trope. Everything rests on her shoulders, and she manages to win the Gauntlet even after tearing her brain. She's kind of a Mary Sue and I don't really like her. Though the other characters are a bit better.I found myself asking "Why is this happening?" or "What is this dialogue?" or "You can't be serious?" a bit too often to rate this book more than three stars.I did enjoy it in certain parts, and it ended in a better way that it could have, but not the way that I was led to believe.A better alternative to this series for people who are not huge fans of sci-fi is The Madman's Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd which is a retelling of Dr. Moreau's Island, Dr. Jekkl and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein, respectively. I highly recommend this series, and have high hopes of reading Grim Lovelies, also by Megan Shepherd.Happy reading!
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  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    This started weak but got better as it went on.
  • Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
    January 1, 1970
    • Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and I have to say I was pretty satisfied with the end of the trilogy!The book picks up pretty much immediately after the events of The Hunt. Cora has escaped and Cassian is captured. A ton of revelations took place near the end of The Hunt, so I was pretty anxious to get my hands on this book!**POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!**Likes:• Cora really grew as a character in this book. She went from a follow • Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and I have to say I was pretty satisfied with the end of the trilogy!The book picks up pretty much immediately after the events of The Hunt. Cora has escaped and Cassian is captured. A ton of revelations took place near the end of The Hunt, so I was pretty anxious to get my hands on this book!**POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!**Likes:• Cora really grew as a character in this book. She went from a follower to a leader and was strong enough to participate in the Gauntlet and BEAT IT. Cassian sort of took a backseat in this book as the “hero,” giving Cora the spotlight.• The supporting characters were essential to the story overall. Supporting characters, both new and old, played key roles in the book and the overall end of the story. I was especially impressed with how much I fell in love with Bonebreak. That little bastard surprised the crap out of me. • The actual Gauntlet Cora participated in was SO interesting. I actually wasn't expecting Cora to have to run the Gauntlet. I expected something to happen to thwart her plans or something, but nope, she had to do it and she did it well. The puzzles and mindfuckery of the Gauntlet really added a freaky element to the story. I also like how the Gauntlet itself is intelligent and thinks for itself.• I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the book. Let me tell you what I loved first. I loved that Megan Shepherd isn't afraid to kill characters off. This always impresses me if done at the right time in and in the right way. Not only did she kill Lucky in the previous book, but she killed off a main character in this one as well. I also liked that Earth still existed and that although this was the case, some of Cora's friends chose to stay behind and make a home where they were. This brings me to my ... Dislikes:• Unlike her friends, Cora decides to go home to Earth. :( Yeah, this ending could be considered a road-less-traveled, but I hated it. I am a romantic and I wanted her to stay behind with Cassian. I get that she has family and yadda yadda yadda, but but... IT IS LOVE! I'm a baby. Wah. *pouts*That is really the only thing I wasn't a fan of. Aside from this tiny detail in the end, everything was amazing. The wolves are strong. But the rabbits are clever. Overall, I loved it. There were a ton of plot twists and even more revelations in this book than the last! It was definitely a jaw-dropper. Cora and her friends grew and morphed into awesome people who essentially saved the universe and stopped interstellar war. Pretty badass, if you ask me. It was a satisfying ending to a trilogy I have adored keeping up with. :) Definitely recommend the series as a whole!- - -Book source: From the publisher for reviewPublisher: HarperCollins• For more of my reviews, check out my blog! • You can also find them via my YouTube channel here!
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  • Becky - Pug and Books
    January 1, 1970
    The Gauntlet by Megan ShepherdStar rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5 starsFormat: ebook galleySummary: In the third and final book of her series, Cora is determined to run the gauntlet and help humans become acknowledged as an intelligent species. Review: I received a free copy of this book for review from Edelweiss. I was pretty disappointed with this book. I liked the first two books of this series and this one just didn't have the same appeal of the others. There wasn't as much connection to the characters i The Gauntlet by Megan ShepherdStar rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5 starsFormat: ebook galleySummary: In the third and final book of her series, Cora is determined to run the gauntlet and help humans become acknowledged as an intelligent species. Review: I received a free copy of this book for review from Edelweiss. I was pretty disappointed with this book. I liked the first two books of this series and this one just didn't have the same appeal of the others. There wasn't as much connection to the characters in this, it felt super flat. I guess it didn't help I spent the first half of the book pouting that Lucky was dead. There were a lot of plot holes in this book that stood out. Particularly the "cheat" to the gauntlet. Cassian made it sound as though he had discussed cheating with Bonebreak and Firemage but he arrived at the last second before the gauntlet began. So how could he have told them that Cora's greatest fear was water so they could replace the water source with stasis fluid? I've always been kinda meh about the romance between Cora and Cassian, it just doesn't have much of anything going for me. This book did not improve that at all, especially since I'm pretty sure Lucky was only killed to remove him as competition. I really hated anytime they were romantic.I thought it was a terrible ending, it didn't feel like it really left the reader with any closure. There were a lot of deaths and they just didn't seem to have any of the weight or meaning. It was really disappointing because I really was looking forward to this book. Recommendation: I hate to say skip the end book of a series but it honestly didn't bring me any closure to the series.
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  • Callie Rose Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I loved the series, this final book was a bit of a letdown, especially the last 50 pages.First the good, these characters are fantastic. Bonebreak and the rest of the Mosca are delightful, interesting, complex, and endearing, I wanted more time with them! The rest of the usual gang is great but Leon in particular won me over. He started out as a very unlikable character but has steadily grown into my favorite human.Overall the book starts off strong as it picks up right where the seco As much as I loved the series, this final book was a bit of a letdown, especially the last 50 pages.First the good, these characters are fantastic. Bonebreak and the rest of the Mosca are delightful, interesting, complex, and endearing, I wanted more time with them! The rest of the usual gang is great but Leon in particular won me over. He started out as a very unlikable character but has steadily grown into my favorite human.Overall the book starts off strong as it picks up right where the second book left us hanging. However, as the book goes on some of the revelations and discoveries were a little hard for me to get behind, I'm no scientist but Shepherd's use of DNA was ridiculous even after taking alien technologies into account I was finding it hard to suspend disbelief which distracted from the story.Also, there's the Gauntlet that we've heard so much about...well it doesn't really live up to the hype. Most, if not all, of the challenges faced are absurdly convenient and not at all challenging enough.(view spoiler)[Cora should have died. It was a complete and total cheat to have her not actually die and it felt contrived and ridiculous. Having her live added absolutely nothing to the story. Also, why the hell did the Axion, disguised as Anya train Cora? Why didn't they just kill her? Morons. Lastly, did anyone cry when Rolf died? I feel like I was supposed to but, it just wasn't working for me. Very sloppy handling. (hide spoiler)]Overall, this book was good but not as great as the two that came before it, bummer.
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  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    The conclusion to the Cage series has Cora as the savior of the human race throughout the galaxy in the form of being their champion in the Gauntlet. However, interstellar politics means she has to first fight her way across to even reach the planet where the gauntlet will be held. The squad has to face many challenges, including separation from one another, betrayal and mistrust, and what they learnt through the Cage, the Menageries, the Dollhouse and the Hunt comes to save them now in this tes The conclusion to the Cage series has Cora as the savior of the human race throughout the galaxy in the form of being their champion in the Gauntlet. However, interstellar politics means she has to first fight her way across to even reach the planet where the gauntlet will be held. The squad has to face many challenges, including separation from one another, betrayal and mistrust, and what they learnt through the Cage, the Menageries, the Dollhouse and the Hunt comes to save them now in this test. As the plot evolves, we learn that running the Gauntlet is not just about elevating humans to a superior race, but also about protecting the existing ones.As a conclusion to the series, The Gauntlet works but I was not overly impressed with it. I remember (even though it has been almost a year) that The Cage and the Hunt were involved books - you could connect to the characters. Here, we get fewer perspectives (Lucky died *sob*) and even with more pages devoted to Cora, I felt essentially out of touch with her. Moreover, once the secret of the Gauntlet was revealed, the plot kinda lost the individual meaning to the characters. It became a Plot Ex Machina at the same time - tying up the threads raised by the new threat in this book too soon. There is much more unbelievable science (or is it spirituality?) involved in this book, and that kind of renders the threats impotent. A series of conveniences and boom, the book ends on a hopeful note. Overall, if you had loved the series, chances are you might still like this book and the ending, but you might not be awed by it.Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Balzer & Bray, via Edelweiss.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a lot more violent then the previous two. And some serious twists in the story. Although one was somewhat obvious after a while. The ending was a bit bittersweet. I held nicely, and wow there were times I questioned any type of happy ending it was that...concerning. But it added that much more to my enjoyment of the story. Leon ending up being one of my favorites in this book. He really matured out. Nok and Rold continued to be 'meh' characters. Cora I liked and Willa I loved!
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  • Saruuh Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    That ending was SAD!!!! :(One of the best damn YA sci-fi series I've ever read - strong from the first page of The Cage to the last of The Gauntlet. I don't know what I can say about this book other than it surpassed my every hope and expectation, and the shocks never let up from the beginning. It's hopeful and miserable and full of guts and determination. I love Cora, I love Cassian, I love the world, the story, the cleverness of the Gauntlet. We even got a sneaky A.I. which I adored. Thank you That ending was SAD!!!! :(One of the best damn YA sci-fi series I've ever read - strong from the first page of The Cage to the last of The Gauntlet. I don't know what I can say about this book other than it surpassed my every hope and expectation, and the shocks never let up from the beginning. It's hopeful and miserable and full of guts and determination. I love Cora, I love Cassian, I love the world, the story, the cleverness of the Gauntlet. We even got a sneaky A.I. which I adored. Thank you for this gift of a series. I'm really sad to see it go.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    A fantastic ending to a thrilling Science Fiction trilogy! So much action and so much on the line for all the characters in this last installment. Shepherd's world building is impressive, and we see more of the universe she's created than ever before as our main characters find themselves working feverishly to get Cora to The Gauntlet, and the stakes are higher than ever before as the fates of several species rest on her shoulders. If you haven't started this series yet, now is the time to pick A fantastic ending to a thrilling Science Fiction trilogy! So much action and so much on the line for all the characters in this last installment. Shepherd's world building is impressive, and we see more of the universe she's created than ever before as our main characters find themselves working feverishly to get Cora to The Gauntlet, and the stakes are higher than ever before as the fates of several species rest on her shoulders. If you haven't started this series yet, now is the time to pick up The Cage and The Hunt- I kind of envy your ability to binge read this series all at once, because the wait between books was sweet torture!
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  • Haley
    January 1, 1970
    Very heart-wrenching. I wish there was another book, like a romantic epilogue. One thing that crossed my mind reading this is that Bonebreak is basically Yondu from GOTG in this book. And Willa, a chimpanzee who ran the Gauntlet, is their Rocket Racoon kind of. This series has been awesome and it seem Megan Shepherd can make anything awesome because I never liked historical fiction and then I read the Madman's Daughter series, which was the first Hist Fic I like and it was a retelling. I can't w Very heart-wrenching. I wish there was another book, like a romantic epilogue. One thing that crossed my mind reading this is that Bonebreak is basically Yondu from GOTG in this book. And Willa, a chimpanzee who ran the Gauntlet, is their Rocket Racoon kind of. This series has been awesome and it seem Megan Shepherd can make anything awesome because I never liked historical fiction and then I read the Madman's Daughter series, which was the first Hist Fic I like and it was a retelling. I can't wait to read another YA book by her. Hopefully it will be sci-fi or fantasy or paranormal.
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  • Kassandra Patti
    January 1, 1970
    What a way to end the trilogy. My oh my it was action packed and full of suspense! It kept me from sleep because I just had to know what was going on. I don't like the end too much, I wanted Cassian and Cora to stay together so BADLY! But I understand why they don't but the hopeless romantic in me wanted more. This book was a great end although I'll always want more and more and more from Megan and her books
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  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and while I found it thrilling and interesting, it was my least favorite book in the series because of the ending. In The Gauntlet, Cora and her friends escaped from the Kindred and are on a ship with Bonebreak, a mosca. They left behind Cassian who was being tortured because Cora needs to run the Gauntlet so humans can be considered intelligent like the other species. There was a lot of drama, death, surprises, and twists (and a little romance) The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and while I found it thrilling and interesting, it was my least favorite book in the series because of the ending. In The Gauntlet, Cora and her friends escaped from the Kindred and are on a ship with Bonebreak, a mosca. They left behind Cassian who was being tortured because Cora needs to run the Gauntlet so humans can be considered intelligent like the other species. There was a lot of drama, death, surprises, and twists (and a little romance) throughout this novel. Cora is so strong, as is all the others who escaped with her, but they as humans can only fight for so long without help from others. The actual gauntlet sounded incredible and interesting, a total mind warp that pushes you in every direction. With certain species on the brink of war with one another and ready for a complete take over, can Cora successfully complete the Gauntlet to save humanity and her friends, and be considered as worthy as the others?With plenty of action and heart stopping shockers, The Gauntlet was super intriguing but as the final novel, it was slightly disappointing because of the decision a certain character made at the end.
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  • Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars.
  • Nele
    January 1, 1970
    So sad to see this series ended :(
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    That was better than I thought it would be.
  • Miranda
    January 1, 1970
    Cora and her friends are still on the run, and they have one last chance to save all of humanity from impending doom. Intergalactic war is brewing, and it is up to Cora to run the Gauntlet and save the human race from alien enslavement. But she has to get there first. This last installment of the series brings things together, and Cora and crew are all hands on deck. But as things pick up, she's not sure who to trust. Imposters are appearing everywhere, and one alien species is out for blood. If Cora and her friends are still on the run, and they have one last chance to save all of humanity from impending doom. Intergalactic war is brewing, and it is up to Cora to run the Gauntlet and save the human race from alien enslavement. But she has to get there first. This last installment of the series brings things together, and Cora and crew are all hands on deck. But as things pick up, she's not sure who to trust. Imposters are appearing everywhere, and one alien species is out for blood. If they can stop Cora from winning the Gauntlet, they can rule the universe.This third book ties things together. There is plenty of action, and most everything is explained and wrapped up in an acceptable way. I enjoyed this one much more than book 2.Series-wise, I'm somewhat disappointed in the cover choices as they will be off-putting to teen boys who would otherwise really enjoy this. The story is much more of a gender-neutral science-fiction tale than a romantic run through alien terrain. Hopefully they can fix that in the future.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness was this not enjoyable.Just too many issues for me I'm sorry.For example:When burying Lucky-how on earth did Cora dig a pit big enough for his body with her bare hands? I understand she has a chimp helping her (seriously, a chimp), and that it's not very hard packed soil, but still. Have you ever scooped sand with your bare hands? Gets old fast. Would certainly stop before had enough of a hole to bury someone and even if I did somehow have the will to go on...it'd take forever. We Oh my goodness was this not enjoyable.Just too many issues for me I'm sorry.For example:When burying Lucky-how on earth did Cora dig a pit big enough for his body with her bare hands? I understand she has a chimp helping her (seriously, a chimp), and that it's not very hard packed soil, but still. Have you ever scooped sand with your bare hands? Gets old fast. Would certainly stop before had enough of a hole to bury someone and even if I did somehow have the will to go on...it'd take forever. We discover that the Kindred and humans are close enough genetically that one completing the gauntlet helps the other. So why didn't the humans get a boost before? And why aren't all Kindred pushing for humans to be recognized? And if they know they come from earth, why aren't they more interested in saving the planet, allowing it to be destroyed? And why are they treating humans so bad? And why do they even need to study their physiology? And...I'll stop. Then there is the miracle syringe. It contains the DNA from thousands of individuals and somehow you can add to it by drawing blood and it never fills! And somehow just injecting yourself with the DNA slurry you take on the DNA of all others to the point where you can access their knowledge to the point where you can even speak other languages. Because that's totally a thing.So the Axion were masquerading as a bunch of people. Got it. That's fine. But Anya started showing the signs that she was not actually Anya back on Armstrong, way before they got to the refueling station. It's awful convenient that it's never mentioned Cassian gets to go into the gauntlet in the last part too, or that it has time for breaks. I mean...wouldn't that be a big part of strategy?Okay, so we find out that Cora doesn't die because Cassian had all the water used converted into stasis fluid. So...why exactly was he so panicked when the water started to fill the room he was in?The gauntlet is over, it's time to go home and...it's only going to take a couple weeks to get there? So close and no Kindred thought, "you know, I want to go see if our home planet actually existst." So close, they were able to pick up radio signal pretty quickly. Oh yeah, and that radio signal...why is the farthest reaching signal a radio? FM radio it is my understanding only has a range of about 60 miles. And why would a kindred vessel even be tuned to that?And in the end...Leon is the only one with a happy ending? Cora and Cassian, despite insisting they're so connected, are not going to be together? There isn't a solution that allows her to be a space ambassador or something? I mean, you have a child as a member of your super important council. Can't we just make up another totally unrealistic position?
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  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    A good conclusion, but I'm definitely spoiled after the The Madman’s Daughter trilogy. Overall it just wasn't as good in my opinion. I'm also a little bitter over some of the things that happened in book #2 and this one. I won't go into what exactly to avoid spoiling anyone to the nature of my issues. Interesting premise overall, but some of the things as far as how it played out I saw coming a mile away. Especially in this installment. I read the first two books and listened to this one on audi A good conclusion, but I'm definitely spoiled after the The Madman’s Daughter trilogy. Overall it just wasn't as good in my opinion. I'm also a little bitter over some of the things that happened in book #2 and this one. I won't go into what exactly to avoid spoiling anyone to the nature of my issues. Interesting premise overall, but some of the things as far as how it played out I saw coming a mile away. Especially in this installment. I read the first two books and listened to this one on audio for most of the story, and I can say that either format you choose wouldn't be a bad one. The narration was well done and enjoyable to listen to--no complaints on that front.
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  • Molly Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    OMG I'm so excited to read this book! The last two are amazing!! It's an everyday challenge not to think too much about this book since it has not yet been published. This trilogy should be a movie!!!
  • Julia (Shakespeare and Such)
    January 1, 1970
    "I would wish you good luck, but luck is a human concept. There is no logic in it. A lesser concept for a lesser species." 3.8/5 starsPlot: 3/5 - Sadly, for me, I thought the plot of this series declined with each book. It's hard to say if Megan had the overview for the series planned before writing the books, but it seemed to me that as the plot expanded it only got weaker. There were a lot of moments in this finale that felt like plot holes (view spoiler)[- for example, the Axion being able t "I would wish you good luck, but luck is a human concept. There is no logic in it. A lesser concept for a lesser species." 3.8/5 starsPlot: 3/5 - Sadly, for me, I thought the plot of this series declined with each book. It's hard to say if Megan had the overview for the series planned before writing the books, but it seemed to me that as the plot expanded it only got weaker. There were a lot of moments in this finale that felt like plot holes (view spoiler)[- for example, the Axion being able to shapeshift. SURELY THAT WOULD HAVE COME UP A LONG TIME AGO. Or the big reveal that the Kindred are like super distantly related to the human species. It still shocked me in the moment and I know that it was REALLY only there to justify Cora/Cassian, but it just felt ridiculous that he had never told her that sooner. While we're on the subject, I would like to add that I will never ship Cora and Cassian, though this book was the most tolerable he's ever been (probably because there was very little of him). They're different species and it feels like asking me to ship Cora with a chimpanzee. And frankly, Willa is much more interesting than Cassian anyways. The BIGGEST misstep in the plot for me was the reveal that when a new person conquers the gauntlet, their ENTIRE SPECIES experiences an evolutionary jump. First of all... how convenient. Second of all, why would that even make sense scientifically? If the gauntlet is about proving the intelligence of your species, why would winning it trigger heightened abilities for them? (hide spoiler)] It was definitely a case of "oh yikes I have to wrap everything up, don't I?" and there suddenly being all these convenient ways to solve problems.Characters: 4/5 - Our main character Cora is about as exciting as a soggy bowl of corn flakes. She writes really corny songs that never seem to rhyme and I couldn't care less about her alien boyfriend. That being said- the supporting cast of characters in this series is one of the greatest!!!! Nok is honestly so incredible, I love her heart and intelligence and practicality. Throughout her life she has been undermined and underestimated but looking at her growth over this series gives me the warm fuzzies. (view spoiler)[Plus we all know I'm obsessed with a pregnancy plot line, so that didn't hurt. AND WHEN SHE STRAIGHT UP PUSHED ELLIS INTO THE FIRE!?!?? ICONIC. Queen of ending dictatorships. (hide spoiler)] Rolf, similarly, is so dear and so sweet. I always forget that he's so young and when I do my heart HURTS. He and Nok are such a perfect match and I will love them forever and ever. (view spoiler)[So here's the spoilery part where I have to acknowledge that Megan Shepherd made my boy sacrifice himself to save all of Armstrong. On the one hand... my son, the hero, I've never been more proud. On the other hand CORA HAD TO SACRIFICE HERSELF BUT PSYCH HERS WAS JUST A FAKE AND HER BLAND ASS GETS TO LIVE. I hated it. I'm still livid that he will never get to meet his daughter. (hide spoiler)] Leon is also fantastic- he has also had so much development over the three books- and I love that he helps bring humor into the story without being a comedic relief stock character. And how sweet he is with Mali??? I'm obsessed. Mali, too, is one of the characters that I like so much more than Cora. Sadly I feel as though I had forgotten the most about her in the break I took before reading the final book, but I love how she's tough and soft and avoids becoming a cliche. This book also introduced Willa and I'm OBSESSED that we got to have some conversation about animal intelligence... apes and monkeys are just so smart and humanlike and I love them, so that was a real treat for me. Pacing: 5/5 - Nothing felt off here- I was glad we didn't spend too much time on Armstrong in the beginning, but as per usual I wish we had less Cora POV chapters because.. Cora.Writing: 3/5 - Nothing beautiful, nothing offensively bad. At times things got pretty preachy about taking care of the earth and treating living things with respect, but since the latter is kind of an overarching theme of the series I tried to ignore it. Enjoyment: 4/5 - Like I said, this book is my least favorite of the series. It felt like the scope of the story got too big and we lost what made the original story special- the relationships formed between the main group of characters. And no, I don't count all the voices in Cora's head from the magic cheater serum, that was a cop-out. I was really disappointed by the characters who died (and didn't die...) but the POV chapters from everyone except Cora helped make up for the parts I liked less. And I did still enjoy the concept of the gauntlet- all of the different dangerous challenges had a very Goblet of Fire feeling that was really addicting to read.
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