I need a Silkwood shower

Right now, for no particular reason that I can identify, I'm really emotional.  Things that would normally just irritate me are sort of burrowing into my soul and festering.  It is unpleasant, to say the least.  While I figure out what's going on, I should realize that this means any book I read will have a magnified impact on my mood, for good or for ill.  And I actually feel ill--sick to my stomach--after reading 35% plus the ending of The Cage by Megan Shepherd.

I've long wanted to read the Madman's Daughter trilogy, and now?  I really don't know if I can or should.

There are three main problems with The Cage.  They are:

  1. I feel like I've read this before.
  2. The characters are all idiots.
  3. It is basically a story about an alien who gets the hots for a human and constructs an elaborate game to get her to "mentally evolve" so she doesn't become a sex slave but can be his personal sexytimes girl.

Yeah, don't tell me this is an "interstellar romance" or any of that bantha poodoo.  This is a perfectly sickening snapshot of a manipulative, unhealthy relationship entirely based on how "tingly and electric" the guy makes you feel.  Oh, and by the way?  That "guy" is actually a morally bankrupt alien who's seven feet tall with metallic skin and black eyes.  Those eyes, man.  

Not to be crude, but I do have just a basic, scientific question: how would this actually work?  I mean, conveniently, the aliens are humanoid (conversely, most of my favorite sci-fi features aliens that are sentient jellyfish or clouds of associated molecules or something utterly, you know, alien).  However, I find it very hard to believe that in the entire universe, Cora, the main character, gets picked up (in more ways than one, if you know what I mean), by an alien who looks human-ish but is really, really tall and emotionless.  What are the odds that the Keepers (the aliens) reproduce the same way humans do?  For all we know, life on other planets could be spread by spores or something.  But no.  We are led to assume that if Cora and Cassian ever get it on, it would totally work out.  


And how would this be accomplished, you ask?  Well, see, the Keepers kidnapped six human teens based on their genetic predisposition for creating superior offspring (think The Wrath of Khan and the "superior intellect" and all that).  They paired each boy and girl with their ideal mate and gave them constellation tattoos in order to indicate who should breed with whom.  Then they put them in a cage with an infinite time/space loop and spy on them, waiting for them to make babies.

Now, at this point, if you were a) kidnapped by aliens and b) then told to have sex with someone you do not know, would you be all like, "Hey gang!  Let's go along with the plan for now until I can make a garrote out of a guitar string and attack the aliens!"?  NO.  NO YOU WOULD NOT.  Personally, I would do what the original Girl 3 did and walk into the ocean and die.  Thanks, but I have precisely zero desire to become the latest breeding attraction in your flying galactic zoo.  

There's also this weird backstory with Cora and a car accident and her soulmate "Lucky" Luciano (that is actually his name.  I am not making this up.) but who cares because Cora gets all tingly whenever Cassian, their Caretaker, is around.  Woo woo.  

And another thing.  There is diversity in this book, but it's not handled well at all.  The New Zealander, who is Maori, is basically painted as a primitive grunt whose solution to everything is to punch people.  The Thai model is nasty, manipulative, and self-serving (at least the author didn't make her the stereotypical genius).  The Norwegian genius thinks his red hair is too girly.  Oh, boo-hoo you.  You have red hair.  ALAS.  Uh, so that's pretty diverse ... except, wait!  No one is black!  I guess they figure a Pacific Islander is good enough.


It's finally revealed that after their ELECTRIC KISS, Cassian is actually the leader of this outfit and has been manipulating events to cause all the other human captives to turn on each other so he can have Cora for his very own.  Wow, that just screams abusive relationship to me!  People think this stuff is romantic?  This is Twilight repackaged with aliens.  Like I said, I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it.  

And this is a trilogy.  Dear lord.  

I received an ARC of this from Netgalley.


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