Six teenagers face a life of captivity in an alien-designed human zoo.
Cora awakens in a most unusual land, one divided into disparate environments stitched closely together: a desert, a beach, a farm, a city, and more. She certainly isn’t in Virginia anymore. Terrified, she runs, quickly encountering Lucky, a cute stranger who knows far more about her than he lets on. Cora reluctantly teams up with him, and together, they find three others inside a strange city filled with candy shops and toy stores. All around them are murky, black windows with shifting shadows behind them. Soon enough, an ET appears, looking much like an alluring figure from Cora’s dreams. He calls himself their Caretaker. He’s one of the Kindred, and it’s their mission to protect humans—an endangered species. The cost of their protection is compliance with their rules. However, Cora isn’t the type to be caged in. The narrative perspective shifts between her and far more thinly characterized cohorts; Cora’s pulses with her fiery resilience, outshining the others. A love triangle that frustrates at first delivers both a swoon-worthy and thrilling cliffhanger that will compel readers to the sequel.
A riff on a Twilight Zone plot unfolds into a richly drawn alien dystopian replete with romance and horror. (Science fiction. 13 & up)