Release Date: December 15, 2011
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: Freebie on Nook
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER, #ShelfLove
"I stood in the middle of the room, unmoving - I barely breathed. My life had just become surreal, impossible, and one enormous lie. I needed to go, to run somewhere, anywhere to beat back the reality that was rapidly closing in around me. The image of him was burned into my retina, flashing over and over again like a warning. He was trapped somewhere between human and decidedly not, and I realized that was my new reality. I was too."
After the death of her parents, Ruby awakens from a lifetime of shadows and finds herself alone, thrust into a world of lies, deceit, betrayal and the supernatural.
As her quest for truth continues to come up short, she realizes that maybe some questions really are best left unanswered.
When her true identity is finally unveiled, she is forced to choose between two of the mysterious men who continually seem to crop up in her life.
She chooses poorly.
Now abandoned, Ruby must learn to call on the darkness within to survive, or spend a hellish eternity imprisoned because of it.
Caged came as a recommendation from Lorna @RabidReads so it came as no surprise that I was immediately captivated. The prologue teased me just enough to have my curiosity piqued. There were some freaky things that Ruby endured and she was equally as in the dark, so to speak, as to what was going on as I was.
The story picks up ~9 months after the prologue and Ruby is settling into her life "after". I enjoyed getting to know her - seeing her creativity and her love for dance as well as the way she's embracing her newfound, if undesired, freedom juxtaposed with the images of her childhood. Natusch did well developing Ruby's character in this way, showing us how she'd been and how recent events had affected her and were shaping who she was becoming. This was the first time she was really able to figure out who she is, define herself, etc. She has a fun sense of humor and is intelligent.
Sean is this enigmatic character who keeps showing up when Ruby most needs him. I didn't feel like I got to know him well enough to have a real connection with him - which might be purposeful - but for whatever reason, I felt he always had Ruby's best interests at heart. Eric, on the other hand, always felt slimy to me. I didn't get that acquainted with him either but I still felt like he showed his true colors and they didn't color him trustworthy.
Without being spoilery, I'll just say that Natusch developed an intriguing mythology of her own and despite this being the introduction to the series, it wasn't an info dump in world building. However, we really only know the bones right now so I'm anxious to learn more.
My issues with Caged were in the details about Ruby. I understand why she was the way she was but I felt that at times she was too trusting and she behaved immaturely. She also had an interesting fascination with fashion considering where she was 9 months ago. One other tiny complaint is that Sean was so enigmatic. I felt some things he said were confusing - so Ruby was also understandably confused by him.
Overall though, Caged held my interest and has my curiosity piqued enough that I'm looking forward to continuing the series, seeing how Ruby continues to mature and learn more about this all-new world she's found herself in.