Uncaged (Singular Menace Series #1)

Uncaged (Singular Menace Series #1)

by John Sandford, Michele Cook


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A New York Times bestseller!

John Sandford and Michele Cook debut a high-octane thriller series about a ruthless corporation, unspeakable experiments, and a fight to expose the truth. Perfect for fans of James Dashner's The Maze Runner.
Shay Remby arrives in Hollywood with $58 and a handmade knife, searching for her brother, Odin.
Odin’s a brilliant hacker but a bit of a loose cannon. He and a group of radical animal-rights activists hit a Singular Corp. research lab in Eugene, Oregon. The raid was a disaster, but Odin escaped with a set of highly encrypted flash drives and a post-surgical dog.
When Shay gets a frantic 3 a.m. phone call from Odin—talking about evidence of unspeakable experiments, and a ruthless corporation, and how he must hide—she’s concerned. When she gets a menacing visit from Singular’s security team, she knows: her brother’s a dead man walking.
What Singular doesn’t know—yet—is that 16-year-old Shay is every bit as ruthless as their security force, and she will burn Singular to the ground, if that’s what it takes to save her brother.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385753050
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Series: Singular Menace Series , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 99,332
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

JOHN SANDFORD is the author of thirty-six published novels, all of which have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller lists. Uncaged is his YA debut.

MICHELE COOK is a journalist and crime reporter making her fiction debut with this series.


St. Paul, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

February 23, 1944

Place of Birth:

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


State University of Iowa, Iowa City: B.A., American History; M.A., Journalism

Read an Excerpt

In the beginning . . . 

The leader of the group had the Taser, a snub-nosed stun gun that looked like a miniature Super Soaker. There were six baseball bats and two commercial bolt cutters scattered among them, hung on loops beneath casual jackets. A seventeen-year-old boy, muscled up by white-water kayaking, had the ten-pound sledgehammer. They all carried ski masks and heavy work gloves.

Twelve young people altogether, male and female in equal numbers, most still in their teens. If they were stopped by the police, there would be no defense for the gear, so they were on edge, jumpy, looking around as they walked.

Ready to run.

But the distance from the cars was short, and the exposure was brief. A risk that had to be taken.

They had one big fence to get through.

The fence was twelve feet high, with razor wire on the top: they couldn’t climb it. The bottom of the fence was set in a band of concrete: they couldn’t dig under it. They couldn’t cut through it, or even touch it, because of a spiderweb of motion alarms.

There was one possible entry, at a back gate. The gate, which was almost never used, was secured with an electronic lock that opened only with the right magnetic card.

They didn’t have one of those. They did have a deck of obsolete cards, kept by the son of a former researcher. The boy was a computer hacker who’d studied the cards for years and claimed to have found the algorithm by which the codes were updated.

Eventually, one of the women in the group had paid attention to what he was saying. She’d led him through cyber attacks on several animal lab facilities, and the damage had been impressive. The woman took the high school senior as a lover to tie him more tightly to the group.

Two weeks earlier, he’d stuck a recorder card into the electronic lock to get a reading on the current lock code. A few hours later, he’d produced a new card that he swore would open the gate and silence the alarms around it.

Some of the members of the group had their doubts, but the boy didn’t. He was ultimately convincing.

All twelve of the raiders were committed, some more committed than others. At least two would give great sighs of relief if the card failed and they couldn’t get in.

The target was a research laboratory near the university in Eugene, Oregon, a heavy user of live animals: the usual mice and rats, but also rabbits, cats, and rhesus monkeys. The lab’s website was glossy and vague--a lot of PR double-talk about searching for a cure for Parkinson’s disease. But they had an insider who told them that something else was going on, something a lot stranger and meaner. The animals, he said, were being used and abused in ways that had no relevance to Parkinson’s or any other disease.

“They’re trying to make robots out of living beings” is the way he put it. “I don’t know why, but I think they’re planning to make robots out of people. They’ve killed hundreds of those monkeys, and they’re killing more all the time.”

The raiders were ready to believe. They’d all been involved in tree sitting, and tree spiking, and then more extreme environmental sabotage actions. They all knew each other and their various levels of commitment. Five of the twelve had been to jail at least once. The others had been luckier.

Or faster.

They crossed the parking lot in three groups, through the dense, fishy odor of the Willamette River, and converged on an alley between two anonymous warehouse buildings. The alley was the riskiest part, the part where it’d be almost impossible to run, where they could be trapped.

They saw no one.

Emerging from the alley, they moved sideways down the back of one of the buildings to three large Dumpsters that smelled of rotting vegetables and spoiled milk. The Dumpsters were fifty feet from the gate and provided temporary concealment.

The leader checked the power level on the Taser, then said, “Masks, everyone.”

The black knit ski masks came out of their jacket pockets. Sixteen-year-old Aubrey Calder giggled nervously as she fitted the breathing hole around her lip-glossed mouth and whispered, “I’m seriously wetting my pants.”

“You say that every time, but we’re six for six,” said Christopher, the sledge guy. “This is gonna work. This is gonna be awesome.”

The leader, the old man of the group at twenty-three, peeked around the Dumpster, scanned the orange sodium-vapor security lights, and said quietly, “I’m going for the gate.” Ethan led from the front, and it gave confidence to the others. He’d already done two years at Washington’s Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, where he’d learned to make pillows and mattresses. “My time in the joint,” he called it. It gave him a certain cred.

The target building seemed like a newer brick warehouse, an unfriendly one: small windows too high to see into and covered with wire-mesh screens. There were larger windows at the front of the building, but those looked into the lobby, and the lobby was secured from the rest of the building by locked reinforced steel doors. There were no signs identifying the building as a laboratory.

They would go in through a steel service door on the side of the building, for which they had a key provided by the insider. He couldn’t get them an electronic key card for the gate because he had no reason to have one, or to ask for one. He couldn’t ask for a service-door key, either, but he could be alone with a janitor’s key ring for long enough to press both sides of the key into layers of clay inside an Altoids tin.

Given perfect impressions, the raiders could make their own key. And they had.

Customer Reviews

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Uncaged (The Singular Menace, 1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I listened to this as an audiobook and it was terrific. Very fast-paced with riveting characters. I listened over four hours straight at one time and am definitely looking forward to other books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my absolute favorites! It was fast paced, intriguing, and worth the time! [PS If you want to read a similar book, read Illusive by Emily Llyod-Jones]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too bad it leaves you hanging so you are forced to buy the next book. That was the only thing I did not like about it.
windergalJB More than 1 year ago
This book does not read like the usual John Sandford novel, but that's ok, 2 books a year from my favorite author leaves me hungry for more so I'll take it. Actually this book reminds be of my favorite early  Dean Koontz books, a loyal, heroic dog and a thrilling on-going chase, what more could you want?
Miss_Meck More than 1 year ago
Action-packed from beginning to end, Sandford and Cook have written a thrill-ride that begs to be read cover-to-cover without pausing. Animal rights activists, computer hackers, thugs, and a benevolent but crazy artist pull readers of every type into this lightning fast drama. Odin, an environmental activist, simply takes part in what set out to be a raid to inflict maximum possible damage at a laboratory of unscrupulous reputation. That, culminated with extensive YouTube videos, should provide some eye-opening footage as to the evils that can be brought upon animals, all in the name of science, or at least improved cosmetics. But the extent of the experimentation, mutilation, and torture implies a greater malicious intent far beyond imagination. Twelve thumb drives and living proof, a dog, quickly raise the stakes of the escapade as the corporate thugs determine to recover all incriminating evidence. No retaliatory act, regardless of how violent or inhumane, is out of the realm of consideration. When Odin disappears, Shay, his 17 year old sister and only living relative, takes on the rescue mission, not knowing the scope of Odin’s discovery and the heinous nature of his pursuers. When she falls in with Twist, her needed anonymity is sacrificed to instantaneous fame when she is caught by news helicopters propelling off the side of a building that they hijacked for a political cartoon. Uncaged was a riveting first in the series, with a cliff hanger ending. Booklovers will no doubt be clamoring for more. Marketed at ages 12 and up, this book will entice upper YA readers and adults as well. Of the many series novels today, this is a must-have that addresses ethical issues of our times. I received this ARC from Random House Books Children’s Books, via Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different and pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than great. Could not put it down. Suspense, drama and action. Starting the next bpok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book...do not care for series books, so I won't buy the next book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced and exciting. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't realize this was a teen book when I bought, expected normal fine work by Sandford. Instead, I got self-indulgent half-baked work. Both of these authors can do a lot better. Why they serve up this dreck to kids, when they could give them something better (and why the publishers probably asked them to do it) is junk and serves the cause of literacy poorly. Stay away.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Uncaged' is the fast-paced and thrilling first book in a new young adult mystery/suspense series. It follows our heroine, Shay Remby, as she searches Los Angeles for her missing brother, Odin. Odin is a bit autistic and a computer genius - but he gets wrapped up in a animal-rights raid that ends terribly. Odin goes on the run - with the most valuable information on the corporation, Singular, and what they're actually doing inside the research lab. Now Singular's on Odin's trail and won't give up until they've caught all the people involved in the raid and gotten their valued flash drives back. Shay knows that Odin's in deep trouble when she gets a cryptic call from him in the middle of the night. Without thinking twice, Shay picks up and goes to Hollywood to search for her brother and help him out of whatever situation he got himself into. When Shay finds out just how big this information is - and what Singular will do to keep it quiet - she readies herself for a fight. And she'll do anything in her power to keep her brother safe. This was a really high energy book that jump-started right at the beginning and didn't let down until the final words. The narrative jumps around quite a bit - from Shay to Odin and the other animal rights people and then to the people involved on Singular's side of the incident. It was a bit confusing at first - the book would just hop from one person's part of the story to another, but after awhile I was accustomed to the writing style and it didn't bother me. Shay was a fantastic female lead for the novel. She's had a hard life - being in foster care, looking after her brother, and living on the streets - but she's strong and determined. She loves her brother and will do anything for him - which is obvious throughout the book. I liked her attitude - sometimes soft and caring (with Odin) and other times caustic and sarcastic. I liked seeing both sides of her character - most stories only allow the reader to see a partial glimpse of the entire person. The plot itself was intriguing and had me wondering what was going to happen next for the majority of the book. The writing is incredibly well done, which showcases the huge amount of talent the authors posses. I slipped easily into the story alongside Shay - and sometimes other characters - and I didn't come back to reality until I finished the book. The descriptions and imagery were so vivid that I could practically see myself in the setting. The characters were all well written and realistic - especially Shay and Odin - and I almost instantly connected with them. The story was full of unexpected twists and turns that you didn't see coming, which kept the momentum strong and the narrative flowing at a fast pace. Overall, this is one of the best YA crime thrillers that I've read in a long time. I'm very happy that it's a series and I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book. Very highly recommended! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Not a good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased all three books at the same time. A good thing too. This is shown as a book format, but is a serial. You have to buy the next book to find out what happens. On and on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done John and Michele. This is a refreshing mystery that keeps moving. Can't wait fit the third book of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Preliminaries to Engaged, the next in a page-turning series. Looking forward the the sequels of this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book of all time. The plot is so intresting and i love all the characters (Especially Shay, and X). You should definatly read it if you like these things in your books: Action, fiction, and adventure. As stated ealier if you like those things Read it you'll love it. Im serious, I don't know how but the author of this book made the best series of all time (the singular menace series 'Uncaged' and 'Outraged'). Read it cause you'll love it, trust me i am a book critic and to give a book 5 stars means it is REALLY good.
mermao More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. The 16-year old heroine, street kid Shay Remby, is a cross between Lisbeth Salander of the Millenium series and Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games. She has the virtues of each of them with the bad sides turned down or not there at all. Her anti-establishment crew, which includes her brother Odin, a geeky animal rights activist, becomes almost by accident locked in a war to the death with the sinister Singular corporation, about the nastiest group of villains I've run across in literature since the NICE of C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength. Singular has a team of brutal spec ops types at its disposal, the sort of murder and torture experts who are the heroes of the novels of Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, and Brad Thor, not to mention the endless sniper novels and bios. Good to see these baddies on the receiving end for a change, at least fictionally.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a John Sandford fan. This book should not have his name attached to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't expect this type book from this author. Not sure if gonna buy the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in two days! Kept me up all night! Im addicted, hands down my favorite book thus far. I can't wait for the next book in this series to come out. I wish I could give it more stars, its very fast paced and addicting , you won't be able to put this book down!  Definetely worth buying you will not be disappointed 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago