50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews

Cargo by Jen Castleberry

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Dystopia, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: N/A
Date of Release: January 7, 2016
Pages: 144 pages
Format: PDF
Links: Good ReadsAmazon Author PageTwitter








My Rating:


“The Earth has been reduced to a singular continent, governed by extra-terrestrials, collapsed by nuclear weapons residue and wracked with radiation sickness. Only one viable territory remains, and access there is restricted by a mysterious selection process. Everyone hopes to be chosen for transport. Everyone but Cass.

Seventeen year old Cassidy Hartinger has spent the past eleven years living in a government-maintained bunker. She should be thrilled when a handsome transporter arrives to take her to the Reservation. So why does she feel like he’s dragging her, kicking and screaming, straight into the anti-paradise?

Faced with gun-wielding survivalists and elemental catastrophes, will Cass make it more than two steps out of the bunker? Will her journey to peace and safety in the Reservation turn out to be the most perilous thing she’s encountered so far?”

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was so sad when this story ended. It was such a great start.

For me, this had some undertones of Stephen King’s “The Mist” and War of the Worlds, which made me love this novel even more. Although we’re never actually introduced to the aliens. I do applaud the author for her awesome world building and character building.

Oh my gosh! The imagery! This world is bleak compared to our world now. It’s been ravaged by bombs and bleached by the relentless sun. You feel like you are there, walking with Cass and Nathan.

I keep a stiff upper lip as we move through the hallway. Nostalgia douses my bones. It makes my feet heavy. It makes the air around my ankles dense.” 

One thing that always worries me about short novels is whether the characters will be developed enough and whether there would be enough time for their interactions with each other. This was not an issue in the novel at all.

First you see Cassidy’s interaction with her bunk-mate Adrienne. It’s such a heartwarming sisterhood. It doesn’t have any of that awkwardness loaded with sexual connotations. It was two girls who had no one but themselves.

The interaction with Nathan seemed like it might start out with him being a gigantic ass, but he eventually warmed up. Cassidy even blossomed under his conversation. She seemed so demure and shy in the bunker but outside of it she didn’t let Nathan walk all over her.

The only one I didn’t feel for was Nars. He just kind of seemed there and the interaction between him, Cassidy and Adrienne was lacking, to say the least. He became more like a background character.

I do have some questions like where are the aliens? What interaction do they have with Earth? What was their purpose? Hopefully some questions do get answered in the next books.

Even still, this was a great story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good Dystopian novel.

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

About the Author:

Jen Castleberry is a North Carolina native currently based in Virginia Beach, VA. She is a Communications graduate and proud ECU alum.

When she’s not writing, Castleberry works full-time as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal shelter.

Her affection for all critters, large and small, comes home with her at the end of each day. She frequently lends her house and heart to homeless animals in need of foster.

Her own clan of silly creatures include an Akita, a Basset Hound, a Maine Coon, and of course, her active-duty husband.

At twenty-seven, Castleberry hopes to soon realize a life-long dream of writing professionally.

The first installment of her YA debut series premiered in January of 2016


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