I received this book for free from a blog tour in exchange for my honest opinions/ review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Cargo by Jen Castleberry
Series: The Reservation Trilogy, #1
Source: a blog tour
Buy on Amazon
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?
Fast-paced action and a tumultuous teenage romance will keep readers begging for more installments of The Reservation Trilogy!
So Cargo is the first in a series, and it’s definitely written that way. A lot of books start off as stand alones and then because they are popular, they end up as a series, but this is written as just the beginning. I almost feel like it’s a pre-quel because there are just so many unanswered questions and a lot of open plot holes (for example, there is a lot of talk of aliens/ETs/are they human? But that’s never explained in any detail and we never meet anyone who isn’t human as far as we know. So that drove me crazy because why mention them at all?)
Cassidy, our main character, I did not like at all. I read a lot of dystopian books so I’m used to the same dystopian tropes, and this one had most of them, but at least the main character usually grows on me if I don’t like her at first. I never really liked Cassidy at all. Even though she’s living in a tough world, because she’s so sheltered, she’s extremely spoiled (in my opinion) which makes her really immature. She whines throughout a third of the book how she misses the nuns and the world she’s living behind. I’m sure any of us in that situation (being dragged/stolen from everything we know) would whine constantly about our family and homes left behind, too, but in a short novella, the constant “I miss my friends” got really old.
The book does move at a good pace, and there are certainly things that happened that make me wonder what else is going to happen. I didn’t really like where the book ended, and because it’s a novella, it really left me wanting more. I’ve been reading a lot of “chunksters” lately so this just felt like a short story in comparison – refreshing, really, the shorter pace, but still felt really short.
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.