Review of Cargo, by Katie Mineeff

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Lots of split feelings on this book, hence the 3/5 stars. There were a lot of things I liked, but there was always a touch of something that made me a little hesitant. For a burgeoning self-published author like Mineeff, this is quite a solid work. It will be exciting to see what she does with the rest of the trilogy.

– The main character, Pia, while very real in her flaws, can detract from the story. The novel is written in first person with omniscience limited to Pia, so her observations and feelings are very prominent. Sometimes these conflict with the setting or ongoing events, to the point where I found myself losing interest in both the character and story. Additionally, she had a tendency of narrating what she is going to say or do, and then saying or doing it immediately after. i.e. “I am going to tell him how annoying he is. ‘You’re annoying,’ I tell him.” (not a real quote).

– The relationship between characters were not quite as realistic as Pia was on her own. With the exceptions of her “interest” Tomas, her “nemesis” Renka, and her brother Max, the secondary characters were exactly that: secondary. There was very little depth or development to them. There were attempts at creating that complexity, but they often fell flat and thus left the character irrelevant.

– As much as I loved the story, it was clearly a first book in a trilogy, with no real ending at the conclusion. There was zero resolution and everything was left remarkably open-ended. This is less of a con than the others, but still influenced my opinion.

– Pia is a teenage girl who has grown up with some serious trauma, and she easily takes the spotlight in terms of developed characters. Her insecurities and self-consciousness made her more believable, especially conveyed through first person. In some ways she was annoying and frustrating, but that was a big part of what lent such authenticity to the character. I say: Boo to emotionally stable, fearless heroines, and huzzah to Pia and her many flaws!
– The story began very much in media res, which is admirable and difficult to pull off. Balancing exposition throughout the story, giving enough bits for everything to make sense but slowly enough that it maintains the mystery is tough. Not every debut author can orchestrate such story development, but Mineeff does it with seeming simplicity.
– The story as a whole is one huge pro. Well thought out, with a strange world defined by a generally unique setting, filled with characters who are influenced by that world as much as they are a part of it. It set the stage beautifully for book two.

Would I Recommend?

Yes! Don’t let the three star rating lead you to believe otherwise, I do recommend this book, particularly for any fans of teen dystopian novels. There is some good, and there is some bad, but especially considering that Mineeff is a brand new indie author, she has created a wonderful story that very much deserves to be read.

Here is a link to the Amazon page: Cargo

Has any one else read this book? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know, comment below!




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