J.C. Macek III's 'Cargo' Review: More Like a Character Study Than a Thriller

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Cargo by J.C. Macek III is a short thriller about an asshole stuck in a shipping container in the middle of nowhere — and how he learns what love is via the application of electric shock (and a whole lot of soul-searching) while his world crumbles around him. The book is 246 pages long; a few-hour read at the longest. It's based on the screenplay of a feature film by writer/director James Dylan. As a trade paperback, it is printed with high-gloss ink, which doesn't do well for outside reading, but inside this presented no issue.

This is not a tale of redemption. It is a tale of the savage delight of watching a monster be brought down by those he had tormented, somehow without becoming a revenge tale. Certainly, revenge is a big part of the story; but the focus is on the ultra-rich Anthony Peterson and how he copes with no longer being in power, as well as how those around him deal with the sudden change in an ability to carry out often-made threats.

Some of the names were trite and lacked deeper thought, and I found many of the secondary characters flat. It's supposed to be a thriller; but the book felt more like a character study than a thriller to me. I never found myself really caring if the main character lived or died, nor about pretty much any of the characters, and the interactions between Peterson and many of his underlings seemed more ribald than tense. I was left wondering why various characters were introduced into the story at all, however interesting they may have been to write about (such as Calderon). All in all it struck me as an interesting concept with not more than a fair execution.

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About Jessica Wagar

Abandoned by wolves, rescued by Comic Book People. Enjoys stories of monsters & horror, and urban fantasy. Artist, Writer, Moderator.
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