28 May 2016

Cast Adrift by Mannah Pierce

Cast Adrift (Reaching out of the Shadows, #1) by Mannah Pierce. Published by Clink Street Publishing in August 2015. Received for review from the author through Publishing Push. YA, science fiction, LGBTQIA. 3 out of 5 stars. 
All I knew going into Cast Adrift was basically that it is set in space and I've been looking for books along the lines of Across the Universe by Beth Revis and Cast Adrift sounded just like that! I mean, it's set on a spaceship, just like Across the Universe so I couldn't say no...

It started out quite mysteriously, like you can read in my first impressions post about this book. Even though I'd read the entire first chapter I started over and read the first chapter again because I didn't understand anything. It helped though and I quickly read 100 pages!
It's sad that the beginning is so private because I definitely felt left out the first time around, and it only helped a bit the second time.

In the first 30 pages or so we're told that our main character, Jax or Emmanuel Rafael Jax Esteban, is the heir to the leadership of one of the five big space clans, Navajo. His mother has, with the help of nanobots, changed his appearance to keep him safe. His mission is to become a spacer, once he's of age, then challenge the usurper, his uncle, and reclaim his inheritance.

There's quite the infodumps in Cast Adrift and while some of them are quite interesting, others are a bit boring and the rest makes me grimace. For example. Each spacer crew has spacers, cats and cabin boys. Spacers have been cabin boys and/or cats themselves and have since become spacers. You start out as a cabin boy (12-14) and once you turn 14 you can become a cat. The role of a cat is to relieve sexual tension amongst the crew.. Yes, I was quite uncomfortable which that piece of information, and you're a cat until 17 or 18.
We also have a hybrid, Rae, and a cyborg, Tre.
We follow a traditional crew which means only males and cats can't offer up 'their other hole' until they're 16 and it's their own choice. There's of course more.
Since it is a science fiction novel infodumps are to be expected, but there were so many! And it is a bit overwhelming even if it wasn't hard to follow.

The crew on the Willow consists of a captain, a queen, an enforcer, cabin boys, cats and more. It grows throughout the book. The queen on the Willow is still a man, his name is Ean and I couldn't picture him as a man! He's so feminine and I know that that is the point, but I couldn't picture a man!
Since I've mentioned that the crew only consists of men, or boys, it's safe to say that there's LGBTQIA features in Cast Adrift. I don't mind it, I actually found it quite interesting not following females at all - we meet a few, but that's it.
I have a problem with the 'cat' part of the story though. They have each other if they want to relieve sexual tension GOD DAMMIT! I definitely struggled with that part and I don't think I can continue on with the series if it's as big a part of Foothold as it is of Cast Adrift. I mean, it's men having oral sex with 14-17 year olds, I'm not comfortable with that. For me it definitely borders on pedophilia.

My favorite thing in Cast Adrift is the friendships! Particularly between Rae and Jax. I loved how brotherly they quickly become towards one another and I definitely looked forward to their parts! I also love the budding friendship between Rae, Jax and Kip - but that's later on in the novel.
The friendships and the missing females are actually the things I liked about Cast Adrift. 

If you've noticed I've talked more about what Cast Adrift is about than my actual feelings about it, and that's because I'm horrified. I can't look past the cats and that really ruins the book for me. Therefore a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Sorry.

So, to summarize Cast Adrift in keywords; LGBTQIA, friendship, space, men, sex (incl. borderline pedophilia).

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