I was kind of nervous to return to reading an Ally Condie book, after the disappointment I felt with the Matched Trilogy. However, everything from the cover to the description appealed to me, so I decided to give this book a chance. The book has a great concept, but no real development or character growth. The whole time, Poe was so paranoid and suspicious of everyone, which made me paranoid and suspicious of everyone, so I did not really care about any of the characters. Also, I was kind of confused when Poe all of a sudden just switched sides to be with the drifters? It seems like there was almost no internal acknowledgment of that at all, which there should have been. And the romance with Brig- I kind of predicted it, because I always assume there’s going to be a romance, but the way it was executed felt way too quick and forced. Definitely something that needs work. The book left off on kind of a cliffhanger, so hopefully there will be a next book and maybe in that next book, Ally will be able to expand on the world that was too briefly introduced to us, as well as add some more growth to the characters, who have the potential to be interesting characters.
I really ended up enjoying this book. I went into this book without a whole lot of expectations. I think that I might have read one of the author's earlier books years ago but don't remember a whole lot about it. The premise sounded really interesting so I was excited to give the story a try and was surprised by how quickly I was hooked by this adventurous tale. I thought that this was just a whole lot of fun.
Most of this book takes place on a ship used to dredge the river for gold. The book opens on Poe's first voyage where things take a horrible turn and the man she loves is killed. Poe is determined to make sure that nothing like that can ever happen again and designs armor that will cover the ships for all future voyages.
Poe is put in command of the newest voyage which is the first time she has been out since tragedy struck. It was really interesting to be in Poe's head as she worked to establish her position of leadership while being unsure if all of the members of her crew are trustworthy. When things go wrong, she becomes even more suspicious of the others working on the ship.
I loved the fact that this book had plenty of action. There are some fairly violent scenes that had me holding my breath and worrying about the characters. Poe had a hard time trying to figure out who could be trusted and which crew members had their own agenda. I liked that Poe became a true leader because of her actions and that she was willing to take stand even if it came with a lot of risks. Poe was a great character and I thought that the key secondary characters were very well done.
I would recommend this book to others. I found this book to be very well done with an interesting world, great characters, and an adventurous story. While I thought that this book stood perfectly fine on its own, I do think that there could be a possibility of future books featuring this world or group of characters in the future. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
I received a review copy of this book from Dutton Books for Young Readers via Bookish First.
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is a standout for its antiheroine. Poe, who has never had much to begin with, lets rage and anger steer her actions after raiders killed the boy she loved. But what she thinks is a straightforward path to vengeance turns into a twisting trail of self-examination and assessing everything she thought was true. Poe is a pull-no-punches type of girl, which readers will appreciate. She's blunt and emotionally detached, and not in the "brooding but charming" way other books portray similarly strong, haunted characters. I've seen it labeled as fantasy, but I don't know that I would call it that. It's presumably set in the future, but one that has regressed to more basic technologies after attempts to expand resulted in the withdrawal of central support when it became clear the Outpost was too difficult to maintain. There aren't any fantastical elements, just the notion that the old is gone, and this is society trying to rebuild itself.