4.5 Stars | TOP REC
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe was a wonderfully addictive read with elements of revenge and redemption. The atmosphere of the story was beautifully set, with an industrialist feel that added a layer of oppression and untapped ambition. Condie wrote a great heroine in Poe with her realistic motives and a self-sacrificing quality not expected in a hardened character like her. From beginning to end I was on the journey with her and I didn’t want it to end.
Though a character out for revenge can often feel very one-dimensional, Poe’s character was far from shallow. The catalyst for her story may have set things in motion, but it was far from the thing that kept her going. Her story never fell victim to tunnel vision or static growth, instead constantly evolving and growing as obstacles fell in her way. She wasn’t blind to the different endgames of her journey and I adored every piece of her as she pushed to keep going. Condie did an outstanding job at creating her, fleshing her out, and surrounding her with characters that could only enhance her growth. Through them she found herself and her future, and it was never with a concrete selfishness. Every beat of the constantly moving story—from the unknown, the twists, and the building tension—only pulled me in further, and I was in constant awe with how well done it was.
My one point of issue with this novel—the only one!—was the complete lack of worldbuilding. Without knowing the worlds’ history or the setting of this story, I was unable to gleam the backstory that set this story in motion. I wondered throughout the entire novel what set the Outpost to being created, how they were separated from the world, and the idea behind all of those outside of it. If that element had been there, it would’ve added a much needed layer to an already great story by making it feel complete. Even with this missing, I can tell you that it was well worth the read.
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is a must-read, action-packed story with a fantastic main character that will have you rooting for her from the beginning. The perfectly crafted seeds placed within the story—of what’s to come, possible future connections, and the direction of our main character—grew so subtly and beautifully that I cannot wait to experience what’s to come. I simply cannot wait for more.