Revenge and rebellion collide in this new dystopian stand-alone novel by Condie (The Darkdeep, 2018, etc.).
Two years ago, Poe Blythe lost her best friend/budding love interest Call when raiders attacked their dredge, or gold-mining river ship. Focused on revenging his death, Poe has turned the Outpost’s dredges into armored, bladed machines. Unexpectedly sent on the Gilded Lily’s last voyage, newly promoted Capt. Poe distances herself from her crew—older mechanic Naomi, effervescent cook Tam, brooding Brig (who resembles dark-haired, blue-eyed Call), and curious cartographer Eira—and soon faces both raiders on the river and a saboteur among her shipmates. The initially slow plot picks up steam when the Lily embarks, and per requisite dystopian story arc, relentless, rigid, and righteous Poe discovers dark secrets about the Outpost, sympathizes with the rebellious raiders (or drifters as they prefer to be known), and reconsiders romance. Race is barely noted—17-year-old Poe has “sun-black hair” (and few other physical descriptors), while Call, Brig, and the Outpost’s leaders appear to be white. A callout to the Matched series should satisfy loyal readers while the constant twists and a cliffhanger ending will encourage new audiences to anticipate possible sequels.
A swashbuckling steampunk mashup of Mark Twain and Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet. (Science fiction. 12-18)