Prepare for revenge with THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE!
After five years away writing middle grade novels, Ally Condie is returning to the world of YA books with something completely different from her previous releases. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe, a steampunk revenge tale with sharp edges, follows a young woman hellbent on taking down the raiders that killed her boyfriend with the help of her deadly, high-tech river dredge.
Entertainment Weekly interviewed Ally to get the scoop on the novel and its many inspirations, the revealed the captivating cover.
The author revealed her secret to writing her first gritty revenge tale: A potent mixture of rage and love spurred on by the 2016 election.
I don’t know how political anyone wants to be with any of this… but there was a lot, especially right around the time of the election and since — we had the Kavanaugh hearings, things that had been happening to young women and the way that that’s reacted to. That made me very angry. It was very easy to channel that into this character because she’s an extremely strong woman who’s working against a society that is stacked against her all the way. But she has a lot of — like, rage is the word, but there’s also a lot of love. That was the important thing…. That comes together any time we’re talking about politics and stuff: We feel anger, and then there’s that strange side of the coin where you realize, “Oh, but the only way to fix this is to love people.” Of course, there’s activism, and it’s not like, “Oh, I can’t be angry anymore, now I only feel love” — I don’t mean that in a cheesy way. I just mean there’s something else you also have to tap into in order to sustain yourself, even, let alone to effect the kind of change that you know you’d like to see.
She also talked about Poe Blythe and the one visual that helped her craft the whole world of the novel. You can read the full interview here.
In the meantime, check out the cover, which calls back to the gold dredging elements weaved into the story:
The only thing Poe Blythe ever wanted was Call. Call was true love and hope in Poe’s otherwise dim life as a machinist in the Settlement. Call was home. Poe and Call hungered for the chance to live in the untamed wilderness beyond the Settlement’s walls—to make a new life, together. Hopeful for a taste of freedom, they take jobs on the river dredge—a hulking beast of a ship that claws its way across river bottoms in search of gold. But all their dreams are shattered the night raiders board the dredge and murder Call.
Poe’s world is irreparably fractured in the wake of Call’s death and soon her only driving force is revenge, destruction of those who ripped Call away from her. She becomes the architect of a stronger dredge, outfitted with savage defense systems that will slaughter any outsider who attempts to board. But Poe never expected to return to the river, nor did she expect to return as the dredge’s captain. With possible traitors in her midst and a looming unease about the true agenda of the Settlement’s leadership, Poe’s unexpected new voyage might also be her last. Poe is confident that her defenses will not fail. What she is less sure of, is herself.