The Last of the Firsts*
Exceptional End to Amazing Series
This was an exceptional wrap up to a wonderful series. The author touches on so many themes in this book (and in the series). Like with the earlier books, he does so with a gentle and personal touch. While the underlying themes of the book are very serious–the effect of what we do on our environment, teamwork, taking responsibility for our actions, understanding the repercussions of difficult choices, and acceptance—they are brought to life through characters that we’ve come to know and appreciate through these three books; we’ve seen them grow and change, so to see them grapple with these themes seems very organic and natural. Therefore, it doesn’t feel like sermonizing or preaching. Instead, seeing the characters work through the difficulties makes you aware of these themes, and you find yourself thinking about them even after you’ve put the book down. I like a book that does that for me. I don’t believe that this is necessarily an easy thing for a writer to do, but when it is done well, it truly resonates—as it does here. These books definitely need to be read one after the other. They are not meant to stand alone. Only then will you get the full sweep of the character arcs for the main characters as well as the greater story. This series is just so well done in terms of characters, themes, and story. I highly recommend it.