The Final Trade, by Joe Hart


Zoey is not the woman she once was. She’s watched her friends die at the hands of their captors, been hunted, and returned from the brink of death. Now she must find the truth about who she is. In search of the family she never knew, Zoey learns of personal records stored in an Idaho missile silo that may contain the information she and the other women seek. With the help of her group of newfound friends, Zoey travels to the missile facility, but among the records, they uncover information that leads to an insidious and horrific new foe: the Fae Trade, a macabre carnival of slavery and pain. Zoey’s journey into the darkest parts of the human psyche brings her perilously close to the ever-thinning line between good and evil, and the final cost in her quest for justice might be her own humanity.

I had high expectations when I saw Joe Hart’s The Final Trade on NetGalley. I had picked up its predecessor, The Last Girl as a Kindle First promotion. I was critical of the ending of The Last Girl but other than that it was a great read. Everything I enjoyed in the first book, I enjoyed in the second book: Situational writing, depraved dystopian society, etc. The pace moved along nicely, and there wasn’t anything that stood out except the ending.

Just like book one, this one ends with a lot of the themes introduced in the story resolved, but the overarching story behind Zoey remains unresolved. I was more enamored with the back-stories of the supporting characters and felt that Zoey took a step back as a developed character in this story.

The main villains in The Final Trade were, as so many villains are, one-dimensional. They seemed to do the bad things simply because the author and/or story needed them to. I felt no sympathy for them and had no investment either.

I liked The Final Trade more than I liked The Last Girl, but I continue to be unimpressed with the story. It may seem harsh, but that’s the way I feel. I’ll still pick up the third and final book in the series, and I’d wager that stand alone books from Joe Hart are probably going to be good reads.

Three-and-a-half stars is my rating for book two, and once all three books are available, I highly recommend picking them all up for an interesting read.


Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota, where he still resides today. He’s been writing horror and thriller fiction since he was nine years old. He is the author of five novels and numerous short stories, including the books The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Waiting. When he’s not writing, Joe enjoys reading, working out, watching movies with his family, and spending time outdoors.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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