We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.
Pure was nothing like what I was expecting. Nothing. It’s dark and twisty and crazy imaginative. It took me a little while to fall into the world, but once I did there was no looking back.
This is a very different post apocalypse/dystopian. There are aspects that most books in the genre have, but Julianna Baggott takes everything just a few steps farther. Some of it, like the people fusing with objects or even animals parts, are horrifying and completely unimaginable. But that was what made me sit down and take notice of this story. Then there is the other aspect of corrupt, evil government turning on its own people. This is something that doesn’t seem too far fetched and that makes the story even more powerful.
The world in which Pure takes place was really my favorite part of the book. It’s a little on the disturbing side and if there’s anything out there like it I haven’t saw it. The book is told from alternating points of view. I found that I liked Pressia, she was strong and capable. I didn’t connect with Partridge as much, but once I found the rhythm of there voices I enjoyed the story much more. That took a little while, but it was worth it in the end. Oddly enough I really enjoyed El Capitan’s perspectives. He was very well developed and I just found him fascinating.
Overall I enjoyed Pure. It might not be a book for everyone since it’s on the darker side of dystopian, but it was a fantastic and richly detailed world.