“There was low droning overhead a week or so after the Detonations; time was hard to track. The skies were buckling with dark banks of blackened cloud, the air thick with ash and dust. If it was a plane or an airship of some sort, we never knew because the sky was so clotted.”
Pressia is used to living in the shadow of the Dome. In the world ruined by Detonations, she can barely remember the Before. People are fused with objects, other people and animals, Pressia herself lives with a doll’s head fused over her fist. The OSR were set up to help those unfortunate enough not to be protected by the Dome, but soon it fell into the wrong hands. Now the OSR force children to become recruits at sixteen, no matter what their ailments. When the OSR come for her Pressia runs, knowing that recruitment often equals death, she leaves as rumours of an escaped Pure from the Done arise.
Partridge is the son of the most influential Pure in the Dome but with his father becoming more and more distant, his brother having killed himself and his mother never making it into the Dome, he feels disconnected from everything. Once his father lets slip that his mother may still be outside Partridge leaves the Dome to find her.
When Pressia and Partridge’s paths cross their world completely shatters again and a whole new world is opened up for them both.
I had been meaning to read Pure for ages, it was sat on my shelf for nearly a year before I received the sequel, Fuse, for review and knew it was time to give it a read. After a lot of arghs, eeks, and omgosh’s I’m just left kicking myself that I didn’t read it sooner as it is definitely up there with some of my favourite dystopians.
The story is hard to get into at first, you are thrust into a world that doesn’t make sense, this world is like a sliver of what we know today and our known world has been destroyed before recognition. There are strange people, a weird Dome that doesn’t quite fit in with what we are told from Pressia’s point of view, and the main character has a doll’s head for a hand. Pure is difficult to get into and it takes some reading but its worth it at the end.
The narration comes from a number of different points of view. It is all third person but with focus on one of four characters. I found it interesting that even though Bradwell is a major part of the book his version of events is not really told. I would have loved to have known more about him but he is a very forward character anyway so I did get some of his story.
The characters really make you think and feel in Pure. You get emotionally attached to them and the world around them is such a scary place that you can’t help but hope for the best. Pure is a book about hope, the perils which occur in a world where the power is not equally divided and how much just a small number of people can fight against that power. It was an emotional read and I did shed a tear, especially when it came to the fusing of some characters we meet and things that happen to others.
There were some aspects of gender division in the book which I did not like but there were more subtleties which fought against these and I adored them. Pressia was a fighter and she wasn’t afraid of much, the housewives we meet are scary and they kind of conform to some gender stereotypes which I didn’t like, I also didn’t like their outright hatred of men (because lets face it, we can’t talk about the rights of women and take men’s away from them!) but i did like how strong they were and how they fought for what was right. I also loved how strong Lydia was by the end of the book, especially as she started out as such a minor character. Everything about Pure and the world created by Julianna Baggott is incredible and I really cannot wait to find out more, if you haven’t checked out this series yet, please do!
Pure was published in 2012 by Headline, the sequel Fuse is due out on February 7th. My copy was loaned to me by a friend.
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