Published: February 8th 2012 by HachetteAU
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Genres: Post Apocalyptic
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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 is such a well imagined novel that I found myself thoroughly disturbed at the Apocalypse it describes, and yet I could see similar events unfolding in the near future. The world building in the novel is flawless – everything makes a quirky kind of sense, and there are no gaping plot holes that I became aware of. The story flowed seamlessly and I found it hard to put the book down. I devoured the book in a matter of hours.
The thing that I loved most about Pure is the realisation of a post-Apocalyptic world. Those who were stuck outside during the thermo-muclear detonations have been fused on a molecular level with whatever they were close to: buildings, jewellery, glass, toys, and for mothers, their infants. Their DNA has mutated to adapt to this. It’s horrifying. Those inside the Dome were safe, but have their own problems to deal with. Any sign of sickness results in prolonged isolation, people take pills for nutrients and sustenance rather than eat food, and are forced to undergo chemical treatments for ‘enhancement’ as teenagers.
The characters in this book are as varied and vivid as the horrors within it. Pressia is a strong-willed, like-able character, who never steps down from her fate and confronts the dangers in her life head on. I found it easy to read the chapters from her point of view and enjoyed her insights into the other characters. The chapters narrated by Partridge were very different to those belonging to Pressia; he was just as determined as her, but lacked real-world experience. However, his bravery was always obvious to me.
This is a book I will recommend to anyone – it’s wonderful in its depth and the subject matter will interest most readers. Julianna Baggott is certainly a talented author, and I look forward to reading more of her works, especially the rest of the Pure trilogy.