Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Detonations have reduced the world to ruins. Many people died and those that have survived are horrible scarred, fused to objects the happened to be around during the explosions, and/or mutated in some way. It's nine years after the blast. Pressia is almost sixteen and one of her hands is still fused to the doll's head she was holding when she was seven years old. She and her grandfather have been living in a defunct barbershop. She won't be able to barter with others and take care of her grandfather after she's 16 because the OSR, a brutal and violent military regime, recruits all residents at that age. There are also other survivors, ones that are Pure: without scars, deformations, or fusings. They live beneath a dome, protected from the Detonations. Their behavior is greatly restricted and boys groomed for their military are routinely programmed with obedience, strength, and speed. Not all of it works on Partridge, the son the foremost scientist. He suspects his mother survived the Detonations and is set on leaving the Dome and finding her. As Pressia tries to escape the OSR and Partridge tries to find his mother, they cross paths and both of their worlds are forever changed as they work together.
I loved Pure to little tiny bits. Despite its considerable length, I read it in a few days because the story grabbed me and wouldn't let go. The writing especially just sucked me into the unique world filled with scarred people fused to things or each other and inside the dome people who are physically perfect, even enhancing their bodies. The different types of fusing interested me because some were beautiful or unique despite the pain they had to endure and some were horrific and sapped the humanity out of the people. Bradwell had living birds fused to his back, which is such an interesting and oddly beautiful image despite its improbability. El Capitan and Helmud, on the other hand, were fused together with Helmud permanently affixed to El Capitan's back, only able to repeat his brother. It honestly wasn't that difficult to suspend my disbelief because these fusings made the characters come alive, be incredibly memorable, and outwardly express their inner flaws. This aspect gave the dystopia a dark undertone of horror that I really loved.
The characters were each memorable not only because of their mutations and outward flaws, but also because of their dynamic personalities. Pressia, despite living in a world of desolation and horror, still created beauty and relished in what beauty she could find even if it sometimes put her in danger. She was fiercely loyal to her friends and family and didn't compromise herself even in the face of powerful opposition. Partridge sacrificed his own comfort and privilege to find out what happened to his mother. Bradwell was a little annoying, but eventually proved himself to be a great character. With Pressia, Bradwell, and Partridge, I thought the book was setting up to be a romance driven, love triangle mess that is often popular, but it didn't venture into that annoying territory.
I loved Pure and I can't wait for the next in the series. The world was dynamic and interesting with wonderful and memorable characters. The plot twists really slapped me in the face at times and made the book exciting to read. If you don't like long books or lots of description, I would avoid this one. For everyone else, namely fans of dystopias and horror, I highly recommend this read.
My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins