(Note: An updated version of this recommendation is available here.)
I’m not usually a fan of either Science Fiction or post-apocalyptic novels, so I was a bit surprised by how much I liked Julianna Baggott’s Pure. But like it I did, and quite a bit, too.
First of all, I love the idea behind the world Baggott created. The people of that world aren’t the type of people you find in most post-apocalyptic novels; yes, they’re fighting for their lives and the necessities essential to survival. But, they’re also burdened, in a way, by the objects/people/other living beings they fused with during the Detonations. And that burden adds an extra element to the story that kept me intrigued throughout the novel.
Second, the characters themselves kept me reading. While I sometimes felt a bit conflicted about how I actually felt about them, I was always curious to know what they were going to do, or what was going to happen to them, next. And that’s exactly the reason why I intend to read the next novel in the series, Fuse.
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.