Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

pureSeries: Pure #1
Published by: Headline
ISBN: 0755385497
ISBN 13: 9780755385492
Published: February 2012
Pages: 434
Format reviewed: Paperback
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Four out of Five
Related Reviews: Fuse #2

Pure by Julianna Baggott is a futuristic dystopian, told through multiple points of view in a beautiful yet slightly disturbing way.

It tells the tale of a world after The Detonations. A Dome was created, but not everyone was allowed in. Those who were left outside are marked by permanent burns and disfigurations; fused with plastic, metal – whatever they were too close to when the Detonations went off. Pressia’s hand is fused to the doll she was carrying. A boy she meets has birds in his back.

Inside the Dome they are working towards Eden. Food is no longer needed as food capsules give the body all that’s needed. ‘Coding’ is available (or enforced) to craft your body to the optimum fitness.

Partridge lives within the Dome, and his father is one of those responsible for its creation. Yet his father remains emotionally distant, his brother took his own life and their mother was outside the Dome when the apocalypse began.

No matter where you are within this new world, life isn’t perfect. What can you do in such a life except—

Risk everything to find something better.

This book is brutal. Though it is slanted at young-adult it does not try to gloss over what life would truly be like in those times – how ruthless people would turn, what they would do to each other, what would happen to young females.

It is also graphic – going into detail in regards to the disfigurations. Some seem unbelievable but you get a sense of the science that backs it up.

The characters are varied and not always logical or understandable, and yet from this I felt it was only realistic – people in life are not always such. One issue I did have was that it seemed that every adult was a little insane – I understand they’ve been through a lot, but it didn’t seem quite right. Mad with power, mad with feminism and faintly religious beliefs… It isn’t that believable when a group of children overcome each and every adult in the mental state.

The plot is a little jumpy, and yet in that regard it also seems realistic – in their circumstances, alliances and plans would change often – after all, survival is all they have to grip to.

This book is the first of three, and those who like a closed story within a series will be disappointed. Read this only if you plan to stay for the full series, otherwise you’ll have questions and plot left unanswered.

This book has the failing that it takes a while to get into. It took me quite a while to read and I’ve heard many others weren’t able to finish it, which is a shame. The story does eventually pick up and the rest of the book is easily devoured within hours, so I strongly encourage any who start this book, to keep going with it. You’ll be rewarded, and the ending will make you look forward to book two, Fuse, which I hear is slated for being published in early 2013.

This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 4th March 2012.

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