I'm always in the mood for some dystopian YA. Which is a good thing, considering that YA dystopias are popping up like mushrooms all over the place. Too bad practically all of them are series, so it takes at least a couple of years to see them finished. Here I bring you Pure, thefirst novel in a new YA dystopian series.
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters. We will, once day, emerge from the Dome to join you in peace. For now, we watch from afar.
This is the message spread after the Detonations destroyed almost everything. While people struggle to survive in a world composed mainly of rubble and toxic waste, a few privileged who haven't been affected by the Detonations live comfortably in the safety of the Dome. People outside of the Dome are called "wretches", while those in the Dome are known as Pure.
Pressia Belze is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives with her grandfather after the death of her parents in the Detonations. Like most of the people outside of the Dome, when the explosions happened her body fused with what she was holding, and a doll's head now replaces one of her fists. After turning sixteen, she needs to escape and hide from OSR, a militia who recruits all sixteen-year-olds to either be trained as soldiers or, for those not strong enough, to serve as living targets. OSR, which originally stood for Operation Search and Rescue but now is the acronym for Operation Sacred Revolution, is planning a rebellion to take over the Dome.
Partridge, a Pure boy and the son of an important officer in the Dome government, is finishing his training at the Academy, but isn't happy. His brother is dead and his mother never made it into the Dome. When a casual slip from his father suggests that his mother might still be alive out there, he escapes from the Dome to find her.
I found this book interesting and well.written. I was particularly impressed by the detail in which the author described the damage to the bodies of the "wretches" - people with objects lodged in their bodies, people fused together, people fused with rocks or animals, Dusts, Beasts. It was horrifying and yet compelling.
The events in this book seemed to exist on a whole different level than the story itself, almost as if things really existed. I found the world-building very accurate and detailed. Lenore of Presenting Lenore featured this book in one of her dystopian themed months and gave it an award for big twists. Yeah, there are a couple big ones, but I'd say the strongest point of this book is descriptions more than anything else.
This is the first book in a trilogy, but the ending is neat and not too much of a cliffhanger. Yes, one wonders what will happen next, and I must say I have no idea - I can't make any predictions. Still, it's a good place to end a book, not like some other series where the ending is very abrupt, almost as if it were only one book which had to be cut somewhere.
I'd recommend this book to dystopian fans. The dystopian elements are prevalent here, so if you don't like the genre, there's not much else in this book.Cover attraction:
I love books with butterflies on their cover. The dark background is quite striking in contract to the blue wings of the butterfly. It conveys the idea that there is still life and hope even if the world was almost destroyed. I also found two other covers under a different publisher's name - Grand Central for the butterfly cover, Headline Book Publishing for the other two. They're simpler: one is totally black, the other completely white. I'm not sure if they were meant to be released at the same time, two versions of the same book (as in John Green's Paper Towns). They're probably giving the idea of society divided among wretches (black) and Pures (white), and the contrast between the Pure title and the black cover might be ironic. I like the fond in these two covers, but if I found them in a store, I'd pick up the butterfly cover and not the other two.