Review: Pure

Pure by Julianna Baggott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world of Pure is very much like that of The Hunger Games – which is not a surprise since it says so on the cover. However, it is more post-apocalypitc, with an incident of Detonations that causes atomic bomb-like effects on the population. The entire world gets more or less fused with whatever was next to them during the Detonations, resulting in a lot of deformed individuals called wraiths. The author certainly doesn’t shy away from depicting the horror of such an event and even makes them as survivors rather than to be pitied. The world is grim but they are surviving even in an inhabitable planet. At first, I certainly had my doubts regarding the fusings she depicted but when the story progressed and the truths were unraveled slowly, it all started to make sense.Opposed to this, people in the Dome, a handpicked population, got to escape the Detonations and live their lives as Pures – that is, those who were not affected by the Detonations due to the protection of the Dome. Pressia is one such wraiths, living outside the Dome, counting down the days until the rebel organization called OSR rounds her up for recruitment. Since she has her grandfather to look after, she escapes the recruitment by running away for a while. Bradwell, a conspiracy theorist and revolutionist, has a lot of information but believes in looking out for himself first. Patridge, a Pure from the Dome, runs away from his protected environment because he suspects the program they make the boys undergo for enlistment and also because he wants to search for his mother, who stayed back to care for the wraiths. When they all meet, it is on a mission they didn’t know they were on. Told in their perspectives, as well as two other secondary characters, the story development is slow but it builds up rather well. The prose is lush with descriptions, imprinting the grim images in your mind vividly. The untold horrors in the world, the manipulative Dome government and the rather shady OSR are the main antagonists in the story, for their primary enemy is their past. The Dome itself is a oppressive government wherein feminism has been twisted into something remniscent of the Victorian times, and the male youth are being brainwashed into genetic coding and altering. I must say, as a scientist, I loved the whole nanotechnogical angle to the story, and was pleased by the obvious research that is evident through the writing. The pacing, however, didn’t work very well with me, because even about two-thirds of the book, no major development had taken place – just pieces being assembled together. So those going for a fast paced adventure might find the book a bit dull, but the writing makes up for it. It also is not a happy book – most of the time the world will just depress you but a diehard dystopic fan would enjoy the detail into world-builiding. I am definitely picking up the next, as the ending promises some awesome conflicts for the future.

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