Yay! Another book to read and review, don't mind if I do...
Pure by Julianna Baggott
"You are here, our brothers and sisters. We will, one day, emerge from the Dome to join you in peace. For now, we watch from afar, benevolently.
Pressia Belze has lived outside of the Dome ever since the detonations. Struggling for survival she dreams of life inside the safety of the Dome with the ‘Pure’. Partridge, himself a Pure, knows that life inside the Dome, under the strict control of the leaders’ regime, isn’t as perfect as others think. Bound by a history that neither can clearly remember, Pressia and Partridge are destined to forge a new world..."
I'd read a great review in anticipation of receiving this book and so my hopes were rather high. I was expecting it to make me fall in love with it... chapter after chapter...
Pure made me think of that movie with the girl from Lovely Bones in it - mmm what was it again? Where they all live in this underground world and Bill Murray is mayor and eats all their food? City of Ember, that's it.... except a little less 'G' rated. The dystopian world in Pure, has people fending for themselves, surviving on next to nothing with new and interesting ways of thinking and living. Everything is dirty and dusty and people just aren't the same people anymore... they're all wondering if there's more to their lives or not. Some are going insane, some are hooked on conspiracy theories and of course some will always be able to find love in amongst all the death.
The mutations from the 'Detonations' were really interesting - people being fused to other people, plastic or steel - or some even being fused with earth, sand or stone. It boggled my mind. I loved the main characters fusings, but I guess we'd have to right? Although El Capitan's fusing was a little, well annoying. Only because he had his brother fused to his back and I found it hard thinking about him in my head and trying to work out a visual. But there were some fusings that were just disturbing, the mothers and their babies, mothers with their children stuck to their legs or arms... all that was rather eerie. I loved Bradwell's fusing with a flock of birds and loved that the birds still moved and flapped their wings as they were part of him now. The fact that all the wretches (people outside of the Dome affected by the Detonations) had fusings or scars that defined them was great, I'm not sure why I thought that was so cool but I did.
The Dome concept was great although of course nothing new, but I loved the mystery embedded in the chapters set within it. Lyda and Partridge and Willux were all just as interesting as the characters and goings-on outside the Dome with the wretches. So many times when books flash across and between stories like that I can't help but think that it would work better visually in a film rather than in a book. And although I think this would be great in Pure as a film (in fact the whole book would make an excellent movie - it actually already has movie rights!) it worked rather well for this particular book. So I wasn't left wishing I was back reading about the Dome when I was reading about Pressia outside, or vice versa. This was good.
I loved the concept of Freedle (Pressia's pet Cicada with mechanical wings) and how he ties back in through the story, I loved that Pressia made little mechanical toys. I felt that this helped us see that she was more than just a girl living on the street that doesn't remember much of the world before the Detonations. I'm not sure how, but it built the character up well and gave her some depth. I guess it also helped that I'm creative and so this part of the main character I could somehow relate to. I'd love to see a picture of Freedle and I kept thinking while reading about the mechanical things, wastelands, monsters and fusings that they'd all be great to design and create for a movie. Someone is going to have a lot of fun doing that one day!
This was the first book where I'd really noticed it being told in third person, not something I would prefer really. I found it a tad slow in places, the build up was great (although gradual) - you could say it got faster and faster I suppose. Of course it's part one of a trilogy though so that means that the book ended but was left nice and open for book two to answer some questions left hanging at the end.
Overall it was a good book but it didn't blow my mind, I'm not in love with it. So yeah, a good read, but not a heart stopper or an i-must-read-all-night-to-finish kind of book, not for me anyway. Of course I'm still totally interested in reading the next two books as I need to know what happens. Can't help but wonder if the next two installments will be the ones to really draw me in and make me smitten over this unique series.
Grab your copy from Fishpond here and let me know what YOU thought of it!
Meanwhile check out this cool teaser for the book...
And here's what Angela thought... (The lovelies at Hachette sent me two copies, so off went one to my blog-bestie, naturally).