Title: Pure (Pure #1)
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 8th February 2012
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Genre: YA / Dystopia
Source: ARC from NetGalley
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. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Pure is an amazing story that drew me in right from the first page. There is an element of steampunk in this dystopian tale and I felt the mix worked well. The world-building is well done and I really believed in the dynamics of the land and time the characters were living in.
The story moved at a good paced, holding my interest throughout, and I thought the lead characters were well written and showed some growth through the piece. This is a story that is driven more by character than plot for the first half of the book. I found that worked well though as we got a really good look at the world and its inhabitants, setting the scene for the remaining books in the series to be able to concentrate more on the plot aspects.
This is officially a YA release, but I think it is one that will appear to the older end of the market and could also be a successful cross-over piece into the adult market too. I am certainly keen to continue reading the series.