Originally posted on my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
So this book was a bit of a mystery for me... when I first saw it, the blurb was actually different than the one that is now listed on Goodreads and Amazon...but even the blurb for it before made it seem insanely interesting. But then... life happened and for some odd reason, this book got buried under a ton of other books and when I finally pulled it out to read it...I really had no idea what it was about other than the vague memory that it was an dystopian/post-apocalyptic and many people enjoyed it.
I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about this novel as I type this and yet the interesting thing is that I didn't love ALL of it. I loved a large chunk of it but even though there were a couple places I really didn't like it...the overall effect of this book is just... whoa.
Like any good dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel...the world has gone to hell in a hand basket and who do you think is behind it? The Government-ish people, of course! This novel follows the "rules" and yet...it's completely different. The first half of the novel where we're introduced to the world, the characters and the structure is so unbelievably addicting, my eyes were glued to every single page. I'm telling you though, some of the descriptions were so hauntingly beautiful, I almost cried. I'm not lying, there were literally a few sentences that were so incredibly beautiful that I had to speak them aloud and let them roll off my tongue to savor the sweetness. I happened to adore most of the characters in this novel....especially the main characters like Pressia, Partridge and Bradwell. To me...Pressia is a more disfigured, less self-assured version of Katniss. She is a survivor against all odds. But in some senses..I feel like she is more real than Katniss because she doesn't have that "badass-ness" throughout the entire novel...really she feels like someone I could know or be friends with. A survivor...and yet no invincible while Katniss feels more like someone I could only hope to know or be friends with. (I love me some Katniss btw). I loved Partridge's I'm-going-to-defy-you-in-spite-of-you-telling-me-not-too and his ruthlessness to achieve his goals even while throwing a friend under the bus. I love the world-building and the whole science-y aspect to this novel. It's incredibly difficult to explain to someone what this book is about in terms of the technology or fusing aspects but when you're reading it...it's like...omg... could this really happen. And I think that's what I loved most about this novel. It scared the utter shit out of me. It felt... so real in a way. I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again, I truly believe the government or any single powerful entity is completely capable and willing to destroy, harm, execute their citizens to gain control of whoever is left whether it's the people they intended to keep or not. Just like Hitler with the Nazi's....he knew what kind of people he wanted to keep and he was not above mass genocide to make it happen. That's why this book scares me. The holocaust was a complete tragedy but with today's societies...could you imagine the damage Hitler and the Nazi's could have done? Can you imagine what the government could do to us if they had the right technology, the desire and the means to do something like this? We'd never know what hit us...I digress. THAT is one of the reasons I love this book so much...it makes you think. It scares you. It brings you to your knees and makes you weep with appreciation to the writing gods that someone could craft such a perfect sentence. That, my friends, is why this book deserves to be read.
This novel is one of those oddities that actually does have some rather weak spots...things that I would attack viciously had I disliked the rest of the book. But in comparison to what I loved, I fear that I may be going easy on the weaknesses I discovered. Nevertheless, I'll discuss them. Firstly, it felt like the first half and the second half of the book were written by two different people in a way. The first half was descriptive, clear, brilliant...but the second half kind of fell apart. Once the main characters start their journey together it all get's a little confusing and the plot holes start to gape a little wider. I think my biggest complaint is that the entire first half, something (don't want to spoil it) is built up to extreme lengths. The characters are risking their lives for this, everything they've talked, thought, dreamed about culminates to finding this one thing.... but when they finally do...it falls short. There are a few twists afterwards, but it just feels like such a let down after setting our sights so high. The romance was another aspect that I thought was underdeveloped and not fully explored. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the romance between the two characters, but it sort of felt like an afterthought rather than a subplot. And in books like this....honestly the romance isn't even necessary since so much other big stuff is going on. The other big thing to note is that the "how," and "why," of entire novel is not explained. I understand this is a series and I understand maybe it will be described later, but Baggott still had a responsibility to let us in on a little bit. She tries very hard to do this with Partridge's mother and father as well as Bradwell's parents, but she doesn't execute it properly and she ran dangerously close to me not believing what she had to say...and that is the KISS OF DEATH for novels like this. Authors need readers to hang on every word and believe in this world otherwise it's not going to be genuine and they're going to lose interest.
Overall, this book exceeded all of my expectations and more and I'm actually really glad I re-discovered it and read it now since FUSE, the next book in the series is out next week! You guys, I'm serious, this is a book you just have to read. It won't take you hardly any time because it's that's addicting and that good. I promise it will be worth your time and if it isn't....umm...then...you can yell at me. Publicly. Go forth, my dear readers and read Pure today!
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.