Thursday, February 2, 2012
I have very mixed feelings about reviewing this book. In some ways I liked it. But in some ways it just felt like it needed more work.
Pure is set in a dystopian future after the Detonations, a nuclearesque explosion, has ended the world. There are two sets of survivors. The Pures, protected in a dome built to withstand the bombings. They live in a safe, but controlled world. Then there are the wretches, those who survived the bombing, broken and no longer whole. But in some sense they are free (at least until age 16).
At first I struggled with the grotesqueness. I wondered if it was too much. But we're talking dystopia. The mutations set the story apart, upping the gross factor and the terror. Dystopians should be ugly and this one is. The effects of the Detonations are terrifying. The survivors are fused, literally, to their surroundings. Fused to objects they were holding, people they were touching, even to the ground where they lay. They are a combination of human, metal, wood, animals and earth.
This book had so much promise. Which is why I'm so frustrated with the second half of the book. Once you cross the 50% mark it starts getting preachy fast. I've talked before about author's politics showing, but this was so blatant. Bradwell (oddly enough still one of my favorite characters) became the mouthpiece, spouting off very thinly veiled political views. It didn't feel genuinely connected to the book, but like something the author wanted to teach us about.
That I could mostly forgive. But the attempt at romance, that's where this book loses me. I'm unconvinced in pretty much all the character's relationships. I just don't believe them. The romance feels forced, because this is YA and apparently there has to be romance. It was predictable and lackluster. No heart flutterings at all.
There were also some technical problems that bugged me as well. This book was written in 3rd person limited (At least that's what I thought). But near the end it seemed to completely lose track of it's own POV. There was a section that was supposed to be in Pressia's perspective, but for awhile jumped inside everyone's mind but hers. Obviously by that point I was already frustrated, but it irked me. If you choose to have 4 separate POVs you need to keep them separate.
And don't even make me talk about the cheesy epilogue.
There is still room for this book in the dystopian genre. It's probably more realistically scary than most of the genre's offerings, the science, while not quite believable, is not the magic of Hunger Games or Uglies but has some basis in reality. But it just lags. The character spend too much time talking. There's just something not quite there that outweighs the potential.
It seems that a lot of people liked this book more than me. I always hate when I feel like I'm missing something. But with this book, something was just missing for me.