My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4.5 stars from a very happily surprised reader!
When I read “Pure” last year, I gave it 3 stars and wasn’t sure I’d want to continue with the series. I’m so, so glad I decided to read this. It had everything I enjoyed from the first book, and then just got better and better.
We’re thrown back into the world of “Pure”- a world that’s been ravaged by nuclear detonations, resulting in humans becoming fused with the objects, and sometimes other humans or animals, that were around them when the explosions occurred. The wretches, the unsaved, were left outside to exist in the savage world that was left behind. The Pures, the saved, continue their blind existence inside the protection of the Dome. The connections between the two worlds are explored more deeply in this second book.
The characters continued to develop into more and more interesting, complicated, and heart-breaking people. Pressia has the opportunity to discover, and come to terms with, love. Love for herself, and her deformities, as well as love for others.
Partridge becomes more courageous and unforgiving. His relationship with his father is explored more, and he’s given the chance to claim love as well.
El Capitan- in the first book, he was one of my less favourite characters. Not that I disliked him, but I found his chapters a bit less interesting. In this book, he became one of my top favourite characters of all! I cried twice while reading, and both scenes were of El Capitan. His unrequited love, as well as his developing understanding of Helmud, the brother he carries on his back, was heartbreaking and sweet. I really loved delving into his brain and learning more about how he sees the world, and the people around him.
Lyda, I loved how she develops into a strong female leader with a mind of her own. Get this girl out of the dome and she becomes an arrow-shooting warrior! As well, the development in her own story was interesting and exciting. I can’t wait to read how it turns out in the next book.
And my new favourite character: Wilda. The wretch that was “rescued” and made Pure, forced to repeat nothing but the words of a message which threatens death unless Partridge is returned to the Dome. “We want our son returned. This girl is proof…” The prologue to the book is from Wilda’s point of view. We learn that she’s been cleansed of her scars and deformities, and “made Pure”, then returned to the wastelands outside the Dome, with her message. I found it heartbreaking to hear her repeat the words of the message, the only words she can now speak. She was adorable. I loved it when Helmud gave her the carved toy.
Overall, the pacing of this book was great. I still don’t love the descriptions of battling the Dusts, but there were less of those. The new plot twists were great. I’m so interested in learning more about the world of Iralene and her mother, created for Partridge by his father. I need to know who else he has trapped there (behind that one locked door!!), and what his intent was for all of them. We’re starting to get inklings about Willux’s grand conspiracy. And the black boxes, and Fignan, were pretty cool. The scene in Newgrange seemed a bit familiar (pretty sure I’ve seen that in a movie) but for the most part I enjoyed the whole story.
This second book did not disappoint, and in fact finished more strongly (for me) than the first. We’re left at very critical points for all of the characters, and I’m so excited for the third and final book. I now have a pretty strong belief that it’s going to be great!