BLURB from Goodreads
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.
First of all I loved the cover, the beautiful butterfly, and that was before I understood the real significance of its part in the book. I loved how on the cover that the butterfly is the only real true beautiful colour in the darkness around it. I had seen other reviews say this book was difficult to get into, but I have to say I got into it fairly quickly and easily. It kind of hooked me in straight away and kept me wanting to read it more or less all the way through. I will admit I was a little thrown by the ending and the epilogue but I suppose that is setting the scene for bk2. I just think the epilogue may have been better as a prologue to bk 2 instead? The book is dystopian and though a great read it is quite involved so you need to digest what you are reading to follow the novel and put the pieces together as you go along too. In some parts I got to the point/answer before it being revealed but you had to think about things to get to that point (if that makes sense) It is a thought-provoking book.
The characters are all in their own ways fighters against the odds. Patridge may start out a Pure to look at but by the end of the book he is as much of a "wretch" as Bradwell, Pressia, and El Capitano. Lyda even takes on the characteristics and ways of the "wretches" at the end. Lyda's purity is marred by her association with Patridge. The search for Patridge's mother is an ongoing theme and you find yourself one minute hoping they will find her alive and then other times just believing it to be impossible that she could have survived the detonations. Bradwell, Pressia and El Capitano and the other "wretches" all have their deformities to overcome as well as their personal losses. We learn Patridge's father is a devious, somewhat control freak, who deliberately sacrificed people and took only his chosen ones into the Dome to survive the Detonation. Outside the dome is a kind of dog eat dog survival of the fittest regime. Inside the dome everything is planned and humans are biologically made stronger in different areas. Partridge's mother had disagreed with his fathers plans at the end and never made it to the Dome, we also find out the reason she had given Patridge the strange blue pills on their last holiday by the beach. I won't delve any further into the book as I would possibly give away things you will wish to read of in the book yourselves.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes! Would I recommend it? Yes to those that I know love dystopian and love a book to get their teeth into! Is there a message we can take from it? Don't judge people by what they look like!
Available at Amazon.co.uk
Available at Amazon.co.uk