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And so it ends. We reviewed Julianna Baggott’s Pure exactly two years ago. Later in the year, we named it one of our favorite books of the year so far, and were then validated when it won a 2013 Alex Award. A year after Pure, we felt just as strongly about its sequel, Fuse.
Now the trilogy comes to a close with Burn. When Angela posted our review of Fuse, she mentioned the love/hate relationship many of us have with trilogies and series. Baggott’s trilogy has been one of the good ones. For starters, she’s the very opposite of writers like George R.R. Martin, who keep readers waiting for decades–this trilogy has been published within a two year period. What’s more, the final volume is even faster paced than the first two, unlike some ponderous final volumes I could name–note the almost identical page counts of the three novels. Most importantly, the quality has stayed consistently high throughout the series. And as our reviewer notes, the final volume leaves you wanting more. Thanks Julianna!
BAGGOTT, Julianna. Burn. 3. 432p. (Pure Series). Grand Central. Feb. 2014. Tr $26. ISBN 9781455502998; ebk. ISBN 9781455503025.
Adult/High School–As the third book in the trilogy begins, Pressia, Bradwell, El Capitan, and Helmud are still at Newgrange, a sacred piece of land that was spared during the Detonation. The inhabitants there have survived unmarred but now live an eerie existence as they desperately focus on repopulation. While there, they learn that Partridge is now the leader of the Pure within the Dome. The action picks up as the characters struggle to maintain their integrity in a world powered by secret alliances and hideous permutations of science. Partridge tries to make the Pure understand their culpability in the Detonation and the ruined lives of the wretches, but his revelation backfires when the Pure turn to mass suicide. Pressia takes off on her own, intending to infiltrate the Dome and reunite with Partridge, even as Partridge remains a pawn in his own kingdom. It’s no longer clear whether Pressia and her allies still have the same goals, or if they will inadvertently destroy each other in the process of rebuilding the world. Throughout the series, Baggott has created unforgettable characters; who can forget the relationship between El Capitan and the brother welded to his back? In addition, images from the Pure universe, such as the vicious swirls of Dusts, the grotesquely muscled soldiers, or the golden children in the field, are among the most vivid in speculative fiction. The pacing in this final installment is much quicker than in the first two volumes, with new twists and revelations in each chapter. It’s all over entirely too soon.–Diane Colson, Nashville Public Library, TN
Filed under: Fantasy
About Mark Flowers
Mark Flowers is the Young Adult Librarian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo, CA. He reviews for a variety of library journals and blogs and recently contributed a chapter to The Complete Summer Reading Program Manual: From Planning to Evaluation (YALSA, 2012). Contact him via Twitter @droogmark
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