Breathtaking and frightening. Young Pure Partridge has taken over leadership of the Dome after killing his father, while his sister, Pressia, works with Bradwell, El Capitan, and Helmud to discover a cure for the fusing. Interesting philosophical issues are obscured by predictably heroic casualties and leaden action scenes. After the death of his father, Partridge has taken over leadership within the dome where those unaffected by the Detonations lead their privileged lives.
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Sure, Moby-Dick is about a big whale named Moby-Dick. A Tale of Two Cities spans a couple of cities, and is indeed a tale. But Burn? Among the things that this book lights on fire—literally and figuratively—are: the Dome, the world outside the Dome, the passions of its characters, the guilt of the Pures, the spirit of revenge of the wretches, and the entire YA industry. Juliana Baggott did it. We can quit now," when Burn hit the shelves in The mystery that is Ellery Willux is finally cracked; and we get to see how the people inside the Dome cope with the truth.
There are explosions, weddings, torture, betrayal, and even ghosts. Because the Pure trilogy has always been a study in nuanced, multifaceted character.
We root for our heroes even as they screw up, big time. We understand both their strengths and their very serious failings. We watch them grow and evolve… and Burn lets us see the not-so-great aspects of that evolution. Because, even with all the fires blazing in the Meltlands, this novel takes us to a pitch-black place. One word: reality. Burn scorches us with a heaping dose of reality.
This is not—we repeat, is not—a book with a happy ending. Those adorable romances that blossomed during Fuse? Yeah: those go bye-bye. That faith we had in Partridge? That evaporates. That desire we had for the Pures and the wretches to learn to live in perfect harmony? Not happening… at least not immediately. We get hot under the collar when a book decides to turn away from the reality of its characters and plot devices and hand us a sugar-glazed, pastel-colored happy ending.
We start throwing popcorn at the screen when a bad guy suddenly becomes good in the last three minutes of a movie. We throw our iPad across the room when the conclusion of a TV show has a previously-wimpy character suddenly saving the dang day. Rant over. You know how Partridge was always impulsive, and a bit spineless? Yeah: those character attributes stick around and spell his demise.
You know how Bradwell always had a death wish and was a little fanatical? You know how Lyda was always level-headed? She tells the love of her life to marry another woman for political reasons. You know how Helmud was always awesome? Reading Burn is like stepping out of the Dome of happily-ever-after and taking a deep breath of acrid Meltlands air. Sure, it stings. But it definitely beats being pampered and kept from the beautiful, sad, complicated realities of the world.
Baggott, J: Burn
Burn is the third and final book in The Pure Trilogy. Burn by Julianna Baggott is the spectacular, sensational and fast-paced final book in the trilogy. Inside The Dome, Partridge is in charge, or is he? Pregnant Lyda realises that she feels trapped and would rather be in the ash-covered outside world. With The Dome being potentially able to be brought down, what will this mean for the Pures inside and the Wretches outside? The intricate plot thickens and continues to reveal secrets of the past, even towards the end of the book. Each of us has the power to be benevolent.
After reading Forewarning: I am going to be ranting about the end. No spoilers though. Okay, fine. I am one of those readers that likes a neat ending. And this was one of those smack-bang-hi-its-the-end kind of endings that I hate.