We know you are here, our brothers and sisters. We will, one day, emerge from the Dome to join you in peace. For now, we watch from afar, benevolently. Pressia Belze has lived outside of the Dome ever since the detonations. Struggling for survival she dreams of life inside the safety of the Dome with the 'Pure'. Partridge, himself a Pure, knows that life inside the Dome, under the strict control of the leaders' regime, isn't as perfect as others think. Bound by a history that neither can clearly remember, Pressia and Partridge are destined to forge a new world.
Baggott's highly anticipated postapocalyptic horror novel, a dramatic shift from her lighthearted poetry, women's fiction (as Bridget Asher), and children's books, is a fascinating mix of stark, oppressive authoritarianism and grotesque anarchy. Like most survivors of the Detonations, teen Pressia is disfigured, a doll's head fused into the place where her hand should be. She's better off than people who were merged into each other, with animals, or even with the Earth itself, but she's also at risk of being drafted into the paramilitary Operation Sacred Revolution. The few who survived unscathed known as "Pures" live in the Domes, impenetrable arcologies where the few children are forced into rigid training and genetic enhancement. When Partridge, believing his mother to be alive in the wilderness, escapes from a Dome, he's rescued by Pressia. Along with a conspiracy theorist named Bradwell, they gradually discover dark secrets about events on both sides of the Dome walls. Baggott mixes brutality, occasional wry humor, and strong dialogue into an exemplar of the subgenre.
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Fantastic post-apocalyptic dystopia
I loved this book, it's heart breaking, horrifying, disturbing and completely captivating. In a future where people have been left fused to objects, machines, even other people through radiation from some form of possibly nuclear war.
It follows two young adults, struggling to survive in a terrifying vision of the future, one lives safe and yet, not safe, within the dome, a separate society saved from destruction through privileges given by the government. The other lives in the now destroyed wastelands of a future america, scrounging anything to survive and help her grandfather suffering from a now common illness. Partridge, the boy, discovers 'evidence' which leads him to believe his mother, whom he believed to be dead, may now be alive out in the wastelands, and puts together an escape plan from the dome. Pressia meanwhile, is just trying to survive, trying to avoid contact with the new gangs in charge who use overly mutated people as target practice.
Highly recommended for fans of dystopian fiction, and particularly fans of the fallout video game series, as they share many similarities.