In this second book in the trilogy that began with Pure, Pressia, the wretch with a doll’s head for a hand, Patridge, her half-brother, who is a Pure that escaped from the dome (meaning he was not exposed to the blast radiation that killed, maimed and mutilated so many), Bramwell, Pressia’s friend and perhaps someday lover, who is also a wretch, as he as fused with some birds that were flying and they live as part of his back. El Capitan, and his brother Helmut, who is fused to his back – once leaders of a vicious gang that killed targeted groups, he has been rehabilitated by Pressia, and has learned the value of friendship, and even love, and Lyda, also a Pure, who was sent out of the dome in an attempt to lure out Partridge, but she is becoming attached to this new world, where nothing is sterile, everything, how ever awful, is real, and you can do and say what you please. Lyda is taken up by a militant group of mothers who have their children fused to their chest, legs, back – in whatever position they were when the blast hit. They feel they have been abandoned by men and have a strong dislike of them, whom they call “Deaths.” They want to lead a revolt on the Dome.
Pressia is following clues, assisted by Partridge, Bramwell, El Capitan, and Lyda for a while, trying to piece together who she is, who her parents were, what connection they had to the Dome originally, and what is the secret that has been buried all this time? Will it be a cure for the fused, whose genetic makeup has been altered so even children born after the blast by them are mutated in some way. Only Pures have “perfect” children, and those are tightly monitored and controlled by the Dome. A truly great book that not only has a fascinating dystopian, post apocalyptic theme, but interesting characters that struggle wit their flaws and desires – on Pressia’s part, the desire to have a real hand again. Some are happy with their current self – have learned to accept that this is what they are. The land itself is full of traps, people that were fused into the dirt, and reach up to grab unwary people walking in the wastelands, and other strange hybrids. At once terrifying, but satisfying, it is a testament to the will of people to live on, despite horrific conditions – the indomitable human spirit, and the need for everyone on some level to feel free to make choices, and accept the risks involved with that. Meanwhile, the leader of the Dome has plans for his son Patridge, that do not include the wretches, and may spell his doom.