cover image Burn


Julianna Baggott. Grand Central, $26 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0299-8

Baggott finishes her Pure trilogy (Pure; Fuse) unevenly, with the generally phenomenal worldbuilding subsumed by a largely predictable and straightforward conclusion. “Pures” live in the Dome, which protects them from a harsh postapocalyptic environment in which “Wretches” are often fused with objects. 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. There’s some good stuff early, as Partridge deals with a rebellion and the implications of his newfound knowledge that the Pures are unlikely to survive, but the inevitable trip back by Pressia and her friends is too often tension-free, even when they attempt to rescue their old ally Hastings from monstrous Dusts. Interesting philosophical issues are obscured by predictably heroic casualties and leaden action scenes. There’s still enough meat to at least bring the story to a satisfying ending for longtime readers, but the routine wrap-up undercuts Baggott’s previous vision. (Feb.)