Alternatively, we have the Dome, where the other major character, Partridge, lives. His father is the leader of the Dome, and his brother was a "super-recruit" for the academy, so his last name has a lot of weight. But, although he lives a pretty good life away from "the wretches" (what they call people on the outside), he's unhappy. He hates his father. His brother is gone, and his mother is dead. On top of that, his genetic coding is not working properly. In this place, all young boys go through a genetic coding process to enhance their skills - they are quicker, more intelligent, etc. His brother was the perfect specimen for these enhancements, but he is not, and his father hates it. One day, his father makes a statement that may mean his mother is alive, so he takes that information and decides to leave the Dome and find the one person who he knows cares for him.
The story is full of twists and turns, and there are many questions that this book puts forth: How malleable is history? Can beauty exist without ugliness? Is it better to live in a cage of ignorance or live in the freedom of a harsh reality?
What I like most about this story was the "beautiful barbarism" of it all. The world that Pressia and Partridge inhabit is dark. I thought The Hunger Games was dark, but it has nothing on this story. There is pain, loss, and sadness throughout the story, and there were times when I had to step away because I was in my feelings a little bit (the mothers' scene was heart-wrenching and triumphant simultaneously). But, the story was beautifully written; the messages about society and power were clear, but not didactic, and the intensity of emotion was electric. I never thought that there could be beauty in a man who has a scarred face and live birds (flapping and all) fused to his back. Baggott showed me that you can find beauty in the unlikeliest of places.
- The main character, Pressia, is Japanese and Scotch-Irish;
- The race of many other characters is ambiguous, which I liked because I was able to imagine them in my own way