Estimated read time: 7 min read

One Sentence Summary

A group of survivors navigate a post-apocalyptic world where some individuals are fused with objects, in a quest to bring down a tyrannical ruler.


In the dystopian novel "Burn" by Julianna Baggott, the world is ravaged by a catastrophic event known as the Detonations. The story follows a group of survivors who are scarred and fused with objects, known as "freaks," and another group of privileged individuals living in the Dome, a seemingly perfect and untouched society. As tensions rise and secrets unravel, the characters must navigate a dangerous world where appearances can be deceiving and the true nature of humanity is tested.

Brief Synopsis

"Burn" is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Detonations have left the Earth divided into two starkly contrasting societies. In the Dome, a sheltered and pristine city, the privileged inhabitants live in luxury while the outside world is filled with devastation and desolation. The Dome is ruled by the Pure, individuals who have not been affected by the Detonations and maintain their flawless appearance.

Outside the Dome, the Wretches struggle to survive. They are a group of survivors who are fused with the objects they were holding during the Detonations, becoming grotesque and deformed. The protagonist, Pressia Belze, is a young Wretch who has a doll's head fused to her hand. She dreams of reuniting with her family and finding a way to escape the horrors of her existence.

When Pressia meets Partridge Willux, a Pure who left the Dome to find his mother, their lives become intertwined. Partridge carries a secret that could change everything and expose the true nature of the Dome. Together, they embark on a dangerous journey that reveals the dark secrets of their world and forces them to confront their own inner demons.

Main Characters

Pressia BelzeA young Wretch who is fused with a doll's head. Determined to survive and reunite with her family, she becomes a key player in uncovering the secrets of the Dome.
Partridge WilluxA Pure who leaves the safety of the Dome to find his mother. Partridge is haunted by his own dark past and carries a secret that could change everything for both the Wretches and the Pure.
BradwellA member of the resistance group known as the OSR (Orwell's Army). Bradwell is a Wretch with a bird's wings fused to his back. He is fiercely loyal and becomes a love interest for Pressia.
El CapitanThe leader of the OSR. He is a former soldier who is fused with the front end of a truck. El Capitan is determined to bring down the Dome and liberate the Wretches.
LydaA Pure who forms a connection with Partridge. She sees beyond the surface and questions the morality of the Dome.

Summary of Different Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1-5: Introduction to the Detonations and the World

In the opening chapters, the readers are introduced to the aftermath of the Detonations and the divided world of the Dome and the Wretches. Pressia's daily struggles as a Wretch are depicted, and Partridge's discontent within the Dome is explored. The two protagonists' paths cross when Partridge escapes the Dome and seeks refuge with the Wretches.

Chapter 6-10: Uncovering the Secrets of the Dome

As Pressia and Partridge join forces, they begin to unravel the dark secrets of the Dome. They discover the truth behind the Detonations and the sinister experiments conducted by the Pure. The readers are introduced to the resistance group, OSR, and the characters' motivations for bringing down the Dome become clear.

Chapter 11-15: The Journey and Betrayals

Pressia, Partridge, and the rest of the OSR embark on a dangerous journey to infiltrate the Dome. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and face betrayals from unexpected sources. The characters' relationships deepen, and they are forced to confront their own fears and doubts.

Chapter 16-20: Confrontation and Revelation

Inside the Dome, Pressia and Partridge navigate the treacherous corridors and discover the true extent of the Pure's manipulation and control. The readers witness the horrors that the Pure have inflicted upon the Wretches and the lengths they will go to maintain their power. The characters must make difficult choices that will shape the future of their world.

Chapter 21-25: The Final Battle

The climax of the story unfolds as the OSR launches a full-scale attack on the Dome, aiming to free the Wretches and expose the truth to the world. The battle is intense and filled with sacrifices. Secrets are revealed, and the characters' strengths and weaknesses are tested. The fate of the Dome and the Wretches hang in the balance.

Main Events

  1. Partridge escapes the Dome and seeks refuge with the Wretches.
  2. Pressia and Partridge uncover the dark secrets of the Dome and the Pure's experiments.
  3. The OSR is formed, and the characters prepare for an attack on the Dome.
  4. Pressia, Partridge, and the rest of the OSR journey towards the Dome, facing numerous challenges and betrayals along the way.
  5. Inside the Dome, the characters confront the true nature of the Pure and the extent of their control.
  6. The OSR launches a full-scale attack on the Dome, leading to a climactic battle that determines the future of their world.

Themes and Insights

  1. Identity and Self-acceptance: The characters in "Burn" struggle with their fused bodies and the judgment of society. The novel explores the themes of self-acceptance and finding one's true identity amidst physical and emotional scars.
  2. Power and Control: The Dome represents a society governed by power and control, where the Pure manipulate and oppress the Wretches. The novel delves into the consequences of unchecked power and the lengths people will go to maintain control.
  3. Deception and Appearance: "Burn" highlights the theme of deception and the danger of judging based on appearances. The Pure may seem perfect, but their actions reveal their true nature, while the Wretches, despite their physical deformities, possess resilience and strength.
  4. Resistance and Rebellion: The novel explores the power of resistance and rebellion against oppressive systems. The characters in "Burn" fight for justice, freedom, and a better future, challenging the status quo and inspiring readers to question authority.

Reader's Takeaway

"Burn" is a gripping and thought-provoking dystopian novel that explores themes of identity, power, and resistance. It captivates readers with its vivid world-building, complex characters, and unpredictable plot twists. The novel challenges readers to reflect on societal issues and the true nature of humanity, leaving a lasting impression long after the final page.


In "Burn" by Julianna Baggott, the post-apocalyptic world is vividly depicted, showcasing the stark contrast between the privileged Pure living in the Dome and the scarred Wretches struggling to survive. The novel explores themes of identity, power, and rebellion, taking readers on a thrilling journey filled with secrets, betrayals, and the triumph of the human spirit. "Burn" is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction craving a compelling and thought-provoking narrative.

Burn FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book Burn?

    Burn is a dystopian science fiction novel.

  2. Who is the author of Burn?

    Burn is written by Julianna Baggott.

  3. What is the premise of Burn?

    Burn is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the survivors are divided into two groups: the Pures, who escaped the devastation unscathed, and the Wretches, who were fused with objects and are considered less than human.

  4. What is the main conflict in Burn?

    The main conflict in Burn revolves around a group of rebels called the Dusts, who are fighting against the ruling Pures and their oppressive regime.

  5. Are there any sequels or prequels to Burn?

    Yes, Burn is the final book in the Pure trilogy, preceded by Pure and Fuse.

  6. Is Burn suitable for young adult readers?

    Burn is recommended for readers aged 16 and above due to its mature themes and violent content.

  7. Are there any romantic elements in Burn?

    Yes, Burn includes romantic relationships between some of the main characters.

  8. Does Burn have a satisfying ending?

    Readers have varying opinions on the ending of Burn, but it provides closure to the main storyline.

  9. Is Burn a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

    Burn is the final book in the Pure trilogy, so it is recommended to read the previous two books for better understanding.

  10. Where can I purchase a copy of Burn?

    Burn is available for purchase at most major book retailers and online platforms such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.