Book Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott

fuse Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott

Paperback

Review copy provided by publisher

Headline (Hachette), February 2013

 Synopsis- When the world ended, those who dwelled within the Dome were safe. Inside their glass world the Pures live on unscarred, while those outside—the Wretches—struggle to survive amidst the smoke and ash.

Believing his mother was living among the Wretches, Partridge escaped from the Dome to find her. Determined to regain control over his son, Willux, the leader of the Pures, unleashes a violent new attack on the Wretches. It’s up to Pressia Belze, a young woman with her own mysterious past, to decode a set of cryptic clues from the past to set the Wretches free.

An epic quest that sweeps readers into a world of beautiful brutality, Fuse continues the story of two people fighting to save their futures—and change the fate of the world.

Review- Book II of the Pure trilogy, Fuse picks up where the first story left off. It’s been a year since I read the YA dystopian, Pure so it took some time to warm up to the story and to remember what was happening with all the characters.

I’m typically not that fussed by world-building in fantasy/ dystopian because I’m always drawn to the characters in a story but this series drew me in with both of these threads. There’s no doubt this world is disturbing, there’s the ‘wretches’ on the outside who have been ‘fused’ to various objects/ people when the bombs went off so Pressia has a dolls head for a hand and Bradwell has waterbirds fused into his back. It’s a stark contrast to the ‘Pures’ in the Dome who are unblemished on the exterior.

I think the pacing in this story worked quite well though there were certainly times I felt it was slow as the characters do a lot of internalising but at other times there was a lot happening. Regardless, I did get to the end of the story and wonder whether it really progressed much in 500 pages since Pure and thought perhaps it hadn’t really. Baggott writes in a poetic tone so the dialogue is fantastical and the narrative is ambiguous and yet it drew me in to the world and I think without that I would have been left distanced from the characters and the story. There’s a lot of soul-searching and strategising and analysing but surprisingly, I didn’t get bored.

Partridge returns to the Dome, to the control of his father and discovers his old man’s plan. He wishes to wipe Partridge’s memory clean and arrange a marriage to the neurotic Iralene. (On a side note I found Iralene to be the most annoying character ever! Partridge is either very patient or very stupid). Lyda is where Partridge’s true heart lies but she chose not to return to the Dome and discovers something that could equally excite and incite the wretches.

El Capiton still struggles with the weight of his brother Helmud on his shoulders (pun intended!) and how to please the one person he has received and valued respect from, Pressia.

There are some really nice moments between Pressia and Bradwell; he’s someone I’ve really warmed to. Against the backdrop of a dark, tainted world the connection they have was a nice contrast. It was left with a bit of a cliff-hanger though and I’m interested to see where the author takes this in book III.

I have a feeling my review is a little vague but I just wanted to touch on some of the feelings I had reading this book as there’s no doubt that you have to read Pure before Fuse or you’ll be a little lost. There’s a lot going on and there are a lot of characters but I was quite happy with the sequel and I look forward to reading Burn with its expectant release in 2014.

Pure has been picked up by a writer/ director to adapt to film– it’d be interesting to see how that plays out.

Overall Rating

4/5

“I loved this book!”

Fuse can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

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