Fuse by Julianna Baggott is the second book in the Pure Trilogy. Pure was the first book and my review describes Pure as a brilliant read and full to bursting with original ideas.
Fuse was already on My Book Schedule when Headline Publishing approached me asking if I wanted a preview edition to read and review on my blog. When I knew it was on it’s way my #Fusebook Excitement made me buzz.
When Fuse arrived I put down whatever else I had been reading and immediately started it. After reading Pure, I had high expectations for Fuse and I am pleased to say that it completely exceeded them.
Before I tell you about the book, I need make clear that I’m going to avoid giving away any spoilers. This is mainly to avoid any death threats from massive fans (like myself) of the Pure Trilogy.
Fuse begins by re-introducing the main characters and what’s happened since the end of Pure. Pressia & Bradwell are now being hidden by the new OSR headed by El Captain. The OSR has changed since El Captain took over. Gone are the death sprees and ruling by fear; now the OSR are offering recruits to their army food & shelter small acts of kindness in exchange for their help to take down the Dome.
Pressia spends her time making prosthetic limbs for some of the children of the families who’ve joined the OSR army. Pressia keeps Bradwell at arm’s length fearing losing another person she loves. Bradwell uses the time to explore the six black boxes they found in Pure continuing his search for the truth. Bradwell discovers that the first five boxes are like libraries containing thousands of books; but the sixth box that he names Finnigan is different. Finnigan has liking for taking samples of DNA and seemingly has a personality.
Meanwhile Partridge & Lydia are being hidden by the Mothers, being kept separate so that Partridge can’t take advantage of her. Lydia has become independent since Pure, being taught to hunt and fight by the Mothers. Partridge spends his time drawing maps of the Dome while keeping safe his mothers vials and away from Ellery Willux (his father).
Pressia, Bradwell, El Captain, Partridge & Lydia’s plan is to wait for Ellery’s DNA to degenerate and then for Partridge to go back to the Dome and take over. Ellery forces them to rethink their plan when he ups the ante taking a young wretch girl and making her Pure. The Dome programmes her mind so that she can only speak one message: we want our son returned. At the same time Ellery releases spiders that attach themselves to wretches, count down and explode. Then other wretches disappear and return from the Dome Pure. However the first young wretch girl starts to show signs that her DNA is rapidly degenerating.
Pressia & Bradwell discover that Finnigan is the key to finding a formula which is needed along with her mothers vials to cure the young wretch girl’s degenerating DNA. Pressia, Bradwell, El Captain, Partridge & Lydia meet together to decide how to respond to the potential to find the formula and how to respond to Ellery’s threat. Pressia, Bradwell and El Captain decide they will try to unravel the mystery that will lead to them learning the location of the formula. Partridge decides he must go back to the Dome.
Pressia, Bradwell & El Captain will need to travel great distances across land and sea going through a National Park to get the formula, but will they all survive the perilous journey?
Partridge is going back to the Dome, but what does his father really want with him? Partridge knows his father has dark secrets but why has Ellery kept Iralene suspended for him? And what about Lydia – why has she chosen to say goodbye rather than go back with him?
Fuse builds up to a truly epic ending. Pressia is faced with a choice, do nothing and lose someone that she loves or take action against that person’s wishes. Partridge is also faced with a choice of taking an action that will lead to him becoming what he hates the most.
Fuse has captivating characters; builds on and adds to the many fantastic orignal ideas presented in Pure. It did have a few editing errors, for example at one point Pressia stabs a beast with a knife and then in the next sentence pulls a spear out of the beasts carcass (p. 140), but these minor editorial errors didn’t affect the flow or my enjoyment of the story.
When I read Pure I didn’t think Baggott would be able to better it, but with Fuse she has took the characters and the storyline to a whole new level. It’s an incredible piece of literature that demonstrates Baggott’s wonderful imagination and creativity. Fuse is easily the best book I’ve read all year.
Like most trilogies you could read Fuse as an individual book, but I think it would leave you feeling you had missed the beginning of the overarching storyline. For this reason Fuse is better enjoyed if you’ve read Pure. So read Pure first and let it wet your appetite for Fuse.