Series: Pure #2
Published: February 1, 2013
We want our son returned. This girl is proof that we can save you all. If you ignore our plea, we will kill our hostages one at a time.
To be a Pure is to be perfect, untouched by Detonations that scarred the earth and sheltered inside the paradise that is the Dome. But Partridge escaped to the outside world, where Wretches struggle to survive amid smoke and ash. Now, at the command of Partridge’s father, the Dome is unleashing nightmare after nightmare upon the Wretches in an effort to get him back.
At Partridge’s side is a small band of those united against the Dome: Lyda, the warrior; Bradwell, the revolutionary; El Capitan, the guard; and Pressia, the young woman whose mysterious past ties her to Partridge in way she never could have imagined. Long ago a plan was hatched that could mean the earth’s ultimate doom. Now only Partridge and Pressia can set things right.
To save millions of innocent lives, Partridge must risk his own by returning to the Dome and facing his most terrifying challenge. And Pressia, armed only with a mysterious Black Box, containing a set of cryptic clues, must travel to the very ends of the earth, to a place where no map can guide her. If they succeed, the world will be saved. But should they fail, humankind will pay a terrible price..
In the sequel to Pure, Julianna Baggott once again immerses readers into her richly imagined dystopian world, one that is equal parts beauty and darkness. As Pressia, Partridge, and their companions race to take down the Dome, they travel farther than anyone has before, taking readers with them beyond the Dustlands. The broad scope of the geography in Fuse and the glimpses of history before the Detonations give Baggott’s world astonishing range and depth and mark the author as a master creator. The setting alone makes this book work reading.
However, has also raised the stakes of the plot in Fuse. Typical of dystopian novels, the protagonists have discovered some awful secret about their government and are planning to rebel against the corrupt societal system. Yet the standard dystopian plot elements stop there. Baggott’s plot is wild, unique, and unpredictable. Just when the characters think they have everything figured out, new evidence comes to light and new factors into play. Because the characters are so well-rounded and are continually developing as their journeys change them, they even surprise themselves sometimes, with the actions they are willing to take.
Baggott continues her method of writing every chapter in a different character’s point of view, choosing the character who has the most investment in the scene. The lack of order of the multiple POVs can be initially disorienting, but ultimately the approach works and gives readers valuable insights into every character’s thought process and personality.
The unusual POV switches add to the overall memorability of Baggott’s writing. She has a gift for writing beautiful descriptions and phrases that prompt readers to think about the world in different ways. Her voice is confident yet pensive, and she always writes as if she believes her readers are bright and strong enough to handle anything she throws at them.
Essentially, Fuse is the perfect follow-up to Pure. It includes all the most brilliant elements of Pure and intensifies them. Fuse has complex world-building, a strong plot, and memorable characters. A recommended read for those who like their books both smart and exciting.