Book Review: “Fuse” by Julianna Baggott

FuseWhen I read the first book in The Pure Trilogy last year I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a book I’d purchased on the cheap while it was on sale, and it was a recommendation by Amazon given some of my past purchases. Turns out, Pure was a pretty decent book with a lot of good things going for it. That meant I wanted to read the second and third book as well, but while the second book had just been released, I didn’t want to read it until the third book was available. I had a feeling I’d be frustrated at not being able to jump from one to the next immediately.

I was right. Fuse is a fantastic book, and it continues the story that came before in Pure with great skill and still manages to keep the reader guessing.

Back again are Pressia, Partridge, El Capitan, and Bradwell as they strive to find a way to bring down the Dome and find a cure for the disfigurements all of them from outside the dome are burdened with. In order to do both of those things a lot of sacrifices are going to need to be made by everyone involved because the world they live in is brutal and doesn’t like to stand down when it is confronted.

Partridge is forced back into the Dome as his father begins executing the wretches outside the Dome one by one until he turns himself in. Once there, he discovers that his father wants him to assume control when he ultimately can’t survive any longer due to his DNA unraveling so rapidly. Partridge is not entirely sure how he feels about that arrangement, but he doesn’t really find himself with a choice in the matter.

The rest of the characters try to chase down a cure for the fusings everyone suffers from on a daily basis. They’ve got a small black robot box by the name of Fignan feeding them clues as to the whereabouts of the next piece of the cure, but it’s taking them a long time to figure things out. Eventually they figure things out and as a result of the events that transpire Pressia uncovers a huge secret about Partridge’s father and Bradwell winds up with six giant wings. Sit and think on that for a minute. It’s crazy.

Discussing the finer plot points of these books is difficult because almost everything is a spoiler for something else, but I can say that El Capitan really took over this book for me. He’s been an interesting character to me since the first book and in Fuse he gets a lot of screen time that turns into superb character development, especially in regards to his brother who is permanently fused to his back. The two of them are forced by necessity to co-exist in a very unique fashion and in this book that relationship is forced to adapt and grow in ways I didn’t see coming.

Once again the world-building and character development by Julianna Baggott is amazing on the whole. I found myself sitting back in awe at some of the visuals she was painting in my mind using nothing but the words on the page. I was almost sad to be finished with the book when I was, and am certainly glad I had another book left.

If you haven’t given The Pure Trilogy a try yet you really should. It’s one of the most well-written and well-conceived trilogies of its kind and should be held up as a wonderful example of what YA literature can be if the author is willing to rely on ingenuity and unique ideas rather than well-worn tropes.

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Audible   |   Goodreads

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