Fuse is the sequel to Pure and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book.
A wretch has been captured by the dome and returned Pure. She comes with a message; return our son. Willux wants Partridge to return to the dome. With his enhancements catching up to him, does he want one last moment with his son? Is this a sign that Partridge could take over the dome as a legitimate leader? Meanwhile, Pressia and Bradwell are studying the black boxes retrieved from the farmhouse; one of which is holding secrets just outside their reach. Can they work out the puzzle and could there really be a cure?
Overall, Fuse is a much slower story than Pure but one I found myself loving (more so than the first book). Where I took a while to get my head round the world before, this time I could dive right in and feel at home. There were several “there all about to die!” moments, usually at a point I had to stop reading, which meant it was still gripping.
There are lots of little threads but there are really two main storylines; Partridge’s return to the dome and Pressia’s search for the cure. The kindling relationships started in Pure are built apon a little, but I didn’t feel they overwhelmed the plot. Lyda’s experience with The Mothers is frightening but it pushes the story to extremes. In a warped way, their bitterness has logic. They were left to their fate by men the day of the attacks and their grief and anger has turned them to revenge. I adored Fignam. Yes he’s a black box, designed to hold information, but Julianna gives him the mannerisms of a dog and he has such character.
You know what I really loved about Fuse? El Capitan and Helmud. In Pure, they were characters introduced to us as the enemy and El Capitan continued to be easy to dislike. But then there was that bit at the end with Helmud and the garrotte. A little hint of something more going on in Helmud’s head as well as the push for El Capitan to reconsider their relationship. I love the interactions between them in Fuse. Helmud’s echo contains little deviations in inflection or he’ll pick out a specific word. There’s a huge desire in me as a reader for Helmud to become more of an individual. Cap starts to change in the presence of Pressia; having a purpose and friendship makes a huge difference to him and I just love this unorthodox pairing of characters.
My final thoughts were “what have you done?” and I cannot wait until Burn, the final instalment in the trilogy. I mean really, I am planning a heist on Headline headquarters the moment they get the manuscript. Who’s with me?
One Burning Question
Me: If you lived in Pressia’s world, what would you be fused to?
Julianna Baggott: Oh, well, with four kids, the mothers sprung up from my real life, this feeling that kids are always crawling all over me no matter what. Also, there’s this undeniable keyboard…
Fuse is published by Headline and will be available in hardback and ebook editions from 14th February 2013. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.