Book Review of Fuse by Julianna Baggott

Posted February 11, 2013 by Kara in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

Publisher: Grand Central

Release Date: February 19th, 2013
Genre: Adult-Dystopian (Despite being listed as YA, this is an adult publisher. It does have a ton of crossover potential, however.)
Pages: 416
Series: Pure #2
Source: I received an e-copy from the publisher for review.

Description from GoodreadsWhen 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.

This series leaves me feeling conflicted every time I pick it up again. I felt very much the same way after finishing Fuse like I did upon finishing Pure. I awarded that book 4 stars as well. But I sort of feel like they don’t deserve that high of a rating, and yet I can’t seem to justify lowering it. If you are feeling as confused as I am, let me explain.
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Most books have likable characters. At least a couple. I can honestly say that I really don’t like the characters in this series. It’s not that they’re hateful or anything, we just don’t click. I can say that I disliked them less after finishing this book so I guess they are growing on me a little, but still…not a fan. I do like El Capitan and Helmud though. 
And then you have the plot, or rather, the pacing. It’s hard to explain. There’s a plot and it’s riveting, but I feel like it could be more suspenseful. These are dystopian novels. Isn’t that kind of a requirement? I guess maybe it isn’t, but that is what I am used to. The pacing is pretty slow. I would say they are more character-driven novels, but then the characters are so unlikable so I don’t know how the hell to explain this. 
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But the reason Fuse gets four stars is because I am completely and utterly sucked in to the world-building. There is nothing quite like it out there. The detail blows my mind. It’s like an alternate world completely planned down to the bugs in the earth and the weather in the sky. The mental picture the imagery paints in your mind is like nothing else I have ever read. From the birds in Bradwell’s back to the layout of the dome–I just LOVE this world and it’s darkness and depression and drama. 
As far as the plot though, I like where this one went. I adore how it evolved. I love how Pressia is not a weak girl–she’s a fighter–I just wish she was easier to like. I think another issue I run into with these books is the tone. Because they are so dark, there is not a lot of room for levity and fun moments between the characters. This makes them not as multi-dimensional as they perhaps could be. And I think this plays into my issues with liking the characters as well. Pressia is always fighting or trying to save something. Bradwell is always trying to protect her or be a downer. El Capitan is always worried about how he is perceived and his inner voice is insecure. You only see one side of these characters. And it makes them tough to love. Not that there is anything wrong with this, it’s just not always my thing. 
I don’t do spoilers so I am not going to summarize the plot for you. All you need to know is that I was impressed with where it went. There were a couple of shocking surprises that had my mouth open. I didn’t particularly care for the way this one ended. It just kind of cut off and that was it. Not a cliffhanger, not a wrap-up, it just ended. That was kind of a downer. But I am desperate for the next book. I keep hoping that these books will become 5-star reads for me, but something keeps them from that. They are completely memorable though. And details I had forgotten from Pure came to me easily as I was reading Fuse. Normally this would not happen. I forget things easily. I am a brain dumper. But not with these books. And it’s partly because they are so unique.
Do I recommend Fuse? Absolutely. If you have not started this series, you should. The complexity of what you will be reading is something not found in many other novels. It has my seal of approval. 
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4/5 Dragons

9 responses to “Book Review of Fuse by Julianna Baggott

  1. Bahahahha, roof gif. When I finished Pure, I’m pretty sure I considered every rating from 2-4 stars, so I totally get that. Parts of it are brilliant and parts are really clunky, and the parts I like best creep the shit out of me, a feeling I don’t necessarily love. Basically, our relationship is complicated.

    Oh boo that there isn’t much levity. My favorite books are mostly really depressing but lighten that with dark humor, which is why I loved TFIOS so much.

  2. I am so sad about this book. I adored Pure, I devoured it so fast and was so sucked into everything it threw at me. I picked up Fuse last week and I just can’t get into it for some reason. I read about 100 pages and was having so much trouble with it that I decided to put it down for a bit. I’ll go back to it eventually, or maybe it will be one that will stay on my nightstand and I will read chapters here and there over a long period of time. Wonderful review, I love how torn you are on the number.

  3. Amy

    I have heard that this one is really hard to get into and it makes me sad because I loved Pure. I will be reading this one soon and I really hope that I like it. I loved the setting and the darkness of the story in Pure. Great review. I love the gifs too!!


    While I really liked Pure, at the same time, I was on the fence about certain things. Like you, I also wasn’t a fan of the characters. Loved the very strange worldbuilding and the unusual story–but the characters weren’t likable to me much and kind of bored me at times even. It was hard to rate, I agree. It even took me a little longer than I’d wanted to get through Pure. I’m sorry to hear that the characters don’t get any better in the sequel, but glad you still found it to be a good read nonetheless. The world-building does really make it a stand-apart series. I think if it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t give it anymore of my time. I still look forward to reading Fuse, and I really enjoyed your review! 😀


  5. I actually picked up Pure in the bookstore a while back but it’s still sitting in my shelves. Pacing has been a major issue for me lately, and I’ve noticed that in reviews for both Pure and Fuse people say it’s kind of off. It’s also a shame you didn’t fid the characters likable! At the same time, it’s awesome that you could get past that. I’ll definitely be moving this up on my TBR! Excellent review, love. 🙂

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