Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott

Title: Fuse
Author: Julianna Baggott
Genre: YA Dystopian Science Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Length: 480 pages
Original Publishing Date: February 19th, 2013
Series: Pure #2
Where I got it: Audiobook from the e-library
Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
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...

Main characters: 4/5

How do I compare Fuse to Pure? They are both so amazing in their own ways! In Fuse, Pressia continues to grow and evolve as a character. She becomes more independent and confident in herself and what she wants to accomplish. This is great.

What isn't great is the progression of her relationship with Bradwell. I wanted to slap them both. Honestly, I felt like Pressia and Bradwell took kind of a backseat in this sequel, and I was okay with that.

Partridge and Lyda have their own journeys in this sequel. I liked learning more about Lyda and I felt like I respected her more, but there were still some moments where I was just not having it with her. And just personally, I don't like where her subplot went. Partridge's exploration back into the dome was curious, but I wanted more development, rather than following him around a new world again. Just glad about where he ended up in the end!

Secondary characters: 5/5

Ughhh, okay, El Capitan and Helmud melt my heart every time. Every time, I swear! They are so beautifully developed, especially Helmud in this sequel! Baggott really created some beauty in these characters.

The Mothers were fascinating. They showed up a bit in Pure, but in Fuse we really learn more about them and they are so complexly intriguing and darkly gorgeous in their creation.

Writing style: 5/5

Baggott's writing style is beautiful. I can't say enough about the thoughtfulness that she puts into her dialogue, her descriptions, and her pacing. Even though this book is lacking in action compared to the first, I was constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting for what would happen next. I find that in some series, the second book is often the weakest. In Fuse, there were definitely some minor pacing issues (such as the whole cabin Bradwell/Pressia thing) and some weird surges in time, but they were minor compared to everything that Baggott does so wonderfully. The best part is that with each word, sentence, paragraph and chapter, Baggott entrenches you so deep in the atmosphere that you feel like you'll never leave.

Plot: 4.5/5 
As I mentioned earlier, I think the plot could have been inflated with some more action, but overall I was happy with the direction of the plot and the inclusion of the elements. Partridge's mystery in the dome was a unique subplot and I loved what happened after, although I felt like some parts of it were rather convenient. As always, the science aspects are fascinating and quite obviously well-researched, though Baggott seemed a little rushed in this sequel, almost as if she knew that she had explained the concept once before and sort of rushed you through the basics before moving on again.

Ending: 3.5/5

Some parts of the pacing were a little off: there were some slow parts, and some parts that moved way too fast. I liked the cliffhangers, and the set up for the third book didn't really feel like it was solely set-up, which some other sequels have major problems with.

Best scene: All of them? No, probably the end scenes

Positives: Everything

Negatives: Some minor pacing issues

Cover: Simple and gorgeous

Verdict:  I don't know if I've read a sequel recently that was done as beautifully as this one

Rating:  8.8 / 10 (5 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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