Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott

Fuse - Julianna Baggott

"When the detonation came, the world was divided."


This book is a treat for anyone who thinks they might enjoy a stomach turning, horrifying, emotionally intense dream-like vision of the end of the world, in all it's devastating, heartbreaking glory!!


In the second instalment of this awesome trilogy, the gang are desperately attempting to bring down the evil Willux and free the damaged earth of his murderous intent and iron fisted rule. Partridge pledges to infiltrate the dome, working undercover to stop his father before he brings his latest gruesome plan into action. Pressia and company race against time to discover the meaning behind the cryptic clues left to Bradwell by his family before they died, in the hope of preventing yet more bloodshed upon their already torn and wrecked people.


When I was at high school I liked to spend time in the biology labs. I was fascinated, and still am by the complexities and diversity of life. Yeah, that sounds super pretentious and blerk, but it's true. I guess I have an almost morbid interest in how the human body works and what happens when things go wrong. And boy, is there a lot to go wrong. It's a miracle that we're all here as we are - breathing, functioning, intelligent and unique, because it only takes one chromosome to step out of line and the whole thing turns to shit. When the body is being created before we are born, there are hundreds of complex systems in place to ensure everything is where it should be and we don't grow an eye instead of a toe or something. But this is a fragile balance of cell division, hormones and instructions encoded into strands of DNA. And it's easy for mistakes to be made. Like, at school we had this one eyed kitten preserved in a jar. Cyclops kitty. A perfect example of what can happen if your instruction manual is missing a page. Now, c'mon guys - don't you want to know more? Isn't that kinda fascinating?

I think this is part of the reason I love this series so much - it's horrific, it's disturbing and it's amazing. The world building in Fuse is incredible. Julianna Baggott has one helluvan imagination. The creatures roaming her post-apocalyptic vision of the earth, damaged almost beyond any repair by devastating nuclear detonations are both grotesque and fantastic. The level of creativity poured into this brilliant dystopia is wonderful.


Scarily we can draw parallels between this fictional world and our own world. The devastation caused by the bombing of Hiroshima and the horrific nuclear disaster of Chernobyl hold some similarities to some of the injuries and after effects Ms Baggott depicts in Fuse - burns, blast injuries, genetic damage affecting generations. I'm always amazed when I learn about the things some people are callable of inflicting on others. I just can't wrap my head around it. This is why I can't watch the news anymore - my heart aches when I hear about war, murder, and cruelty. I just can't comprehend how it must feel to be so consumed with hatred, being so hellbent on acquiring power or money that a person would destroy another, either physically, mentally or spiritually. I just don't get it.


The author winds this all into the story brilliantly, telling from multiple POVs - Pressia, Partridge, Lyda and El Capitan - the gang we have grown to know and love. I really think this is an excellent sequel, left untouched by the curse-of-the-second-book syndrome. There's no stagnation, which happens all too often. The pace is lightening fast and there's interest and details added to the story to offer greater insight into these kids hellish existence. The character development was great with maybe the exception of Partridge who at times, felt a little flat to me. But his predicament was so intense and original that I didn't really care. I was happy to be along for the ride either way. I love the direction the author has taken El Capitan and his unfortunate brother Helmud in. The part they played in the end sequence was incredibly emotional and touching. It was perfect. But yikes!! That's one helluva cliffhanger to be left with. I'm super excited for the final part in this trilogy. This is without a doubt the best series I've read this year.


Read it. Love it. Enjoy!!