Friday, February 22, 2013

Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggot

Fuse by Julianna Baggott
“When 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
.”—Goodreads.com

Fuse is the second book in the Pure trilogy by Julianna Baggot.  The premise behind this trilogy is that there was a nuclear explosion of epic proportions.  To explain better the story here is the goodreads.com summary of Pure:
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.
Our main characters are Pressia (wretch), Bradwell (wretch), El Capitan and Helmod (wretches), Partridge (Pure), and Lyda (Pure).  There are many other important characters but these particular characters, minus Bradwell, all have a written point of view.  Each chapter alternates most of the time between each character.  It is not written in first person so sometimes this can cause some issues with fluently reading the novel.  When I first started to read this book I was excited to continue this series but also I was downright disappointed.  My main disappointment, I later realized, had to do with Lyda.  She is an awful character in this book, not the series.  I don’t like her indecisiveness and also the fact that she flip flops on her loyalty to Partridge. 
What makes up for the first 20% of the book?  Well, the craziness brought on by Willux, Partridge’s father, leader of the Pures and also the man responsible for the Detonations and the abandonment of the wretches.  Willux is your typical Dr. Evil.  Partridge will have to fit for his life and his memories if he wishes to defeat his father and save humanity (no big deal.)
While Partridge is dealing with that, Lyda must face the facts the Mothers will stop at nothing to kill Partridge because he is a Death (these ladies are really feminist, like beyond burning bras… which incidentally only gives men more to ogle at perpetuating the objectification of women, not the intended message but I digress).  These Mothers would like to make an example by using a powerful man’s son as their first kill.  Of course something happens between Lyda and Partridge that serves as an excuse to the Mothers.
That’s just half of the story.  The other half involves Pressia (Partridge’s half-sister), Bradwell and El Capitan/Helmod.  They are in search for the truth that will ultimately lead to the down fall of life as they know it, which is a good thing in their cases since they are wretches.  At some point they get to fly too! 
It is hard not to give everything away in an explanation because when I finished the book… no scratch that, when I finished Partridge’s last chapter I couldn’t contain myself: “You are my son,” he says. “You are mine.”  These are Willux’s last words to Partridge and frankly I was stunned and excited by what transpired between father and son in this book.  What I will say is that so far this series is sad, terrifying, joyful, inspirational, and thought provoking.  I don’t think you can read these books and have a superficial thought about it.  Like I said I started off hating Lyda for dumb things but then bigger things transpired, more important things that ultimately decide the future for everyone involved.  You cannot get hung up on the romance because the tempo is set to real life, there is no moment to worry about love and when they do worry about it they decide it is not the most important thing at the moment. I like the wisdom in that.  I recommend this book highly! Thanks Net Galley.

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