Title: Fuse (Pure #2)
Author: Julianna Baggott
Pub Deets: Feb 2013, Hachette Book Group
Source: ARC from the Publisher
Challenges: Sequel Challenge
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In a sentence or so: Pressia, Bradwell, Cap, Patridge and Lyda continue to struggle outside of the dome and start to discover why the detonations happened and how each of them can play a role in bringing and end to the suffering. What that means to each of them, and how they can accomplish it, is very different....and sometimes not best for the greater good.
Bradwell discovers a black box that can relay information and secrets that the Dome desperately wants, but only for the original seven (or children of the seven) of the Swan. The Swan was group that was advancing human society until one of them, Ellery Willux, took things too far. He is the cause of the detonations that caused worldwide destruction and created a massive wasteland that most of the population dwells in that's full of monsters, fused animals, and people hanging on to survival by a thread.
FUSE picks up where PURE left off smack dab in the middle of the action. Baggott doesn't shy away from the darker realities of what a post apocalyptic world would like like - as we know from PURE. What I was captivated by in FUSE was exploring the motivations and the moralities of the characters while still having a plot that was exciting and moving everything forward, just as a second book should. Baggott does this with alternating chapters by character so we can see what's going on in all of the places inside and outside the Dome while still keeping in touch with all of the personal developments.
FUSE is a book that's perfect for those who love YA dystopian but are looking for something more. Something with more depth and world building and so many questions that you feel completely invested in the struggle of Pressia and the rest. I loved that no two characters want the same thing because that feels real to me as a reader. They work together, but their reasons why are varied and human and ultimately that humanity and vulnerability are what continue to draw me to this series.
Lyda seems like her world has been shattered and then rebuilt on a scale that seems to alter her the most dramatically. She's in for a huge ride.
2. In the book, there are lots of songs in the memories of the characters. Pressia remembers them often and even sings them from time to time. Where did you get the inspiration for these songs?
Though not identifiable in the book, one's Bruce's "Thunder Road." One's "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. Others I make up. My husband helps me here some too; his background in poetry is more formal than mine. In FUSE, Book II, we have some Beach Boys show up. I like taking iconic songs and twisting them in new ways. I love working on the nursery rhymes and darker songs; they do so much for tone.
3. There are lots of crazy creatures and mutations since the detonations happened. Do you have sketches of any of these creations? If so, can you share?
I don't. They pop in my dreams though when living in the their world all day long ... it's inevitable, I guess.
4. In my opinion, this dystopian is darker than most for YA - which I LOVE - and I'm wondering where you got your inspiration for this dark, sad, destructive world that Partridge, Pressia, and the rest live in.
The fusings came in large part because of having children -- I have four -- and while babies, they cling. In Florida swamplands, they feel fused to you. This was natural. Sometimes the visuals of this world come first -- the warden's house in FUSE, for example, appeared before I knew what would happen in that scene. (A lot ended up happening in that scene!)
5. I love that these characters are complicated and determined in their own ways. They make good choices and frustrating choices just like the rest of us. They are starting to really grow into themselves and figure out what it is they want from the world - truth, healing, change, etc. Which of the characters is the most inspirational for you?
It's my job to try to get out of their way -- and let them lead. I love them all for different reasons at different times. El Capitan is a character who always surprises me -- always. And Helmud is coming into his own... Expect more surprises from him...