Over the break for New Year (where I had no internet or 3G as I was in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!), I read Pure by Julianna Baggott and, while enjoying it, got quite creeped out with it (I still think it's one of the most scary post-apocalyptic novels I have read. Ever!). When I was sent this, the lovely Ben from Headline sent me an ARC of the sequel, Fuse. And, after some time recovering from Pure, I started to read it, though at arm's length (as I feared that if I read it close to my face, a Groupie or one of the Mothers would come out and try to kill me!)
With the world divided into those in the Dome - the Pure - and those outside the Dome when the bombs went off - the wretches, things are dark and morbid. When Partridge - a Pure - escaped from the Dome and met Pressia, a wretch, their worlds get turned upside down and he end is no where in sight.
And now, the Dome wants Partridge back. At whatever cost. Snatching children wretches and making them "Pure", even though the enhancements are no way suitable for children so young, and all they can say is one message: "We want our son back. This girl is proof hat we can save you all. If you ignore our plea, we will kill our hostages one at a time." To save lives, Partridge has to go back into the Dome and into the clutches of the Dome's ruler, his father.
Meanwhile, Pressia, Bradwell and El Capitan must decode secrets that could set the wrecthes free from the fusing safely.
But how far will those fighting Willux go to stop him? Over land? Over sea? Over body? Or mind?
Now, I'm going to admit this here and now: I am very much torn over this book. I do like it and yet, at the same time, I have issues with it. Well, one issue, mainly.
Let's start with the pros. The writing is wonderful. It's Julianna's writing that kept me going. It's so lyrical. It just works. And for character development. The characters - all the characters - change so slowly and carefully that, by the time you get to the end of the book, you are surprised that the characters changed so much. You don't see the changes in an instant. The changes are subtle.
The plot and the ideas Julianna put forward are quite scary. I said earlier in the review and in my review for Pure that this series is one of the scariest post-apocalyptic series I have come across. And, while this book didn't have me as scared as Pure (because I had no idea what Pure was about), Fuse sets up ideas which are frightening and set me on edge while reading as these ideas seem possible. The whole world that Julianna writes is very much in the realm of possible and that's why I see these books as dark and scary.
Cons. *sighs* I have one huge con and one little con. Let's start some. This book is DARK. And morbid. There will be times where, if you're not in the right frame of mind, where you will go "Why am I reading this?!" You have to be in the right frame of mind. If not, this book/series is going to be a struggle for you.
My second con is length. Yes, I know that I said the character development is subtle and that is due to the book's length, but there were times over the two week course I read this where I honestly thought "Is this chapter REALLY important to the point?". I honestly thought a good 50 or so pages could have been cut out. I found it hard to keep my bounce on reading this when I would look at what I had left and think "I'm never going to finish this."
But finish this I have. And I still don't know how I feel about this. I think this book will be one of those books I will be thinking about for a while so my instant reaction might be clouded. But I do know I want the third and final book in the trilogy (it's been announced that it will be called Burn) and I am getting excited over movie news to this series. But I'm still on the fence with this at time of writing this.