Fuse: O El Capitan, My El Capitan

Fuse is written by Julianna Baggott. It was published in 2013 by Grand Central. It is the sequel to Pure. Baggott’s website can be found here.


“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 ways 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.”

~Inside Flap

What I Liked:

As in Pure, the technique, the world, the craft of Fuse is fantastic. It’s beautifully written, the plot elements are incorporated in such a way as to keep people reading, and the world itself feels dystopian, down to the interactions between the characters. In a world like the one Baggott has created, everything is distorted and tainted, and the characters go through and do difficult things. Case in point: Lyda and Partridge, and their parting actions. Really, Partridge’s storyline itself is the epitome of what I’m trying to get at here: hard decisions, hard choices, in a world gone mad. It drives home, again, that dystopian feel.

El Capitan is probably my favorite character, and this book is what did it. I thought he was interesting in Pure, and then in this book he and Helmud come out of absolutely nowhere and are totally awesome. Also, I keep thinking he’s older than he is, but I think he’s actually only slightly older than Bradwell.

Speaking of Bradwell, I find it interesting that of the group, he is the only one who never has a point of view. I find this significant, and not in a way that spells happy endings for his character. He’s totally going to die. Ah, well. That will just clear the way for El Capitan/Pressia, which I totally ship now.

I love the fact that all the characters think differently about things, and express those differences through their thoughts and actions, especially apparent in Bradwell and Pressia’s arguments about the Dome. And none of the characters are technically wrong, either, they’re just focusing on different ways to handle the situation. And I absolutely loved Bradwell and Pressia’s conversation about God.

As a final note, I love the cover art, even though I knew from seeing it what was going to happen to one of the characters.

What I Didn’t Like:

Lyda is called “the warrior” in the blurb, but she definitely doesn’t seem like one when she becomes the viewpoint character and you get inside her head. She seems pretty fragile and unstable, really, especially towards the end.

Partridge is shaping up to be one of those characters that you want to shake for making such poor decisions, and his memory loss doesn’t help. Memory loss almost immediately screams “character change.”

Really, the only viewpoint I really liked was El Capitan’s, and Pressia’s near the end. The rest of them just got on my nerves for some reason or another.

Rating: 4/5

Recommended Age Range: 16+

Warnings: Violence, swearing, disturbing and graphic images, sex

Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult



“No!” She’s angry now. “We have to focus on what we can do here, now, today, for these people. They’re suffering. They need help. If we let ourselves get pulled into the past, we’re turning our backs on the survivors.”

“The past?” Bradwell is furious. “The past isn’t just the past. It’s the truth! The Dome has to be held accountable for what they did to the world. The truth has to be known.”

“Why? Why do we have to keep fighting the dome?” Pressia has given up on the truth. “What could the truth possibly matter when there’s all this suffering and loss?”

~Baggott 38

“Helmud!” El Capitan says, realizing his brother is armed. “Give me your whittling knife.”

Helmud shakes his head. No, no, no.

“Hand it over now!”

No, no, no.

El Capitan reaches over his shoulder and whaps his brother on the head, one side and then the other. “Give it!”


“Maybe he wants to do it himself,” Bradwell says.

“Are you crazy?”

“Crazy!” Helmud says.

~Baggott 273-274

Overall Review:

I had trouble putting Fuse down, mostly because of El Capitan and his awesomeness. As in Pure, the writing, the world, and the plot elements are all wonderfully done. The characters get annoying, especially Partridge, but the decisions they have to make resonate with the state of the world in the book.

You can buy this here: Fuse (Pure Trilogy)


One thought on “Fuse: O El Capitan, My El Capitan

  1. Pingback: Burn: Too Many Unanswered Questions | Leaf's Reviews

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