Fuse picks up right after Pure left off; Partridge has escaped the Dome and has met up with his sister, Pressia; both have watched their mother and brother die because of Partridge's father. Both are fighting attraction to their respective "friends", Lyda and Bradwell, and unsure what their next step will be. Bradwell has a black box, named Fignan, which is surprisingly human and may hold the key to defeating those in the Dome; El Capitan, with Helmud still on his back, is determined to help Pressia and Bradwell as they attempt to decipher a complex code left behind by Arthur Walrond, one of the Seven; Partridge must decide whether he should leave his love Lyda behind outside the Dome in order to stop the slaughter of Invalids. Once Invalid children begin to disappear and then reappear as Pures, the race to find the formula that will prevent cell degeneration is front and center. in exploding spiders, a wild car ride, an abandoned amusement park, brain surgery, and an air ship, and you pretty much have Fuse.
Of course there's so much going on it would be hard to recap it all here, and I won't even attempt to do so. The chapters move among the different points of view, and while the action is almost constant (in one form or another), it's the characters' depth that truly steals the show here. By the time the last page is read, no one is emotionally where they were at the beginning, and some are so changed it's hard to tell who they once were. I fell in love with El Capitan especially--the devotion to his brother (however enforced) is so deep and his feelings for Pressia are so real that I could forget any physical issues he may have.
Once again, I marvel at the world Ms. Baggott has created; the intricate details make this so much more than just a run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic story. It's layered and imaginative; it's dark and resourceful. I'm a willing victim who finds herself absolutely enthralled with these books and is so eager to find out how all this is going to play out in the third book. Bring it on!