Separated by oceans, Partridge and Pressia are trapped in worlds they no longer understand. As Pressia continues to piece together clues about the Detonations, the possibility of salvation – for everyone, Pure and Wretch alike – lies temptingly close. At the centre of a political power struggle, Partridge is forced to decide the fate of the Dome and everything around it. As his options narrow, it becomes quickly apparent that there may be no right move. Everything depends on the two of them and the choices they now make – but can Partridge still be trusted?
Burn, by Julianna Baggott, is the kind of sequel that absolutely must not be read without first reading the previous two in the series. After Pure introduced us to the new, ash-covered Earth, the world in Fuse settled into itself, feeling more familiar than strange. In Burn, this all changes once again, as new territory is explored, and life in the Dome is turned completely upside-down. The hybrids and fused humans seem natural after having spent so much time with Pressia and Bradwell – and of course El Capitan and his brother – and yet there is still plenty of room left for events that surprise and shock.
Though Burn doesn’t quite meet the sheer perfection of Fuse, Baggot’s words are once again placed with meticulous care; her world is darkly gorgeous, the characters that fill it are equally flawed and wonderful. Something about her writing really draws the reader in, creating a visceral experiencing of the plot that lingers long after you finish reading. I literally did not (could not) put this down until I had devoured every word.
Baggot is a brave author, staying true to her story no matter how sorrowful the outcome. By the last page I was heartbroken (no happy endings here) but this is a fitting end to a stunning series: raw, desolate and ultimately hopeful.