Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Source: Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Partials by Dan Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.
Dan Wells, acclaimed author of "I Am Not a Serial Killer," takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.
I would like to thank Dan Wells for creating such a desolate and dangerous world as the one I found in Partials. The writing took it to another level. You would think a book such as this would be action, action, action...but it wasn't. Depending who you are, that could be a good thing or a bad thing. I am honestly okay with either, but the impression I got from the cover was that this would be a very plot-heavy book. It really wasn't though. There was a plot, sure, but there was also a lot of world-building which did slow the pacing down. But at the same time, it's hard to tell the author that something was wrong with the book, because honestly, I loved the world-building. I couldn't imagine any words that were in this book being taken away. There were times when I felt almost as if the breeze was blowing on my face, the setting felt so real to me. So I'm kind of at a wall here. Maybe just appreciate it for how good it is? Yeah the pacing was a bit slow, but if it hadn't been a young adult novel it wouldn't have bothered me.
Kira was a kick-ass character. She was one tough girl and a heroine to believe in and root for. She's my favorite protagonist of 2012 so far, and I can see her making it all the way to the end of the year; I loved her so much. The following is a Kira quote that made me giggle.
"Haru can carry it," said Kira. "You just run. I'll bandage this when we get someplace safe."
"My arm's practically broken," hissed Haru.
"Nut up and carry it," said Kira, shoving him toward the Partial. She took Jayden's semi-automatic and checked the chamber. "I'll take the rear, now run."
I thought it was kind of funny that she told Haru to nut up, considering he's probably the biggest douchebag in the book. Did I say that? Yes, I did. Aside from the crazy Senate, Haru's actions and words made me more angry than I have been over a book in a long time. Can't tell you why though. You'll have to read it to find out.
There was a romance in this novel. I didn't feel it was central to the plot at all though. In fact, if it hadn't been there, the story would have gone on and been just as awesome as it was. It didn't add to or detract from the story. I will say one thing about it though. There were times when I really liked Marcus, and there were times that I didn't. In the end, I don't feel he is the right person for Kira. I didn't always like the way he treated her. He was always trying to protect her, and she didn't need to be protected. I felt he was trying to hold her back from all the good she could do. So in future books, I'd like to see them both find new love interests. But I don't want it to become central to the plot either. This is not a romantic series and I will be disappointed if that's made into a big deal in the next book.
To me, the writing flowed better in this book than almost any other book I have ever read. It was a beautiful thing. It's not that the words were particularly significant or anything like that, but there was something about the author's style that really spoke to me. It allowed me to paint some great pictures in my mind, and you know how big I am on imagery.
Characters? Yeah, they could have used some work. That's the one place in this book where I felt something was really missing. I was a little bit connected to them, but I felt there could have been so much more. I didn't really care what happened to any of them, except for Kira. Not Samm, not Haru, Not Marcus, not Jayden. I just didn't care that much. The depth of the characters left a lot to be desired. I hope that is fixed in the next book because this series has the potential to be awesome. In the end, I even felt Kira needed a bit of work. I loved her, but I didn't feel there was enough conflict in her past. Not enough to make me really upset or emotional.
Finally, there was a cliffhanger ending. Of course there was. Did you expect anything different? I have never wanted the next book in a series so badly as I want this one. I thought it was a great ending though. I'd like to see more action in the next book now that the world is fairly well-established. The last 30 or so pages were unbelievably fantastic and mind-blowing. In a saturated genre, this is one dystopian novel that should stand out. I hope it does too. It's a very special story.
"I've never been a real traditional guy," said Marcus. "Besides, I'm not saying I know a bright side, I just think this would be a good time to look at one."
Jayden raised his fist, and the group stopped walking.
"Jayden just heard a bright side," whispered Marcus. "There's an uplifting metaphor creeping through those bushes."
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