|TITLE: Partials SERIES: Partials #1|
AUTHOR: Dan Wells PUB DATE: 2/28/12
PUB: Harper Collins FORMAT: ARC, 372 pgs
SOURCE: from publisher in exchange for honest review
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out. When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.
THREE-ISH WORDS: Holy Post-Apocalyptic-World Batman!
MY REVIEW: With a tagline like “The only hope for humanity isn’t human”, I was expecting there to be aliens in Dan Wells’ Partials…there are no aliens *she says deadpanned and slightly disappointed*…buuut my disappointment with this book ends with a lack of aliens and thus my fangirly love begins. Partials took me on an unexpected, and at times gasp-worthy and breathtaking, post-apocalyptic thrill ride.
It’s the year 2076 and nearly 99% of the world’s population has been wiped out by the RM virus. The small group of survivors, totaling a population that’s only in the tens of thousands, lives on Long Island but their future looks bleak. New born babies only survive a mere three days; the youngest person alive is 14. Add a rebel group of survivors known as the Voice and the ever present threat of the Partials, genetically engineered super humans thought to be responsible for the RM virus, and the future of this post-apocalyptic world doesn’t look good (or even remotely okay)…but sixteen year old medic, Kira, is determined to change that. Kira, along with a group of friends and a few unlikely allies, sets out to find a cure for the RM virus and save her BFF Madison’s baby, and just maybe save humanity as well.
Dan Wells’ Partials is a captivating example of a YA dystopian teeming with innovation, superb world-building and sophisticated provocativeness. Wells offers readers a wonderful mix of sci-fi, romance, intrigue and heart pounding action.
Fast paced and action packed, this book moves quickly and packs a punch, but Wells does a fantastic job of introducing and building his world organically and without overwhelming readers. And the world building itself is awesome! This post-apocalyptic world feels believable and plausible…shockingly and scarily so…and never farfetched. The scientific explanations for and explorations of the RM virus are presented with an intelligent complexity that adds concrete layers to the story.
I was impressed, and at times blown away by Wells’ ability to create a story that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Wells offers a really powerful and provocative look at the human condition and what it means to be human.
Kira is wonderfully crafted; she makes for an awesome, kick-ass protagonist. She’s relatable, yet her intelligence and courage are awe inspiring. I love that she comes across as both the girl next door you want to be besties with and the extraordinary heroine you simply want to be. This is a character that I instantly connected with and felt intrinsically invested in her story. Marcus, Kira’s boyfriend, is pretty much made of win and awesomesauce. I tried really hard not to fangirl over him too early in the book, but I couldn’t resist. He’s charming, sweet, endearing and adorkably funny; his one- liners and humorous observations are perfectly placed and delivered. Samm, Kira’s Partial ally, makes for a fascinating character; there’s a great deal of depth to him.
Now, you’re probably thinking there’s some kind of cliché love triangle between the three characters above, simply because I made a point to mention them. Welll, you may be right and you may be wrong…this is something you’re gonna have to figure out and decide for yourself!
I must mention the villain because every story has a great villain…this story has multiple baddies and they are all untrustworthy, sketchy, fascinating and compelling in their own ways.
The story itself is full of twists, turns and “Oh noes that did NOT just happen!” moments and revelations. Your trust and loyalty will be pulled in several directions, broken, crushed and rebuilt…and trust me, you won’t want it any other way. The book ends on a frustratingly intriguing note that will leave you desperate for book two.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This book may have sucked me in with its tagline, but it kept me enthralled with its innovative, thrilling story. With a myriad of YA dystopian novels to choose from, Dan Wells’ Partials is definitely one to add to the top of the pile. A MUST read!
Dan Wells is the author of the John Cleaver series: I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You. He has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Campbell Award and has won two Parsec Awards for his podcast Writing Excuses. He plays a lot of games, reads a lot of books, and eats a lot of food, which is pretty much the ideal life he imagined for himself as a child.