f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: Review: Partials by Dan Wells
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells
Expected publication: February 28th 2012 by Harper Teen
Pages: 472
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley
Series or stand-alone: Partials (1)
Rating: Squee-worthy
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website

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.

My Review

Partials is a unique book, and one that, despite feeling that it is sometimes fuzzy on details I would like more clarification on, for the most part, author Dan Wells draws the reader immediately into his book.  Partials catapults the reader smack-dab in the middle of the action, where we learn instantly the effects RM - the mysterious virus unleashed by the Partials eleven years ago - has on infants: they never live long.  The youngest human left in the decimated population is fourteen years old, and with no surviving children to carry the next generation forward, conditions are strained.  The Hope Act mandates pregnancy at 18 years old, and Kira Walker feels hopeless, in the midst of it all.  I liked and felt for Kira immediately.  She is strong and opinionated, with a huge heart, and she is not happy with her lot in life, or with her government's attempts at an answer to all the problems.  Kira wants to do something other than watch new babies die, and I definitely sympathized with her.  Being in that situation - and worse, working in the maternity ward - is bad enough, worse is knowing there's nothing you can do - or is there?  

What I liked most about Partials were the characters.  All of them were strong, yet with their own flaws, so that they all seemed real, like people you might get to know.  Kira wasn't happy being a bystander - she wanted to reach out and fix something, anything.  Her adoptive sisters each had their own reasons for being unhappy, for wanting to do more, be more.  Marcus, Kira's friend and sometimes boyfriend, was fiercely devoted to her, yet sometimes unable to understand her actions and motivations.  Several of the secondary characters are like Kira in that they are determined to change their present, in order so that there is a future, while others, including some of her adopted family, are hesitant to rock the boat.  The plan Kira develops is risky and thrilling - I was at once supportive and afraid, as Dan Wells propels the reader right along on Kira's journey.  Though several months pass in Partials, the pacing is steady, and never really falters or detracts from the story being told. 

Plot wise, Partials is a very strong story, which throws several twists into the narrative so that when I read the last page, I was definitely wishing it was time for Failsafe (the sequel) to be published.  There is a huge shocker that, thankfully, I didn't see coming, because it really added to my enjoyment of Partials.  I do have a gripe though - while the world-building is well done, I wanted to know more about what led to the present state of things.  There is a war mentioned - the Isolation War - and then the war with the Partials, and although we are told in brief what happened, I'm a back-story kind of girl, so I still wanted more, and in that sense, I didn't enjoy Partials as much as I thought I would.  A few of the plot elements kept making me think of a television show I adored a few years back - I'm not going to say which one - and that was both off-putting and awesome.  The question at the end of Partials remains:  just because you are told someone is the enemy, are they really so different?  And as it so far-fetched to think that something could be learned from someone's nemesis?
Partials is a fast-paced book that will no doubt leave readers breathless.  The characters are well-developed and the chances they take to save their race and their world are daring and admirable.  I would have liked more explanation, but I look forward to that in the sequel, as I am sure that author Dan Wells will produce yet another can't-miss dystopian! 


In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.   I review books with no intention of monetary gain; rather, I review books out of my love of reading.  


Agnieszka Nashi said...

Fast-paced dystopia with likable characters, I think that's something for me! I can't wait to read it myself, I'm such a sucker for well-written dystopians. And this one sounds like Legend (fuzzy on details with background story) meets Wither/Enclave (the pregnancies). I hope it's as enjoyable as Legend!

Thanks for this review, I enjoyed reading it. :)

Jade said...

Sounds like another dystopia I need to give a try. I love the idea of the immediate action and the real, relatable characters. The concept of this one is interesting and different so I think I'll probably give this one a go in the future. Glad it wasn't predictable and overall you enjoyed the read. Hopefully the next book will answer your questions more thoroughly and be even more satisfying.

Ninja Girl said...

Hey there,
Just wanted to let you know, I tagged you on my blog :D
Hope you're doing well,
Ninja Girl

Lan (The Write Obsession) said...

I am all kinds of excited about reading this one. I actually had a dream about getting an ARC copy about it last night! How sad is that?

Rebecca (Kindle Fever) said...

Yay! I'm glad you liked it. I'm reading it now and am so excited when reading so many great reviews! Can't wait to see if I'll enjoy it just as much as everyone else seem too.

Anna said...

It's fun to see the juxtaposition between a positive review and a negative review! I just read one that was not so nice about this book and after reading yours I have renewed hope!!! I'm liking this one :)

Anna @ Literary Exploration

Natalia Belikov said...

This one sounds pretty good! Though not like a must-read but I guess I keep reading more reivew to make sure if I read it or not. =P

great review my dear!!

Dazzling Reads

Molli said...

NOT sad! I have had book-ish dreams before. Never about getting ARCs but there's a first time for everything. :D This one was good!

Molli said...

Rebecca, I hope you enjoy Partials. It definitely held my interest! : )

Molli said...

Good idea! I usually try to read several reviews of a book before I give in and download/buy it! That way I'm not biased either way, but I've read enough to make me want to make up my own mind.

Thanks for stopping by!

Molli said...

I have yet to read Legend. It sounds AWESOME and is definitely on my TBR as are Wither and Enclave. I need more dystopian books in my life!

Megan @ Between the Lines said...

Great review Molli! I'm very excited about this book and you've made up my mind to read it. =)

And I am extremely curious to know which television show this reminded you of, LOL

Giselleco said...

I'm starting this one in a few days and I'm very excited to get into it. I keep seeing great review like this one and I'm getting anxious to read it already! I love fast paced books, I love good characterizations and I definitely LOVE dystopians!!

Molli said...

Then you will enjoy Partials, I do believe! Thank you for the comment. : )

Molli said...

Thanks chica! Do give it a try!

And, I wouldn't say in the review but...Battlestar Galactica!

Molli said...

I saw you've been reading it. I hope you enjoy it, girl! :)

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