Author: Dan Wells
Series: Partials #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Post Apocalyptic YA
Reviewed by: Abigail
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.
PARTIALS is the first truly great dystopian debut of the year! Although categorizing it a dystopian is really too narrow. It is dystopian, but it’s also post apocalyptic with some light Sci-Fi elements that are very friendly to readers who don’t normally read Sci-Fi. There is even a subtle romance.
PARTIALS is basically a riff on the classic robots will rise up and kill us idea, except instead of robots, we’re fighting ‘engineered organic beings identical to humans’ called Partials. The humans who survived the Partial War more than a decade ago (and the devastating virus they released known as RM) have been reduced to thirty thousand people living in what used to be Manhattan. Because of the virus, newborns keep dying so the new government has enacted a mandatory pregnancy law for all girls once they turn eighteen, hoping that eventually, one will survive.
Sixteen year old Kira has been training to find a cure for RM, but as more and more years pass without success, unrest rises, violent factions emerge who oppose the forced pregnancy laws, rumors run rampant that the pregnancy age will keep dropping, and that the Partials are preparing a new attack. It’s a terrifying reality on all fronts. The kids, like Kira, who were raised in this post war world have had to do it quickly, knowing that they may be the last generation of humans. Ever. Kira is a very mature and sober minded teenager. As a medic, she sees babies die everyday and tries to get swept up into the lighter mood her friends and boyfriend, but fails. She isn’t content like some of the others to just live without regard to the future.
I would say that some of the scientific jargon and virus analysis could have been shortened and simplified, even as vital as it was to the story. I couldn’t follow half of it, but I still was able to follow the plot just fine.
Overall, PARTIALS more than lived up to it’s hype. It’s a face paced, action packed, emotionally riveting story of survival in a world that is frighteningly plausible. Author Dan Wells has done an excellent job of populating his book with characters who hold wildly different opinions without reducing any of them to insane zealots or obtusely naïve protestors. Kira is a perfect example.
She understands why some of her friends believe the way they do, she even agrees with them in part, but it’s her drive, her determination that forces her take action that will either save her race, or destroy it completely. Consider me hooked. FRAGMENTS, the next book in the Partials series, will be published in 2013.