Series: Partials #2
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Book Trailer: View Trailer
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 26, 2013
Reviewed by: Abigail
Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?
Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.
The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means--and even more important, a reason--for our survival.
How does an almost 600 page book end up feeling too short? Masterful plotting, harrowing danger, meticulously detailed worldbuilding with a complex history, and truly human characters even when they aren't actually human.
I called PARTIALS, the first book in the Partials Sequence, 'the first truly great dystopian debut of the year!' in 2012, and FRAGMENTS is even better. So much so that I'm calling the Partials Sequence one of the best dystopian series since The Hunger Games. The medical thriller elements are just as prominent as in the debut, and while the concepts became necessarily more complex, I found them to be more easily comprehended this time. We learn more about the geneticists who created the Partials, how and why they were made, and how the RM virus that attacks humans is connected to the expiration date for Partials. Not to mention Kira's unique role and explanation for her existence.
Books with amazing concepts often fall into a rut with their sequels either regurgitating essentially the same story or breaking so far from their original premise that they alienate fans of the debut. FRAGMENTS neatly sidesteps both common pitfalls. Author Dan Wells has carried over his brilliant balance of characters who possess opposing viewpoints and has still made them all sympathetic to readers. He raises numerous ethical quandaries in FRAGMENTS and Mr. Wells respects both his characters and his readers enough not to give them easy answers. At the same time, he forces his characters into new environments and drops MIND ALTERING revelations that we rarely see in middle books for trilogies.
The beginning of FRAGMENTS was a little slow, and I did prefer the chapters with Kira more than Marcus back on Long Island (fortunately the ratio is 3:1 so most of the book follows Kira). The plot is crazy dense and amazingly well paced, but it didn't leave a lot of room for character development until the showstopping end (which will leave readers breathless). But those criticisms are so minor in the face of everything that this book gets so right. The conclusion to the Partials Sequence can't come soon enough.