Saturday, October 20, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells

Published: February 2012
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Pages: 468
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

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've been keeping my eye out for this one since it came out, hoping that my own library would buy it, but no luck.  So I was really happy when I discovered it last week at another library system.  After all the work getting hold of a copy, I'm delighted to say it was well worth the effort.  Mr Wells has taken the popular apocalyptic/dystopian themes and has melded them nicely into this great book. 

The apocalypse - in this case caused by a savage plague released by biosynthetic Partials - has completely decimated the world's population.  The last 40,000 or so humans have holed up on Long Island and are trying to survive . The event has only happened 11 years previously, so is still fresh in most minds.  This now dystopian society is insisting that all women over the age of 16 MUST get pregnant.  Er, no thank you!  Kira and her friends are setting off to try and find a cure for the plague that is still killing new-borns.  I rather liked Kira's passion.  She was strong willed and able to overcome her fears for the greater good.  Her boyfriend Marcus gets a bit of the run-around, but there are viable reasons and I was ok with Kira's decisions.    The Partials have been quiet for some time, so there is an air of mystery about them, which was rather interesting.  Of course, there is a surprise that turns up while Kira is off trying to find the cure and this very nicely sets things up for book #2.  I'm really looking forward do finding out more about the non-human Partials  and Samm's part in the story. Samm is a Partial who is rescued by Kira and then complications ensue - sorry, don't want to give spoilers.  Lots of secondary characters help to pull the story along and everything wraps up to a very satisfying, if convenient conclusion.

 Have you ever found yourself wondering what you would do if you were to end up in a situation like this? It's interesting sometimes to think about what our own reactions would be.  Would you go out at 16 and get pregnant over and over again, with all your children dying after just 3 days?  I don't think I could do it.  But then again would I be strong enough to try and change the status quo.  Interesting to ponder on, but I hope I never have to find out.

Partials is a great addition to the genre and should please dystopian fans.  It looks like the next book in the series is called Fragments due in February 2013 and there also appears to be a 'Lost Tale' called Isolations which is labelled as 0.5.  I'm going to have to try and find it.

I found this video on Goodreads which explains a little more about the Partials.


  1. This was an excellent review. It had me laughing and now I want to read this book. Great job!

  2. Glad I could add some laughter to your day.

  3. I've also had my eye on this for some time! One day I will get my paws on it...but I'm determined not to add anymore books to my ridiculous to be read piles - so for now it will have to stay on GoodReads. But good to know it will be worth the wait!