Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

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 thoughts:
Let me start off by saying that I am very picky when it comes to dystopian settings. I am usually the first to call out "Oh come, that's way unrealistic!" when something bothers me (*cough* that setting where the rest of the world is flooded, but the story is set in Florida *cough*), so I was a little skeptical to reading Partials. Then I read it anyway. And WHOA!

The setting is utterly believable. I have no problem imagining that the US would as some point in the future come up with robots as complicated as the Partials to win a war, then have them turn on us afterwards. And with the way biological warfare is developing, the RM virus is such a realistic possibility that it's almost scary. The surviving humans have gathered together in a society where everyone's main purpose is to find a cure for RM, and I love that we are introduced to this society only eleven years after the war against the Partials.

Kira is an amazing main character. She's got such a strong sense of what's right and wrong, and she is not the type to sit back and let everyone else deal with the problems mankind is facing. There are times when she comes across as much older than her sixteen years, but in a society where children are taught to shoot a gun at eight years old to protect themselves I don't find her behavior unlikely. It was very refreshing that Kira has a boyfriend, Marcus, from the very start. Sure, they have their problems and fights like all couples do, but their relationship always takes the backseat to what's important - finding a cure for RM.

I absolutely loved the way Partials was written. First of all the information presents itself naturally as the story progresses instead of being written out as one long explanation at the beginning. This means I often found myself curious as to the whys and hows of certain things, but I never had to wait long for an explanation. Secondly the action never stops. I did not want to put this book down (as my hubby could witness when I almost dropped my Kindle into a pot of boiling water because I kept reading while making dinner), and every time I thought I had gotten to a "quiet" place where I could stop, something new happened and I just had to keep going. I also liked all the medical terms used in Kira's research work, as well as the political plotting behind the scenes, but this might make the book a little heavy for the youngest readers.

Partials really impressed me, with amazing world building, characters I could connect to, and a level of action rarely seen in YA, and I can not wait to read the sequel, Failsafe, when it is released next year. And if that's not enough reason for you to read it; Partials jumped right on to my top three favorite dystopian novels along with Unwind by Neal Shusterman and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Yep, it's that good!

Perfect. One of the best covers for a dystopian novel I've ever seen.

My rating of this book:

Want to know more?
Add Partials to your Goodreads wish list
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Full disclosure:
ARC received from NetGalley

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and online book stores like Amazon and The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store has free shipping to about 100 countries.


  1. This one sounds good. I shall look out for it.

  2. Awww yay I'm so happy you loved this one too! I agree about Kira she is a fantastic character and actually cared about something more than a boy! haha. Great revuew Nina! <3

  3. I am very picky too these days cos there are just too many dystopians out there

  4. Much as I love romance, it's so NICE to find a book where it isn't the overwhelming focus. This sounds so amazing. Yours is the only the second review I've read in as many days and both times, I've been bouncing a little in my seat, giddy to with excitemeny to read this! It's not out until May here, so I'll either have to exercise patience or run like crazy to the book depository.

    Kira sounds like such an admirable protagonist and I am SO eager to discover this scary dystopian world! Fantastic review!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)