Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 8, 2012 | 4 Comments

Review: Partials by Dan WellsPartials by Dan Wells
Series: Partials Sequence #1
Published by Balzer + Bray (2.28.2012)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 472 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Partials blew my mismatched little socks right off. From the first sentence to the very last, I was riveted. Honestly, it had my attention even before I started the first chapter, with this: This book is dedicated to the rule breakers, the troublemakers, and the revolutionaries. Sometimes the hand that feeds you needs a good bite. What a brilliant open to a dystopian novel! Then it leads in with this:

Newborn #485GA18M died on June 30, 2076, at 6:07 in the morning. She was three days old. The average lifespan of a human child, in the time since the Break, was fifty-six hours.They didn’t even name them anymore.

Wowza! A world that can’t reproduce? How terrible would that be? There’s only 40,000 people left in the world and no babies survive….humanity has an expiration date. That really struck home the importance of finding a cure for RM, the virus that wiped out the population.

I thought Kira was a great character. She was determined and stuck with her cause, no matter how desolate it seemed. She wasn’t weak or whiny. I even liked the minor characters – Marcus, especially, since he was the funny guy of the bunch and kept the mood light. I think Samm was my favorite, though. Despite being a Partial, he seemed very human – I found myself forgetting that he wasn’t. He was intriguing and I wanted more of him.

I loved the hint at something between Samm and Kira, even though it never developed. Which would have made for a love triangle – something I typically despise but would have been okay with in this case. But, romance took a back burner in this one…which was a refreshing change for me, but if you’re looking for a love story Partials isn’t for you. Instead it was full of danger, action, and suspense. I had major trouble putting it down, and when I did, I was still thinking about reading it. Despite the length, it was a very fast-paced and gripping read. One moment in particular, where a giant bomb was dropped about a certain character – man, I was speechless! I just sat there, gaping at the book as I tried to process the idea. Wow! Never even saw it coming!

I thoroughly enjoyed the science aspects of Partials as well. I thought everything was tidily explained without any loose ends or much confusion (for me, at least – if you’re not big into science it may be a bit hard to follow) and I found it absolutely fascinating.

The ending killed me, I felt like a dog with a piece of juicy meat dangling just out of reach. I look forward to continuing Kira’s journey for answers and will be anxiously awaiting book 2!

quotesWhen she fell asleep, she dreamed of death – not just for her, not just for her species, but for every living thing she had ever known. The Earth was flat and wide and brown, a field of dirt as barren as the moon, a single road stretching into the endless distance. The last to fall were the buildings, distant and solemn, the gravestones for an entire world. Then they disappeared, and there was nothing left but nothing.
I just like this one because it fits perfectly with the cover.

“Why on earth is that called a minigun?” asked Kira. “It’s bigger than I am – is it like calling a fat guy Tiny?”
Tee hee!

Plot: 5/5
Bonus points for originality!
Writing style: 5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 5/5 starfish
Jessi (Geo)

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4 responses to “Review: Partials by Dan Wells

  1. I had this on my to-read list and after reading your review I’m even more excited to read it! Too bad about the killer ending, it’s always so hard to wait for the next book.

    P.S. Thanks for the follow! This is a really nice blog you have here and I’ve followed back. I’m excited for the giveaway too!

  2. WOW, Jessi, what a great review! You got me oh-so-very-excited for this book! I’ve seen it around before, but didn’t really feel like I HAD to read it.. well, now I do! It seems like a really thrilling and creepy distopian, and I am all about thrilling and creepy! :)

    Thank you for the thorough and detailed review – LOVED it!

  3. I’ve thought this book sounds really exciting and am glad you really enjoyed it. I haven’t read this books yet and have been debating whether to or not. Some of the reviews I’ve seen didn’t like how the adults were portrayed, that they didn’t have enough personality and that the teenagers had all the ideas and had to save the world. While I know it’s an YA book, so essentially teens are going to save the day, there are usually at least some adults involved. What are your thoughts on this?

  4. Stephanie – Hmm, I’m not sure about that…I honestly didn’t notice when I was reading. I think the group was mainly teens (since it’s geared toward the YA audience). I can’t remember how much of a role the adults played to tell you the truth. It’s something I didn’t even think about while I was reading because I was enjoying it too much!

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