Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on 25 February, 2013 | 7 Comments



Review: Fragments by Dan WellsFragments by Dan Wells
Series: Partials Sequence #2
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray (2.26.2013)
Paperback, 564 pages
Source: From Publisher


4 Stars

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.

My Review

Find the answers. Solve the problem. You don’t get a life until you make one worth living.

I loved Partials. LOVED it (I gave it 5 starfish). Maybe because of this I set my expectations sky high for Fragments, thinking it would be just as good, probably better. I’ll be honest here, I was kinda disappointed. But as you can see, I still gave it 4 stars.

Dan Wells is BRILLIANT when it comes to world building. Seriously. He has thought of literally everything, every little detail and piece; his words bring another world to life flawlessly, in every aspect and every angle. No stone is left unturned (unless of course, it’s meant to be). But at some point there has to be a happy medium. Some things I don’t need to know, and some things bog down the plot and hinder the pacing. I am sad to say that I was rather bored with this one throughout at least half of the book (and being that it’s pushing 600 pages, half is a lot of pages).

Aside from a few moments, there wasn’t much at all happening. One VERY intense (amazing/scary/heart-pounding/wishtherecouldhavebeenmoreofthat) scene close to the beginning, the very creepy and disturbing scene with the Watchdogs (um, Hunger Games’ muttations, anyone?), and a couple of near-death experiences in the last half. No joke. It was almost straight world building and just Kira running in circles while searching for answers. Her journey in that search got a bit repetitive and monotonous, even tedious; Kira was asking the same questions over and over and over again, mainly ‘What is the Failsafe?’ I couldn’t even tell you how many times that question was asked. On the bright side, we DO find answers after an exhausting wild goose chase. It wasn’t until part 4 (um, page 430) that I finally got hooked and was fully invested in the story. Because that was where everything finally started coming together (and shiz got crazy).

At one point while reading I was kinda zoning out, and BAM [spoiler, highlight to view] a character died, pretty much out of nowhere. I actually had to go back through and see if I missed something, or maybe misread it….because it was just inserted in the middle of the page, and so matter-of-factly that I didn’t feel a thing, no remorse whatsoever. It felt like there was no transition into it at all.

“I don’t want to be in this position. I don’t want to be the one that everybody’s hunting, who has to choose who lives and who dies.”

Kira had a lot riding on her shoulders, and she had to make some very hard decisions. So I felt kinda bad for her. But that’s on one hand. On the other hand, she started annoying the living crap out of me about the middle of the book. She began acting extremely obtuse and childish, and several times I wanted to punch her lights out. She completely flipped out on Samm for no good reason, and held onto the anger long after, acting petulant and snapping at him for everything else just because she was angry.

She made a big hairy deal over the fact that the Partials thought humans as inferior – um, hello, they were genetically engineered to be PERFECT, so yes, we are indeed inferior. It’s not an insult, or even a conceited opinion, it’s just a fact. She called them closed-minded, racist, fascist, and it pissed me off because she was being a total hypocrite. Let’s think here for a minute. The Partials, or BioSynths, were created to be controlled, to obey us. They were created with a shelf life of 20 years, with the sole purpose of doing humans’ dirty work. They had NO rights whatsoever, and were viewed as lesser, not even counted as people, even though they thought and felt emotions just like humans. They were viewed as property, no more important than a car or a computer. Partial people. So, who here are the racists?
Kira could NOT see from Samm and Heron’s point of view. She only cared about her own selfish little opinion, and everyone else was wrong. And she called them closed-minded? Like I said, I wanted to punch her.

“It’s a fact,” said Heron. “Facts are too busy being true to worry about how you feel about them.”

That was where I started liking Heron, even though she was kind of a pain in the arse for most of the book. And she punched Kira like I so badly wanted to. *claps for Heron*

 

How easy would it be for a civilization so amazing to reach just a little too far? To do something it shouldn’t? To make one sacrifice or one compromise or one rationalization too many?

I think what makes this series so amazing is that it could actually happen. It’s so realistic and plausible, it’s just scary to think about. Again, the world building was fabulous (even if it slowed things down)! I love the Partials and how they work, their background, and their link system. The link is the most fascinating to me. Instead of body language, everything is expressed through pheromones, which is why Partials seem as ‘robotic’ and ‘cold.’ They do feel, just as strongly as humans, they just express it differently.

Everything with ParaGen was jacked; there was so much corruption and greed, so many lies and secrets. A lot of the things that Kira found out were baffling and shocking! The last quarter of the book was especially; like I said, it promises answers. And it had my mind reeling. I had to sit and chew on it for a minute after I finished the book.
And the ending! GAH. What does it mean? Is the Failsafe activated?! What’s going to happen?? WHY!?! It’s definitely a cliffhanger!

Despite my boredom and my few issues, I still gave this 4 stars. Why? Because it is bloody freaking brilliant. And still tops the list of best robot stories.

assessment
Plot: 3.5/5
Writing style: 4.5/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World-building: 5+/5
Pace: 3/5
Cover: 5/5
 
Overall rating: 4/5 starfish
 
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Jessi (Geo)

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7 Responses to “Review: Fragments by Dan Wells”

  1. I read a lot of reviews of Partial that said the pacing was too slow for them, so I can only imagine that complaint will increase with Fragments. I’m still excited though! I’m always complaining about a lack of world-building, so I will take too much in this series if it stifles my questions :D

  2. This series sounds fantastic. I have read a lot with those minute descriptions that can definitely bog down the plot, but since you rated both so highly the world building, characters, and action must be spectacular. Thank you for a great review :D Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven

  3. GREAT review!! I just ordered my copy so I can’t wait! I want to know all the answers! I loved the world-building in Partials and the robots and I’m glad to see we find out more about Partials and ParaGen. I actually liked Kira in the first book, but it seems like I’m going to hate Kira! She’s totally the one being close-minded about things. I still can’t wait to read it just because Dan Wells built such an amazing world and I’m a world-building whore lol

    Ning @ DABR

  4. Laura

    Woah, that last sentence saved me! I loved Partials sooo much,as well and can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. your review was really good, by the way. Now, I hopefully won’t be disappointed by a few flaws the book might have, but still absolutely looking forward to it :)

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