Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: PARTIALS by Dan Wells

Sarah's Summary: Will probably check out the sequel from the library, but wouldn't buy it. 

Summary (from Amazon):
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 read and reviewed Variant and Feedback by Robison Wells recently, and I liked them. When I realized that author Dan Wells was Robison Wells' brother, I decided why not keep it all in the family and make Partials my next read? (Plus it was on sale for $2.99 for Kindle...)

It turns out there are some similarities between their books.
First, they like for you to get to know humans characters and then they will turn out to NOT be human...or at least sort of not human. Can't elaborate without spoiling things.

Second, they're both big fans of the BIG SURPRISING REVEAL...(And since I used the surprised cat pic on the Variant review, I feel it only fair and fitting I give this book a shocked kitty, too....)

Not as surprised as Variant cat, because Partials didn't gobsmack me like Variant did...

And I liked Partials, but I don't think I liked it as much as Variant. There's wasn't nearly as much action. And if you're expecting romance (since that's kind of a prereq in YA books theses days...not that I'm complaining!!)...keep moving, nothing to see here!

 Kira is trying to figure out how to cure RM, the disease that has killed over 99.9% of humanity and continues to kill every new baby that's born. There's quite a bit of sciencey stuff going on, what with her research being described, and technical talk about virus mutation and blah blah blah. Y'all, I am not good with science! That's not the book's fault. It's written very clearly and not hard to follow, really. I just have a brain that is hardwired to start playing theme songs from old TV shows or thinking about hair products when anything related to science or math starts happening in my vicinity.

I was expecting more action and fighting with the Partials, but there's not a whole lot of that, really. And there's quite a bit of walking, scouting, running away, etc. I found myself skimming. There was a lot of discussing strategy and military tractics and that just does not compute with my right-brained self.

One highlight for me was the humor. There was a surprising amount of comic relief and witty banter for a book about the impending demise of the world's entire population.

I had a hardtime connectingwith the characters as a whole. But I liked Marcus quite a bit. I think it was his snarky sense of humor and his sweetness, how he loved Kira even though they're so different. When he would try to convince Kira to stop putting her life at risk to save humanity and just be happy with him for what time they had together--which is supposed to be the wrong attitude to take, obviously, since if people don't find a way to successfully repopulate the Earth, it's goodbye mankind-- I found myself kinda sorta agreeing with him.
This could be in part because with his michievous joking personality and the description of him as tall, and lanky, with shaggy brown hair,  I could NOT prevent myself from picturing him as a younger Jim Halpert from "The Office."

And I do dearly love season 1-3 Jim Halpert.

I'm a little less warm and fuzzy toward Samm (yes, there are two M's), the Partial who plays a big part in Kira's quest to cure RM. I'm kind of interested in his character, but we learn so little about him there's just not much to go on. I wish I had been more invested in the characters. When people would die, I didn't feel much of anything. I'm not sure why.
 It could be I've had too much dystopia lately. I think I need to switch subgenres for a little while, just for a change.

The sequel, FRAGMENTS, comes out Feb 26, 2013. I'll pick it up at the library, because I'm interested enough to want to see what happens next, but not enough to buy it for myself.



  1. Hey, look at all the followers you have now! Doing great girl. Great review! The cover is intriguing, but I don't think it's at the top of my to-read list. Maybe you'll love the sequel.
    Clean Teen Fiction
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  2. That's funny -- my opinion of the two books is opposite from yours. While I didn't LOVE either PARTIALS or VARIANT, I liked the former much better than the latter. I'm a big Dan Wells fan and I think his brother has potential, he just hasn't reached it yet, you know?


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