Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Partials, By Dan Wells

Partials describes an "end of life as we know it" scenario that will keep you on the edge of your seat rooting the heroine.

Kira is determined to make the world a better place. Eleven years ago, they experienced The Break, and the only surviving humans have survived on Long Island, New York, eking out whatever semblance of their previous existence they can. Almost the entire civilization succumbed to RM, a disease spread by the enemy, the Partials. Since The Break, every baby that has been born has contracted RM and died within a few days. Kira works as a medic and wants to find a cure.

No one has seen the Partials since The Break, but it is suspected that they are still a threat, so security is very high. There is also a rebel group called The Voice that is terrorizing the city, because they oppose the government and specifically the Hope Act, which requires everyone over the age of 18 to give birth to as many babies as possible, in the hope that eventually one will be born with immunity.

Kira thinks that the answer to the cure lies with the Partials, and she wants to hunt one down and gather specimens from him. Partials are basically humanoids that have been genetically engineered. They then turned on their creators, starting the chaos that ensued eleven years ago.

Kira is an unlikely kick-ass female heroine. She doesn't know what she is capable of, but as the adventure unfolds, she becomes very brave and also is very intelligent. I thought it was a little far-fetched that she came up with all these ideas about the cure that no other scientists has pursued, but this is a small complaint. Her friends are all individual, have their own opinions, but end up supporting Kira in their own way. Kira has a long-time boyfriend, Marcus, who wants to marry her. Kira isn't ready for this, and romance doesn't play much of a role in this story.

The most enjoyable aspect of this novel is the pacing. I was swept up in this world and in each adventure these characters experienced. And there were several. Just as one part of the story came to a close, another aspect took over, keeping the pages flipping unnoticed. I'm not familiar with Long Island, Manhattan, and all the Burroughs, but a New Yorker might really enjoy the descriptions of this setting. Even without that knowledge, the city was vividly described.

Wells' plot is exciting and keeps you on your toes. There are a few unexpected twists and several tense moments. It has a satisfying ending that ties up the main plot lines, but leaves plenty of room for the story to continue. This one is a definite addition to my "dystopain must reads."  It's a great book for teens - both boys and girls. There isn't anything to keep younger teens from this one either, except the length.

Published by Balzer & Bray, February 28, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
480 pages

Rating:n 4.5/5

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  1. This one sounds like such a great read. Considering the plot and pace, I don't think students would mine that it's 480 pgs. I don't remember this being on Netgalley, but now I wished I had paid more attention! I'll definitely be on the lookout for this one when it's in print later this month. Thanks for the review!

  2. LOVE-LOVE-LOVE! This is one of my favorite books of the year and I wish it were coming out earlier so I could use it as part of my post-apocalyptic/dystopian unit. I'll have to write it down for next year.

  3. So glad you liked it!! I've heard so many varying things about this one, but it does sound pretty cool.

  4. This sounds like a good read. I think I might be slating this one in for later this year.

  5. Blast! This was on NetGalley? How did I overlook it! I have been DYING to get my hands on this book. Sigh.


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