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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.
To start things off: I liked this book. It’s got quite a few negative reviews though, to my surprise. There’s not anything too radical about the book, it’s your run of the mill dystopian novel, but that is exactly what I was looking for. I’m definitely on a dystopian book kick right now, and I love it, and I love how much is out there for me to read. But what does set this book apart from all the others?
Strangely enough, it is the characteristic many others have had a problem with. Several reviews claimed that the cast of characters was confusing; there were too many different groups and it was hard to tell who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. This was one of my favourite parts of the story. The Senate, the Voice, humans who don’t live in East Meadows, the Partials- are there different groups of Partials? After getting just over halfway into the book there was no good guy, no single group had all the answers or was fully justified in their methods. Characters weren’t definable either. Haru, for example, was someone I liked at the beginning of the book. He certainly had his flaws. He was a bit extreme but he was still a loving, passionate and determined individual and I respected him. As the story progresses we see him reduced to these core traits, but also see how these blind him and interfere with his ability to rationally make decisions.
Kira is one of the most independent characters I’ve read, she is rational, open-minded, idealistic and brave. I do wish that Wells had used her to make the loss of life that was the price of their rebellion more heavily felt. The action was certainly the focus of the story. As a result the supporting characters were not so well developed that, as a reader, you are as emotionally invested in the loss of a character. The deaths of those close to Kira, as well as the other civilians, could have weighed more heavily on her mind to stress the terrible cost of revolution. However, this could have been a downfall to Kira’s rational thinking, which does acknowledge that people will die before things get better.
The other aspect of the story that sets it apart is the amount of political discussion that Kira participates in. As a talented scientist she attends several meetings of the Senate and we are privy to the inner workings of the Totalitarian, almost military government. These meetings would have frustrated me but Kira reacts with the exact amount of disbelief and rage that I’d hope. She doesn’t sit idly by either, but speaks her mind even when severely outranked. This level of political discussion witnessed-not only from the Senate, but also the Voice and the Partials- reveals how delicate the balance of power is and how difficult it is to make the right decision for the most amount of people.
Partials is not overly original in concept but is action packed and thorough in it’s depiction of revolution. I have no idea when the sequel is set to be released but it is definitely not soon enough.
Reviewed by Diana at Project:Read
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - Partials by Dan Wells
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The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa - The Golden Book of Faerie by O.R. Melling
Paper Towns by John Green - Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith