Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells

Partials (Partials, #1)Partials by Dan Wells

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Goodreads: Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out. 

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask. 

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.

My take: This is a high three star book that could change when the final copy is released.

First of all, Dan Wells is a complete rock star in my neck of the woods. The high school where I work keeps his other books constantly checked out. Also, he was kind enough to grace us with his presence to inspire the students to write.

I loved the concept of the book even though it is very depressing. Bottom line is that some years ago 99.9% of all humans died from a deadly virus. Before that, they had created a genetically enhanced being to fight a war. Then they offered them oppression and the Partials rebelled by having a war with humankind. Then the virus, RM killed almost everybody so the war became a moot point. Like any good dystopia, there is government control because humans are becoming extinct. Apparently, the virus lives within the survivors but does not provide immunity to babies born. All babies die within a couple of days. The government philosophy is have more babies. By law, women 18 years and older must always be pregnant. Eventually one must survive. That was where I raised my eyebrows. The reasoning seemed weak. It is a great conflict but I needed a stronger argument.

Kira is a great protagonist. With her medical training, she enters research when she proposes something to study, a captured Partial who looks very human. After that, there is nonstop action. The world is a war zone. Details of street crossing and New York towns are described in topicological detail. I understood the need to do so in some instances but I would have preferred a greater concentration on character and relationship development. Don't misinterpret that the book is boring because it definitely is not. There is nearly nonstop action. Violence is abundant. Like I mentioned, the world is a very dangerous place and war is brewing, damage control is the government goal, and then there are those pesky Partials who have been quiet far too long.

Good book but shy on relationship development.

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