Review * Partials by Dan Wells

May 14, 2012 Reviews 12 ★★★★

Review * Partials by Dan WellsPartials by Dan Wells
Series: Partials #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 468
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Ruins
Add to: Goodreads
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.

What I Thought…

  • If you’re looking for a realistic dystopian this book is not for you.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, realistic dystopian?  Oxymoron right?  Allow me to explain.  All the key components for a typical dystopian are here: oppressive government, an uprising, post-apocalyptic society, etc.  The unrealistic part: Kira is 16 and has a crazy insane amount of medical knowledge.  I know that it’s not uncommon in dystopian novels for people to know/do things out of the ordinary but this is way out there and requires you to suspend belief, even more so than a typical dystopian.
  • There was a pretty good plot twist that I didn’t see coming.  In fact, my mind was going in a completely different direction.  It was a good plot twist but it leads to a lot of questions, none of which we get answers for of course.
  • I really liked Kira.  The crazy insane amount of medical knowledge Kira knew didn’t bother me, though I wish it would have been a bit clearer as to how she learned it all.  She was pretty down to earth and was all about saving her friend’s baby and the human race even though her decisions didn’t always seem to be popular.
  • I liked most of the secondary characters, especially Marcus.  Kira and Marcus are in a relationship and he’s protective of her and it’s really cute.  Even their little arguments are cute.  Madison was important to the story but didn’t have much of an active role.  Xochi was really cool, and I really liked Jayden, especially his attitude and willingness to do whatever needs to be done.  I didn’t really care for Haru.  He was an ass.
  • I found the Partials to be fascinating.  How could they not be?  They are genetically engineered, look just like humans but have immense strength.  (Even though the Partials look just like humans, I couldn’t help but picture them like the robots in I Robot.)  You learn quite a bit about the history of the Partials but not nearly enough of the present.
  • The concept of RM was a bit confusing.  RM is the virus that is killing all the newborns and was used by the Partials to wipe out most of the world’s population.  The survivors of RM are all living in Manhattan and are immune to the virus.  As Kira is working on finding the cure there is a lot of science terminology used and since science really isn’t my thing it left me a little confused.
  • It started a bit slow but then it really picked up and it was hard to put down.  I really enjoyed his writing style, it was descriptive without going overboard.

Overall it was a very entertaining read.  It gets a four star rating partly because of some of the confusing medical knowledge.


12 Responses to “Review * Partials by Dan Wells”

  1. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    Yay! You finally finished Partials! Although, this book was a slow start for me too. I did have a bit of a problem with the extreme medical knowledge Kira had, but that could be because kids now are a bunch of lazy morons, but if you’re raised in a society where you have to learn a lot at a young age I guess it could be possible to have tons of knowledge at a young age. Suspension of belief is a bit necessary for this book.

  2. ....Petty Witter

    I know just what you mean about the oxymoron of realistic dystopian. I always say it may not be true but I have to believe that somewhere, on some level it could be.

    Great post, thanks for your honest review.

  3. Bittner

    I’m not sure I could handle this particular Dystopian. I’m not a big fan of dystopian novels to begin with but add in a lot of medical terminology and I struggle with the whole “suspension of belief” thing. but am glad that you liked it. Maybe someday I’ll get around to listening to some Dan Wells…

  4. Jenny

    I worried about people not liking how much science talk there was in this one. :( I’m glad you still liked it, though, and it put a huge smile on my face to hear you say you liked Wells’ writing style. I love all his books, whether the story is perfect or not, because of his writing. He’s sooooo good!

    • Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

      I think his writing style is what made the medical knowledge not so bad, and really it was just the beginning of RM I struggled with so a definition at the end of the book would have been good.

  5. fakesteph

    I’m excited to read this one. I loved I Am Not A Serial Killer (and I just won a signed copy of it :):) ) and this one looks really good. I think he’s going to be at BEA this year. I kind of like sciency type fiction… like Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. And I love when dystopians feel real… like they could really happen. I feel like this one is closer to science fiction than dystopian, but I haven’t read it, so I could be totally wrong.

  6. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

    I’m so excited to read this! And I’m glad you enjoyed it even though it had a lot of medical talk. It’s annoying for me when I really have to suspend my disbelief a whole lot, but I hope I’ll still be okay with this one. Great review!