Release Date: Out now!
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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.
You know those books that you read a quarter of the way through and you just want to jump online and gush about it? And by the end, you're busting with excitement because that was one HELL OF A RIDE and you want everyone to know about it? Yeah, Partials is that book. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, years after the Partials (genetically engineered humans) declared war on their human creators and unleashed a deadly virus into the world. The RM Virus decimated a shockingly large percentage of people and now, 11 years on, humanity is becoming extinct. Every woman is required by law to get pregnant once she turns 18, but no matter how many girls become impregnated, every new baby dies within 3 days of birth.
16 year old Kira works as an intern in the maternity ward, but she struggles with the death and grief she witnesses there, day after day. When her best friend becomes pregnant, Kira can't... she won't allow for the baby to die, so vows to do whatever it takes to find a cure. Even if it means risking her life. Even if it means doing something that could incite a new war. Kira is right up there with some of my favourite heroines. She's got courage, spirit and a beautiful kindness, but stubborn as a mule (something I can relate to!). She is a poster child for standing up for what you believe in. Even when the risks are paramount and she admits fear to herself, she still doesn't back down. I loved how she defied authority, because it's never for stupid or petty reasons, but always for selfless or noble goals. Sure, one could say some of her actions are reckless. Me? I'm raising my fist to the air and cheering her on!
The friendships and banter were so entertaining! You will grow to love many of the secondary characters just as much as you do Kira. I was especially fascinated by Samm, who we meet later in the novel. I can't say much about him, because everything I want to say is a spoiler, but he kept me glued to the pages, eager to discover more of his story or get a glimpse of what really hid behind his poker face. As much as I love romance, I am SO happy it didn't overshadow the plot in Partials. And it was a refreshing change that Kira was already in a relationship. It's sweet and endearing, but certainly not without it's many troubles, which I found made it all the more realistic to read. Plus, I adore Marcus!
I love how Dan Wells can twist your entire perception so easily. He creates a setup, feeds you information from one perspective so that you can't help but form an opinion and then.... he shatters it. Again. And again. I love how he showed that you shouldn't take things at face-value. Not everything or everyone can be categorised as 'good' or 'evil'. And especially the question of humanity plays a key role. Dan forces you to acknowledge the motivations behind everyone's actions, to the point where you're often conflicted by how you should feel. You don't like what they're doing, but you can appreciate where they're coming from. And that takes talented writing to bring across. Nobody likes to sympathise with what they oppose.
Partials is SUCH an engaging novel. This futuristic world is well explored and feels believable, with a ton of adrenaline-pumping action and twists I didn't see coming. Yet there is still clearly potential for even more in the coming novels. There's a balanced mix of science, history, medicine, strategy and some good ol' ass-kicking. Not to mention the emotional and political issues, all of which make this such a perfect read for both guys and girls. Partials offers a story that entertains just as much as it forces you to think. It's a thrilling standout of 2012, and the end clearly sets things up for the next chapter in Kira's journey... which I am freaking excited to embark upon!
4.5/5 Golden Apples!