Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials (Partials, #1)

Pages: 482
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: 01/05/2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
RRP: $14.99
-Received from publisher
-First book In the 'Partials' Series

The human race is all but extinct, wiped out by a killer virus released by genetically engineered soldiers – Partials.

Sixteen-year-old Kira is trapped on Long Island. Her community clings to survival, but what hope can they have when no baby survives for more than three days.

Kira is determined to make a difference, to find a cure. Her best friend is pregnant and Kira cannot let the baby die. Time is running out, and finding the cure means capturing a Partial…


'Partials' was a novel that I hadn't heard a lot about, but was excited to read. The cover drew me in, the blurb sounded amazing  and it was a chance to try a novel without judging it based on anyone else's opinions first. Above all, I was definitely interested in reading another dystopian novel. I haven't read many of these kinds of novels, but the ones that I have read were definitely enjoyable- 'Partials' included.

One thing that I know a few readers will be happy/sad about (depending on your stance on the subject) is the lack of romance in the novel. The main character Kira already has a boyfriend when the book begins, so there's no talk of "love at first sight". There's a little bit of an issue with the relationship where they can't seem to agree on whether or not they should marry and a few kisses and that's it. So if you were hoping to read something along the lines of 'The Host' by Stephenie Meyer, you were mislead. 'Partials' is more about the problems the community is facing than romance and (surprisingly so) the lack of romance didn't limit the level of excitement in the story. I don't need a love interest to want to read a book (sometimes- especially with those repetitive reincarnation themed story lines- love interests in stories are actually a bit of a bother), but it definitely does amp up the excitement level. The author was able to write a novel that made me want to keep reading through the night without a love interest.  I'm impressed.

I thought that the community in the story was well thought out. I appreciated that the people in the story all weren't open-minded and ignorant. While it was annoying, this book is the most realistic in that element. The main character Kira was likable and strong. She knew what she stood for and she fought for it, regardless of what everyone else thought. I cared about the characters in this book (the good ones). And, they weren't afraid to do crazy stuff if it meant they could do the right thing.

Something that I found interesting was the name of the genetically engineered soldiers - 'Partials'. The name itself tells us that they are not complete. I don't want to give away too much about the story, but if you've read it you'll get what I mean. Also, I thought the use of the word Partial (when not referring to a walking science experiment) in front of some of the more naive people in the community and their reaction, really emphasised how much the people feared the genetically engineered race.

There were some serious themes and messages going on in this novel. Most of them were power-and-control or race/belief based. Different situations throughout the book reminded me of plenty of realistic problems in the world today. Terrorism, war, discrimination and power crazy leaders. Definitely made for an interesting read!

Even though this book was the first in the series, it is convincing as a stand-alone novel. While there is still an open end to the story some part of the character's problems are solved, to an extent. I like series that start of like this, because sometimes there is so much time between books that it can get frustrating waiting to find out something that really should have been written in the previous novel. So if you hate cliff-hangers, I suggest you read this. This is how first-in-a-series books should end.

Finally, I thought this novel was worth five out of five stars. Easily. It was exciting, had likable kick-ass characters, had a great storyline, there were genetically engineered soldiers and it all took place in a dystopian setting. Why wouldn't you want to read that? I can't wait to read the next book, but not so bad that it's going to kill me (Thankyou for the brilliant ending).
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