Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells
Published: February 28th, 2012 (HarperTeen)
Pages: 472
Source: for review
Challenge: none
Series: Partials #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to 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 threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into 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 discover 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.

When I got this one for review, I think I did some happy dancing. I had such high hopes for this book, because it sounded awesome, but my hopes were too high for this one, unfortunately.

Kira is a sixteen-year-old intern at the maternity ward of her hospital, and she is desperate to find a cure for RIM - a virus that makes having children impossible. Babies die within days from birth from the virus, and the last time a child was born, was 14 years ago. Time is running out.

The main problem I had with this book was the fact that everything came very easy to Kira. She thought of something, and that something would be part of the solution for the problem. She was an intern, not even a fully trained scientist or something, yet she was able to come up with solutions within a couple of days, or sometimes it was even in only a couple of sentences. While it worked for the plot, I would have liked to see a bit more of a struggle for Kira.

The story was quite fast paced, but also contained a lot of (semi-)scientifical explanations of the virus and particles in human and Partial breathing. To be honest, that went way over my head and I couldn't understand half of it. That bothered me, as it was obviously a very important part of the book, but I just couldn't figure out what it meant after reading it twice, so I continued reading, hoping I would figure it out along the way.

Having said that, I enjoyed the rest of the story quite a bit. The senators were believable and I liked the worldbuilding of the story. The twist near the end was both predictable (I had thought of the possibility of this happening earlier in the book) and completely unexpected at the same time. I applaud the author for being able to do that! I really liked the twist, and it probably explained a lot of why Kira was able to come up with some things.

Despite the scientifical explanations going over my head, I liked reading this book. It made me curious for book 2, and I will definitely be picking that one up to see how this story continues, especially after that last twist in Partials.

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