17 May 2012
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Harper Collins
UK Release date: February 2012
Genre: Sci-fi, dystopian
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
In a dystopian future society, partials turned on humans, unleashing a dangerous virus that wiped out most of the human population and rendering survivors’ new born children unable to live past a few days. In the eleven years since the initial attack, the Senate have been trying to find a cure to the virus with no luck. Working in midwifery, Kira has seen a number of babies die from the mysterious virus, but when she learns that her sister is pregnant she can no longer sit back and let the virus continue to kill the young and any chance their race has for survival. As she sets off on a dangerous mission to find a partial and discover what the virus is doing, she will unearth secrets that change her understanding of the world around her.
I really enjoyed Partials, particularly how well the dystopian society was mixed in with scifi elements. The future world Dan Wells built is very convincing and well written, and the conflict between the senate, the rebel voice, the manipulated and subjugated population as well as the mysterious and dangerous partials is compelling. I loved the descriptions of how New York had become a wilderness, abandoned and over grown with nature and wild animals that escaped from the zoo eleven years before.
The plot itself was gripping with jaw dropping surprises, explosive action, and plenty of twists. I didn’t want to put it down and can’t wait to see what happens next in the series. You could say that the plot stuffed in too much action and change in such a short time that is was a little unbelievable, but I thought this was balanced by the fact that characters helping push all this action forward do die – they don’t all happen to survive every fight and hostile encounter which would have made the story less believable for me. Combining this with some characters ‘sacrificing’ themselves for others and the greater good made the story more gripping and emotionally turbulent.
I was so intrigued by partials. What exactly are they? Are they part human or just robot clones? The fact that no one has ever seen a partial despite the fact that they are supposedly hunting humans down and trying to wipe them out completely formed lots of questions in my mind. So when Kira sets out to catch one, I felt both the excitement and fear of the unknown. The partial she captures, Samm, really captivated my attention. He was quiet, protective, and yet held an appealing charm. The fact that any relationship or romance was forbidden between him and Kira made their connection all the more exciting.
The main protagonist is sixteen year old Kira was very driven by what is right for humanity, making her very passionate, determined and strong. When she learns that her ‘sister’ is pregnant she is pushed to act because she doesn’t want to watch another child die and doesn’t want to see her sister go through childbirth only to be rewarded with the pain and suffering of her child dying. Throughout the story she remained strong even when she was beaten down, and for me she was a positive female role model able to sympathise with Samm and not torture him like everyone else but tough enough to fight for what she believes in. I also really liked the secondary characters, who each had conflicting believe systems and opinions on the senate despite the fact that they were all working together.
Dan Well’s gripping and action packed sci-fi dystopian Partials is a post-apocalyptic delight - I highly recommend reading!