Thursday, February 2, 2012

PARTIALS by Dan Wells

Partials
Dan Wells

Grade: B
Release Date: 02/28/12
Description from goodreads.com:
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.

My thoughts on the book:
I'm going to make a shocking confession here... I'd never read a dystopian book before picking up Partials, but I'd heard so many good things about the dystopian novels out there that I wanted to give one a try. Since Harper Collins rarely lets me down, I decided this would be as good a book as any to start with. However, I did not enjoy this book, and that has nothing to do with the writing or the plot... After I read this book, I looked into other dystopian books as well, just to compare, and I discovered that I just do not like this genre of literature. Because of that, I didn't rate this book as highly as I should have if my rating had been based on simply the writing. But since this is my place to say what I think about books, I allowed myself to be a bit subjective. That being said, I've rated this book higher than I would have the other dystopian books I attempted to read.

Wells is terrific at world-building. Through his elaborate descriptions, I could picture exactly what a dystopian society would look like. The anthropologist in me reveled in that, and I truly enjoyed that aspect of the book. Also, the action was intense and suspenseful. I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout most of this novel. That was another aspect I enjoyed. I spent the whole time, not worrying about romantic relationships (like I usually do with books), but instead worrying about the fate of the world. Will humans and/or Partials survive? If they both survive, what will happen to them? Can Kira find a cure for RM? Who is guilty, the Partials or the humans? How innocent is Samm really? Those are the types of questions that kept running through my head during this novel. It was an intense experience. The reason I decided I don't like dystopian novels, though, is because they are so depressing! I know, that's kind of a vital part of the definition of dystopian. I know the world is supposed to be post-apocalyptic and barren and not a happy place. The thought of that just made me sad, though. The rigid laws of the society made me feel an intense sympathy for these characters, and they didn't even know that the way they were living was sad. That made me sadder. Yea, I'm a pansy, what can I say?

I really liked Kira. She is an inspiration. Living in this depressing, oppressing world, where no one will find the cure for a disease that's killing off the few remaining humans, Kira steps up and takes matters into her own hands. She's incredibly grown up for a 16 year old, but if a 16-year-old-me had seen all that she saw throughout the book, then I probably would have been incredibly grown up as well. Somehow, though, this depressing society didn't completely kill Kira's ambition and compassion, and when she had seen enough babies die of this disease, she set out to do something about it. Go Kira!

Samm was an interesting character, and he really complicated the plot. I liked that, and I liked him. I've never encountered the idea of Partials, so it was interesting to get to know him and see what a part-human, part-machine creature may be like. Wells did a terrific job with Samm's character.

There wasn't much romance in this book, and the characters aren't that emotional. While I admired and liked most of the characters, I couldn't exactly relate to them or feel anything other than sympathy for them. However, after reading a few dystopian novels for comparison, I've noticed that's just par for the course. While the writing, plot, pacing, and character development of this book was top notch, I think I'll be sticking with my paranormal books that aren't as depressing. I know that a lot of people like dystopian novels, and if you do, then you do not want to miss this book. This seems to be one of the best dystopian books out there.

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12 comments:

  1. Great Review! I really want to read this book. I wonder if I don't like dystopians the same reasons you do, cuz I'm so used to romances. Yet, I think my big problem is the lack of world-building in some. Hopefully this one won't have that problem!

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

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    1. I thought the world-building was terrific. I just got depressed because it was such a sad place to live. Dystopian, you know, haha. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Great Review! new folower
    stumbled on your blog while googlin book reviews

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    1. Awesome! Welcome and thanks for stopping by!! :D

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  3. Great review
    I'm following you , found you site on Making connection group goodreads
    http://boookup.blogspot.com

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  4. Even if you aren't a fan of dystopian, this was a great review. It's awesome that you were able to see beyond the genre to the actual story and writing. I am a fan of dystopian, and agree that this is one the better ones.

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  5. I wanted to say exactly what Sarah already said :) I really appreciated that you were able to step back from not liking dystopian novels and give a really great review for people who agree or disagree with you on that point.

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  6. "Partials" is more of a "guy" type novel than I'm used to: I read a lot of dystopia and most of them are PACKED full of angsty-emotional rants, which I did NOT miss! However, while it (thankfully) lacked the whining aspects of a normal female POV novel, it also (unfortunately) lacked pretty much any actual romance. I feel like I should be more mature and come to grips with reading a book that is about SO MUCH MORE than star-crossed lovers... but I have to admit that I really missed that extra spark that could have been there had the romantic elements of this novel been better hashed out. Don't get me wrong, this book is still excellent, and perhaps without it being an overly-romantic book it will appeal to a more mixed-gender audience. But I do love a good make-out scene or love triangle in a story.

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  7. Great review! I'm sorry you don't like dystopian books! I like them because I'm curious to see the creative future worlds the authors create! I'm glad that you said this has good characters, plot, etc. because I have been looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the info!

    Suz Reads

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  8. Agreed, agreed, agreed! I recently finished this book (like about two weeks ago) and loved it! I can't believe it took me this long to pick it up from the library! I've developed a taste for YA books written by male authors lol. I can't wait for Fragments! It seems like a long time from now. Great review!!!!

    Alyssa Susanna <3

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