Like many of you when I finished The Hunger Games trilogy I just wanted more. I wanted more adventure, kids overcoming the odds, and more great stories. I didn’t know it was called dystopian back then, but I wanted more dystopian stories. Thankfully I found Partials by Dan Wells not too long after I was bit by the dystopian bug and it more than satisfied.
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. (description from Goodreads)
I loved Partials. It’s a great story that combines accessible themes from bioethics and science fiction. It will have you thinking through what it really means to be a person, to be a human. Girls are forced by law to become pregnant young. Unfortunately the babies don’t survive. Women and girls carry their children to term only to have to watch them die in their arms mere days after they are born. The human race is very literally going extinct. The story is told primarily from Kira’s point of view and she is a tough, do-whatever-it-takes kind of girl. While it took me a little bit to get into the story once it clicked I couldn’t put it down. The pacing was perfect. There is a tiny bit of romance to satisfy those like me who need a bit of kissing but not too much that cootie-phobes will be scared off. Not just that but there is none of that co-dependant business that’s so common in other teen tales.
The sequel, Fragments comes out next week (2/26/2013 available for pre-order now) and I was lucky enough to been given an advance copy. And while I won’t share the synopsis since it does have Partials spoilers I can say it definitely satisfies. Fragments picks right up where Partials left off. You jump straight into the action. The same great characters that we met in book one are back but they find themselves separated. There is little communication between the groups yet they are all working toward the same goal. Like with the first book it took me a little time to be sucked in but once that happened I was hooked. The story unfolds giving us even more of Samm who is mostly a mystery to us at the end of the first book but if you are anything like me you wanted to know more. Between juggling the crazy political climate, learning how deep and complicated the history of RM and the Partials went I found myself reading until early in the morning and wired from all the craziness. You also get even more of the awesome science fiction that was so great about Partials as well as Dan Well’s signature sly humor. I even found myself tear up once or twice. There are many surprises as the next installment of this story unfolds. Check out my full review (i.e. non-careful-for-people-who-haven’t-read-fragments-yet write up) on my goodreads.