Friday, February 17, 2012
Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells
Series: Partials #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
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. (goodreads.com)
I simultaneously loved and hated the plot. It was so messed up, yet so frackin interesting. There's this disease that prevents any baby from living longer than a few days, and the Senate thinks that the only way to eradicate this problem is to force women by law to get pregnant over and over again until a baby survives. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened for over a decade, and the Senate continues to lower the pregnancy age.
Kira, the protagonist, works in the maternity ward of the hospital and she watches multiple babies die each week. I felt so bad for her because I could tell that it killed her. She witnesses all these mothers, sometimes only a couple years older than her, losing their children and their hope, and in turn she begins to lose her hope--until she realizes that there is something she can do to turn this madness around. I loved that everyone wasn't all gung ho for her idea. It was reckless, dangerous, and stupid, and everyone told her that. They let her know that there have been scientists and medics studying this disease for a decades and that she was only 16. What I loved even more was that she didn' give a flying monkey's donk what they had to say. She was willing to die for her idea because obviously something needed to change, and just maybe great sacrifices have to e made for a great cause. I loved her unwavering dedication to the cause. She was willing to break laws, associate with the enemy, destroy her reputation, and even die, if that's what it came to.
The one thing that stopped me from being totally and one hundred percent wowed by this book was the biology- and medical-talk. I mean, she's trying to cure a disease. Obviously she's not just going to be like, "Oh! You mix thing1 with thing2 and then, viola! CURED." There's going to be a lot of thought and science and smartstuff that goes into finding a cure people have been searching for for over a decade. And you know, that's fine. I admire how much thought obviously went into all of it. It seemed as if Wells really knew what he was doing. But here's the thing guys: I barely passed biology. Throughout all of the science stuff, I got the gist of what was going on, but the majority of the time I was just like,
The world created in this book is creepy and sad and the best kind of horrible. I did, however, feel like there was something missing from the history. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I felt like maybe it needed more depth, because I wasn't completely convinced. The writing was great. And I loved the ending. Things were actually resolved and we weren't left with some infuriating cliff-hanger.
This book was fabulous, though, filled to the brim with intensity, gripping action, high stakes, and a tight time limit. Honestly, it might even make you look at your life differently and appreciate the world we live in. I'd say this is definitely geared more towards older YA and those that love science/biology/medicine. I cannot wait for the sequel.