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Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Series: Partials #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Format: eARC
Pages: 340
Source: NetGalley

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. (

That tagline is honestly what drew me to this book. I could just tell that this book was going to be full of tension, and then I read the summary and I was like, "Robots! Disease! Mandatory pregnancy!?" I knew I needed to read this book--and I was absolutely correct! Not only does it have the aforementioned epicness, but this book also includes guns, treachery, suspicion, and a crapton of explosions. You'd think with the drastic spike in dystopian books the concepts would just fall flat now, but if you enjoy dystopians, this is not a book to be missed.

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.


  1. Awesome review! This book sounds really good, and so far I have only heard great things about it.

  2. Great review! I have been meaning to pick this one up and now I can't wait. It just moved to the top of my TBR pile. I love brave heroines like Kira! Hopefully the science talk won't confuse me though. I'm not very good with science. =P

  3. I'm reading this one now, but I'm definitely having a hard time getting through it. I think maybe it's too slow? I don't really know, either way I'm not too impressed by most of what I've read haha. Great review, now I know what to look out for!!

  4. I'm sitting here, trying to figure out how to write a review for this amazing novel. The awesome author, Dan Wells, has totally blown me away. Partials is an incredibly amazing world and storyline with fantastic characters. I can't even pick which is my favorite. Dan Wells gave all of them terrific personalities: Kira is head-strong, Marcus is the fun guy, Jayden is a take charge guy, Xochi is the bad-ass chick, Madison is the caring mom figure, Haru is the jerk, Isolde is a analyst and Samm is a Partial with heart. I love, LOVE this book and wish I had an inside connection with Dan Wells so I wouldn't have to wait for Failsafe, the second book in the Partials series.

    Kira is sixteen and a medic trainee in the hospital maternity ward. Kira, along with the rest of her race, who have survived the Break, are trying to find the cure for the RM virus that still continues to kill their babies. Kira is determined to find the cure, and once she starts the search, she has no idea how far she will delve into the government, the Partials, the humans, and herself to find the answers.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi