Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

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Dan Wells
Series: Partials, #1
Release date: February 28th, 2012
by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads / Purchase

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials–engineered organic beings identical to humans–has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins Children’s Books for review purposes*
Intense with highly sophisticated world building- Partials is a fantastic addition to the dystopian genre. Babies don’t survive and the youngest human on earth is now 14 years old. With 99% of the population gone, killed by a new epidemic, Kira is determined to find a cure to save humanity.

I have to start with Kira because she is an excellent protagonist. She is incredibly determined, and this presence throughout the novel of pure dedication to her cause is all consuming. You want her to succeed so badly that it becomes a truly captivating read. This is not her only quality; she is also strong, confident and outspoken. These are all traits that make a well-rounded, easy to root for protagonist if you ask me. I clicked with her almost instantly. She is shadowed by quite a few secondary characters as well who are equally of value to the story. Some of them are more developed than others, but they all have great personalities that really fill up the pages.

One thing that stands out from this book that actually surprised me, is the lack of a romantic plot. Yes the protagonist has a boyfriend, but we barely see them together. She’s not one to forget that this is the end of the world because a cute boy happens to pass by. The plot – saving humanity – comes first! Surprising right? I do enjoy romance, but I was relieved to see that, finally, we’ve got a dystopian not powered by a love story.

I had heard this novel was a bit on the scientific side which made me a bit wary because me and science are not great friends. Therefore, I surprise even myself when I say that the science added to the story is what makes it the most interesting. It turns everything that is happening in this future world completely realistic, and truly alarming. Instead of simply being told that there is a virus without a cure, killing all our babies, we go in deeper with Kira researching what exactly is happening inside our bodies, and why a cure still hasn’t been found in over a decade. It’s not overwhelming by any means. It was neither confusing, nor boring. The only thing it made me, was fascinated.

The Partials almost made us extinct, the Voice is rebelling against the few surviving humans, this leaves us with a story full of villains. What does this promise? Intensity! It does take a little bit to get into a fast pace, but once it does it’s especially action packed until the very end. We also quickly realize that there is no clear picture on who the enemy really is, or who we should trust. This essentially turns an already exciting plot into an intense roller coaster ride full of fear, uncertainty and surprise. With no shortage of dystopian novels on the shelves nowadays, make sure that this one ends up on yours!  

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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36 Responses to “Review: Partials by Dan Wells”

  1. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    Holy freaking cow! This sounds totally awesome and Im such a Dystopian sucker!! OMG! I love all the scientific aspects you mention! It sure makes of this book something different than other Dystopian!

    Amazing review like always my sweet ^.^

    Wish you a freaking awesome weekend!!! happy reading my dear ^.^

    Dazzling Reads

  2. Amy

    I have been dying to read this book. It sounds really awesome. What a refreshing change that the romance doesn’t take over the story. Not that I don’t enjoy romance, but it’s nice to not have it center stage. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Fabulous review!!

  3. Amy

    This sounds pretty awesome! Though I’m sad to hear it doesn’t have even a tiny bit of romance. Still, I love dystopias and science! So I’ll be reading this the first chance I get 🙂 Great review as always!

  4. Giselle

    @Natalia: You have to read this chicky! I want to know what you think! 😀

    @Amy(s): There IS a bit of romance, but it’s sparse and never in the forefront. I never found it missed anything though it’s a wonderful book!

  5. BookLuvr Mindy

    Fantastic review!!! I get really excited when I see a positive review because I’ve seen several negative! I absolutely LOVED this book! I actually adored several of the characters but Kira is my fave!

  6. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    I completely agree w/you, Giselle. How nice that Kira was not chasing Marcus? And I loved that Wells gave scientific reasoning for the virus.I can’t wait to see how Partials is received by the public. Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Nicole

    I have this one from NetGalley, and I’m glad you liked it so much! I’m actually going to see him, Lauren Oliver, and Claudia Gray next month, so I guess I’ll have to read it before then 😀 Great review Giselle!

    Nicole @ The Reader’s Antidote

  8. Annette

    I’m so glad to hear you say the science wasn’t too much in this book, because I whole-heartedly agree. I’ve read a lot of reviews that say it’s too much. But, I feel, if he didn’t put that in there, then all the reviews would say “I needed to know more; there wasn’t enough back story; I wanted to know why or how this happened.” Wells has provided the needed details, and I, for one, thought they added a lot to the story.

  9. Kat Balcombe

    I’ve been so off and on the fence with Partials. I saw so many comments that it was too long, the action wasn’t consistent etc.

    I like the idea of the science-y bit – if it’s done well I like a bit of background in my reads.

    You’ve convinced me I need to give this one a go!

  10. Jac

    The sheer fact that it is NOT a love story excites me!! It seems like EVERY book I read lately (even Stephen King!) has a heavy romantic theme.

    Thanks for the review 🙂 I cannot wait to read this one!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  11. A Canadian Girl

    I love books that are science-y so this one sounds perfect for me, what with the fantastic MC and the lack of romance. I enjoy romance too but sometimes it’s nice to get away from it.

  12. Mary @ BookSwarm

    It’s such a creepy world–only 40,000 people left in the world and we can’t breed! Terrible. Kira’s fabulous, and I liked that there wasn’t much romance. A boyfriend, yes, but not romance-y. Great review!

  13. Giselle

    Thanks so much lovelies!! <3

    @Benji: To me a 4-star is more than “nothing special” for sure. That would be a 3-star in my case. I really enjoyed this one and it wasn’t far from getting a 5. I’m glad you still enjoyed it though! 🙂

    @Annette: Oh really? I didn’t read many of the other reviews. I didn’t find the science was overwhelming at all and I hate science. My least liked subject at school I barely got a passing grade O_O I agree that without it, it wouldn’t have been as well built (story and world-wise).

  14. Candace

    Ive read lots of good reviews on this one. I’m happy to hear that the science wasn’t overwhelming and added to the story cause I was scared of that too. Ill def have to read this one!

  15. Sam

    I do love a great romance, but I’m glad to hear the romance in Partials does not get in the way of the plot. Hopefully I will appreciate that when I get round to reading it! Awesome review, Giselle. It’s great to see you liked it. 🙂

  16. BookBreather

    Yay! Glad you loved it! I gave it 4 stars, too. It seems a lot of bloggers are giving it that rating. I was surprised as well that the lack of romantic plot was so compelling. I think it really shows Kira’s character! Great review 🙂

  17. Shellie

    I liked this one as well. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next installment. And you’re right there was the boyfriend but Kira was set on doing her own thing =)

  18. Lexie

    I must read this one. o_o A dystopian with an awesome MC, little romance, and actual, legitimate science? YES PLEASE.

    Very awesome review. I need to buy this.