16 April, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Pages: 338
Format: e-book
Published February 28, 2012 by HarperCollins
Goodreads // Amazon UK

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.
Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.

This book turned out to be different from my expectations- in a really good way. It's a fantastic addition to the dystopian genre, while still maintaining its reputation as a great Science Fiction novel. The plot wasn't as action packed as I would have liked for the length of this book, but the dialogue was so good that I didn't mind. Kira is forced to go into abandoned New York to seek out a Partial (a genetically engineered cyborg thing), since all humans know about the disease that killed over 99 percent of the human population is that it originated from the Partials. Her only hope is to bring one back and study it to try and come up with a cure.

Kira Walker is a character whom I think is actually really mature for a Young Adult book. She's obviously very intelligent, working in the medical field as a teenager, but she knows when to have a good time. This book definitely didn't come off as a strictly YA book and I found myself forgetting that Kira wasn't in her 20s. To those of us who aren't all that interested in diseases or the medical field, you may find this book difficult to swallow. Since Kira is working on a cure to save humanity, there is a lot of technical jargon, though nothing I don't think you couldn't handle! I haven't studied biology in seven years and I was perfectly fine. Many of the supporting characters were hilarious and I laughed out-loud multiple times! I also enjoyed a romance different from 99 percent of the YA books out there. Kira is already in love with her childhood sweetheart and they often act like an old married couple, with the romance taking a back seat.

This book turned out to be much more political than I would have thought. At the core of this book is the debate on whether to lower the age of mandatory pregnancy to 16. The government treats each woman as a walking uterus to create more babies in hope for one that is immune to the disease.There's a lot of political debate between the characters as to level of power a government has in its fight to protect humanity as a whole and the rights of the individual. If you hate that kind of stuff, you many not like this book!

While I was reading this book, I thought about how it this is just a perfect YA Science Fiction book! It's got all the controversy, science, action, and hot robots (partials) you would possibly need. It was one of my favourite reads of 2012 so far. Very very nicely done. I can't wait to read the next one after that cliffhanger ending!


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