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.
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 472 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Four and a half stars! A gripping book that blends dystopian with sci-fi. You want to read this one!
The year is 2076. Humanity's population is reduced to mere thousands. A war fought with the Partials, a human creation of man and machinery, was catastrophic. Then a virulent plague known as RM, nearly decimates the remaining population. What is left of the human population can be found on Long Island. The humans are hemmed in by the destruction and their wariness of the remaining Partials, even though they have not been seen in eleven years. Those who inexplicably survived the crippling plague because of their rare genetic immunities, find themselves on the verge of extinction. A healthy, human baby has not survived in eleven years. In a desperate attempt to save the population, the ruling Senate passes The Hope Act. A decree that requires every woman, eighteen and over, to continually be pregnant, in the hopes that eventually a baby will be born who can live more than a few days. Kira, a sixteen year old medic, finds herself fighting against the system. Whispers of lowering the pregnancy age to sixteen reach her ears, just as she learns her adoptive sister is pregnant. Kira is sick and tired of watching babies succumb to the deadly plague. Imagine being forced to constantly endure pregnancy and childbirth, only to watch your helpless infant die. Unwillingly to witness anymore babies' deaths, Kira hatches a daring plan to find a cure. To achieve her goal she must sneak out through the farming territories, avoiding the rebel insurgents, known as The Voice, and head into the unknown civilization of The Partials. She intends to capture and bring back a Partial to study. Can Kira achieve her dangerous mission and find a cure before it is too late?
What I Liked:
- This book is a compelling and thrilling page turner. Once you delve into Kira's world, you will be caught in her story. This book is an amazing read. It has the dangerous concepts you enjoy in a good dystopian: apocalyptic environment, deadly insurgents, domineering rulers, plague and danger. Add in the sci-fi elements, the deadly cyborg Partials and the unique viral disease and you have the basis for an excellent novel. If you are a fan of either genre, you will enjoy Partials.
- A good dystopian book for me, has to have excellent world building. Mr. Wells does a great job in depicting a post apocalyptic Long Island, New York and the surrounding areas. Imagine visiting these once highly populated areas, to find them decaying and abandoned. It was a surreal scene to say the least.
- I admired the main character Kira. Despite her young age, she is determined and resourceful. She is willing to think outside the current parameters on the plague and society and seek new answers. Her persistence to find a cure is admirable. Kira is a courageous, young heroine that will inspire you, despite the fact that everywhere she turns it is fraught with danger. Will the Voice attack and destroy the city, or are the rebels under the Senate's control, in order for them to scare the population into servility? Are the Partials the menacing creatures they thought they were? These are just a few of the tough issues that face Kira, along with her frantic research to uncover a cure.
- The overall plot is intense. There are so many exciting developments and thought provoking ideas to ponder during this read. I found myself continually contemplating the forced pregnancy. How far would I be willing to go to save humanity? Could I endure pregnancy after pregnancy on the slim hope of producing a child who can survive? Can you imagine the difficulties? As if the destruction of humanity by disease isn't enough, throw in some danger. For all the dystopian junkies there are plenty of heart pounding scenes, especially when you cross through the deserted city. As the book reaches the climax, there is a big revelation that absolutely stunned me. It was definitely an, I didn't see that one coming moment. If you are looking for an exciting read, this is it!
- Finally, this book does a great job in tying off many of the story lines, but Mr. Wells carefully lays down some interesting and promising new leads for book two. I was thrilled not to find a dramatic cliff hanger. This is a series that I am eagerly anticipating the next release.
And The Not So Much:
- One part of the book that I was disappointed in, was the lack of explanation on The Partials. There is so little information supplied on their overall makeup, creation and species in general. I was frustrated with the weak descriptions. I had so many questions on the Partials, I hope that book two will better clarify the Partial population.
- The other group that was poorly covered was The Voice. Why did this group splinter away? How did the survive away from the main populace? How were they organized? How long ago did they split away from the group in Long Island?
- While the overall world building was exceptional, I craved a bit more knowledge on what led to the destruction of the world as we know it. A war with China is briefly mentioned, along with the Partial uprising and the plague outbreak. I felt that just a bit more detail on the catastrophic events that brought about this new dystopian society would enrich the experience.
Partials is a book that is sure to please a wide audience. Anyone who loves sci-fi, dystopian and danger will love all this book has to offer. This is a story that is full of astounding surprises. If you are in a reading funk, and looking for something exciting, then I suggest you grab a copy of this awesome book. Prepare for an extraordinary and thrilling adventure. I am excited to see where this series goes, if book two is anything like Partials, I won't be disappointed.
"I am stronger than my trials."
"One short sleep and then we wake eternally, and death shall be no more."
"Out in the wilderness there were thieves and the Voice and the dying carcass of an entire world."
"You want to be happy......."That's what everybody wants. You just don't know what will make you happy."
"Happiness is the most natural thing in the world when you have it, and the slowest, strangest, most impossible thing when you don't."
"I was born to be a mother--it's in my genes, it's right here in the center of who I am."
"The Earth was flat and wide and brown, a field of dirt as barren as the moon, a single road stretching into the endless distance. The last to fall were the buildings, distant and solemn, the gravestones for an entire world. Then they disappeared, and there was nothing left but nothing."
"The old world had been consumed with the search for More Stuff."
"We're talking about the government taking full control over your body--what it's for, what you do with it, and what other people can do to it."
"If you can't know the truth,....live the most awesome lie you can think of."
"It's the most basic instinct of life---to outlive yourself. To build another generation that's going to see tomorrow."
"It was like trying to drink from a waterfall."
"Even a paranoid clock is being followed twice a day."
"If we want a brighter tomorrow, we must tear down the shadows of yesterday."
A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Balzer + Bray, courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.