Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Partials by Dan Wells

February 27th, 2012 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review for SFBR

Publication date: February 28, 2012

Publisher: HarperTeen

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from

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.

I really had to sit and think about how I really felt about this book.  It wasn’t one of those that as I finished the last page I was blown away or felt like it was horrible.  The pace was slow and steady with no one moment that really got me excited.  There were a few twists thrown in that I saw coming but there was one twist that had me going “huh, didn’t expect that.”

As for the world building I did find some parts thought provoking like the Hope Act.  I wonder how would I feel if humankind was going extinct and a law was enacted making it illegal not to be pregnant by time you reach a certain age.  Yes it violates our basic rights of choice and power over our own bodies but when it comes down to letting our species die out it would be a tough decision.  One point I would have liked to seen fleshed out more was how these plague babies managed to adapt to the point where 16 year olds have amassed the skill to be able to even come close to curing a devastating plague.  How were these kids educated to be able to do these sorts of things along with learning how to use basic weapons, foraging out in the “wilderness”, etc?

The characters?  I loved Samm!  He was hot and considering he was built and designed to be the ultimate soldier he was amazingly compassionate.  The whole concept about the Partials being able to sense each others pheromones to communicate was fascinating.  I never thought of it before but it makes total sense that in a war situation it’s a quiet and efficient method of communication that allows the troops to work seamlessly with each other.

None of the other characters really grabbed me.  I wish they were fleshed out more and although you see the love triangle coming between Kira, Marcus and Samm it seems like a no brainer choice.  We don’t really see much of why Kira and Marcus got together in the first place other than the fact that Marcus has a great sense of humor.  Their beliefs are so opposite of each other and their personalities don’t seem to mesh at all so it’s hard to even root for Marcus.

That said this series seems to have so much potential.  I’m really hoping we get to see more depth to the characters in book 2 and see more detailed world building.

ETA: I just had to add that my husband who hates to read and if anything will usually only listen to audio books picked this book up and has been reading it every chance he can get!

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

3 Responses

  1. Kailana

    I leave books sitting out hoping the guy will be intrigued enough to read them… Sometimes he reads a chapter here and there, but that’s about it. He would rather watch television…

  2. Emily's Reading Room

    I really liked this one. I appreciated that Kira was a strong character, but was not overly masculine. And, there was some really fantastic world-building. I do think that there will be a lot of people turned off by the lack of romance, but who knows?

  3. Debbie's World of Books

    Kailana-my husband is usually like that. I almost keeled over in shock when I saw him reading. lol.

    Emily-I actually like there wasn’t too much romance but I just couldn’t get into Kira.

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