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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Author: Dan Wells
Series: Partials Sequence #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 28th 2012
My Rating: 3 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

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 pulse pounding 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.

I have to be honest and say that I have been delaying this review for about two months now. The reason I kept putting it off is that I know a lot of people loved this book and I honestly feel like a freak.

Let me start with what I liked, because there were things that I enjoyed.

First, I liked the concept of this book. The idea of a war where human-like beings are used as soldiers is a new theme for me. Yes, I've read about cyborgs, but not to this extent. And though the idea of an unknown disease freaks me out, I liked that this was used in the book. And I love medicine, so I did enjoy the parts where Kira tried to discover how to cure the disease.

Second, there was no insta-love. I did a happy dance. I'm okay when two characters fall in love, but not immediately. Of course, now I'm sort of hoping Kira and Samm get together. I like Samm.

I also liked the scenes where the characters were either fighting for their lives or trying to escape the bad guys and such. There are quite a few action scenes and I think they were done very well. I could actually feel the tension in those particular scenes.

The things that weren't quite what I expected aren't that huge, but they did keep me from fully enjoying the book.

One is the difference that I perceived between the characters' ages and their actual "voices". I understand that the world is in chaos, the people are trying to find a cure for a terrible disease, but I didn't feel as if Kira and her friends were sixteen and seventeen year old teenagers. It felt as if I was reading about people in their twenties. I would've wanted to see them think their age or at least talk like they were teenagers.

Then there's the pacing. It was a little too slow for my taste. I wonder if the next book in the series is faster.

Lastly, I wanted to get to know the characters. I know this is a series and probably we'll get to see more of each character and to understand them better, but so far, other than Kira I felt as if all other characters weren't as developed.

I will read the next book in the series, to see what happens with Kira and Samm, though. Especially since the ending was surprising. I wasn't expecting this book to end the way it did and that is enough to make me want to keep reading.

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