Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
This was exactly the kind of book I needed to bring me out my reading slump. I love me some dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels and this one was my cup of tea. I'd seen this book floating around the blogosphere a lot last year but I hadn't paid too much attention to the reviews. I know I'd glanced at a couple of really good ones and a couple not so good ones but I didn't really have an opinion one way or the other about Partials. To be completely honest, I was stuck on another book and justified reading this one because I accidently hit the cover on my Kindle. So by random works of fate, I started the novel and now I'm REALLY glad I did.
This book just goes RIGHT into the action. No building up to it, no introduction. Blam. Right in the middle of the action in the first chapter. I LOVED that! Right away, we're introduced to a world that is obviously set in the future with a very traumatic past. I loved the apocalyptic world building that Wells did in this novel. I really felt like I was actually in the middle of this chaotic, empty, dying world. I think one of the most interesting things about the novel is the premise. It's hard these days to come up with a dystopian novel that hasn't already been done...then again, I suppose "how" the world ends or populations crumble could happen millions of ways. Anyways, this whole "partially human" thing that is created and then betrays the human population and sets a deadly virus loose that wipes out most of them is pretty cool. In theory. Unique that the population can't reproduce either because the virus kills the babies immediately. It was a fresh take on things I think. I loved the characters in this novel. Kira, Xochi, Isolde, Marcus, Jayden, Samm....I mean the list goes on. I really liked them all. My heart belongs to Kira though. She is such a tough badass chick. Personally, I think Wells did a great job portraying an even-keeled, intelligent female character. She wasn't too emotional or too cold/distant that make up the usual female stereotypes. I loved that Wells gave her the personality trait that there are some bigger things in this world that are worth fighting for, worth living and dying for. Kira whole heartily believes in the cause that she's fighting for and will die for it no matter what. That's dedication and loyalty, which happens to be one of my favorite personality traits. The banter/one liners/zingers in this book are HILARIOUS. I truly think I can tell the undercurrent of the jokes and banter come from a male writer giving the book just a bit of an edge since SO MANY young adult books these days are from female writers. All I know is that there were several times I laughed my ass off. This really was a book I didn't want to put down unless I had to and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. When I read the last line of the book I immediately wish FRAGMENTS was out now now now.
There were just a few things that bothered me a bit in this novel but nothing too major that swayed my adoration for it. Firstly, there were many times when several of the characters acted like they were the naive, sixteen year old kids that they were but at other times, actually, most times they acted like adults. Granted, growing up in the world they grew up in kind of forces them to be more adult like but I can see where it would get confusing when trying to get a handle on the characters. Kira never really felt like a sixteen year old to me, she always seemed older than that. Although, as readers, we're supposed to be in the dark a bit about the "Isolation War," "Partials," "Voice," an all the other goodies that have weird names, I still think a little bit of explanation could have gone a long way. Sometimes I felt like if I just had a bit more context or explanation, I could understand what was going on a little bit more. My overall BIGGEST complaint and it really could just be me but the whole RM-Virus deal went over my head a bit during the parts where Kira is researching and trying to find a cure. The whole particles, blob, lurker names and the theories of how they worked were a little convoluted and confusing.
Overall, despite the few complaints I had, I really really enjoyed this novel. I got through it pretty quickly, didn't want it to end and when it did end, I wanted more. I've had Dan Well's on my radar for a while now and I'm definitely a fan of his now. I can't wait to read FRAGMENTS and some of his other works. I would HIGHLY recommend this book for both male and female young adults readers and any one who loves dystopian/post apocalyptic novels.