Thursday, February 23

Partials: Book Review

by Dan Wells
Balzer + Bray
February 28 2012

 Young Adult/ Science Fiction/ Post-apocalypse

Eleven years haven't changed a thing; the human race is still going extinct. There is no cure for the deadly virus that kills all newborns. Kira Walker is tired of watching them die and sets herself on the hunt for the cure. The only problem is that her hunt leads her to the Partials. Old memories die hard and the Partials are key to the decimation that occurred eleven years before. Kira finds herself pitted against the very society she seeks to save. Time is running out. . .

The cover absolutely represents the book. Kira is a very strong character that is determined to save mankind. It is her against the world and she will find little outside help on her way. The humans are set on paths of destruction as they fight over territory. The title, Partials, is great since everything hinges on the Partials. Much as their namesake, we have partial knowledge of their creation. It seems that the company which created them may have been up to much more.
While this is set in a fictional world, it very closely parallels the conflicts found in modern society. Those in power find themselves in the dark cycle to get more power. Everyone thinks that their motives are pure and above reproach. While the people are tagged as precious, they are treated like cattle that need to be wrangled.
Dan Wells also puts together some intense scenes where you can't trust a soul. More than that, nothing ever goes according to plan for the characters. This kept me on the edge of my seat as I began to expect death or destruction at every turn.
The best part of the book is how society has squarely placed blame for their destruction upon the Partials only to find that they need them.
To lighten the despairing tone of the book is a delightful dialogue between characters. Kira is a great character with many sides and secrets. Samm was much like a present. At first he seemed to be very self-explanatory but upon a closer inspection he has more to offer. Marcus wins for my least favorite. I couldn't help but want to escape from the cage of his desires.
Humanity gets caught in the present with little thought for the future. The ability to step back and see the bigger picture is often the last thing we think to do. Perhaps, as this book suggests, we need someone who can both understand us and have a greater view. 
The very last page delivers the biggest bomb of the entire book and leaves me on the edge of my seat wishing for more. Riveting, suspenseful, and packed with humorous wit. Worth ever second of your time and several hours of lost sleep.

Moments Divine:
"Sometimes the hand that feeds you needs a good bite."
"It's good to see you," said Haru. "You can see me?" asked Marcus, patting himself in sudden shock. "The potion must have worn off! That's the last time I give my lunch to a talking squirrel."
-------------------------------------------------------------------- "Anyone can see that he's bad," said Marcus, speaking calmly, "but we've splinted it, we've wrapped it, and I can drug him so hard he'll think he's flying home on a magical gumdrop rainbow. You could get high on his farts."
------------------------------------------------------------------------- "I wondered when someone would finally get around to that. It's been on my to-do list for ages, but you know how things are: Life gets so busy, and saving the human race is such an inconvenience--"
"My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later."
"Now, just take two of these and you'll feel better in no time." She leaned in and gave him two quick kisses.
"Mmmm," said Marcus, grabbing her by the waist, "how many of those did you say to take?"
"Just two," said Kira, "but I suppose it couldn't hurt to take more." She leaned in again, licking her lips, but he stopped her with his hand.
"No," he said firmly, "as a medic I just don't feel comfortable with it. Medication is nothing to play around with--what if I overdose?" He pushed her gently away. What if I become addicted?"
Kira pushed back toward him. "You are such a geek."
"What if I build up a tolerance?" he asked, his face a rictus of mock horror. "Two now and two later and suddenly two won't be enough--I'll need four or eight or twenty just to take the edge off! Do you think I can handle that many kisses?"
Kira moved in again, turning on her most sultry voice. "I think you could find a way."
He froze, watching her come closer, their faces almost touching, then stopped her at the last moment with a finger on her lips. "You know, the best way to prevent an overdose is to vary the active ingredient. That blond nurse at the south clinic is great at drawing blood; I could get two from you, two from her."
Kira snarled playfully, grabbing his collar. "Oh no, you don't"
"Medically speaking, it would be perfectly safe," said Marcus. "I could even get two from you and two from her at the same time. I might get a little dizzy, but--ow!"
Content: Mild swearing and violence