February 03, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells
Hardcover; 472 pages
Expected publication: February 28, 2012 by HarperTeen
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to 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 threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into 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 discover 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.

First of all, I love everything about this cover. It’s dark and gorgeous, and depicts the story well. “The only hope for humanity isn’t human” is quite possibly the best tagline, ever.

By this point it’s probably starting to look like you could throw any old dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic book at me, and it would stick. But really—I don’t love them all, despite the amount of gushing I’ve done lately. Some of the most popular in the genre(s) left me severely disappointed. But I am a sucker for a dystopian/post-apocalyptic world that I feel is pulled off nicely. I am a sucker for intricate plots. There is something about it that leaves me completely engrossed, and I seriously doubt I will ever tire of the genre.

Partials is no exception, despite the fact that there isn’t really a romance, at least not in the sense that we’re used to seeing. Generally, I need at least a splash of fresh romance to enjoy a book, with a few exceptions (namely, Feed by Mira Grant). Perhaps the sci-fi element is the key.  Whatever the reason, I could not get enough of this book.

Kira was a great character. She is tough and determined, but still makes mistakes. She’s resilient but also believably flawed, and I couldn’t help but admire her. This girl stops at nothing to reach the end goal. No amount of self-pity or perfectly engineered abs will distract her from doing what she needs to do. Marcus, Samm, Jayden, Xochi, Madison—all well fleshed out and likeable secondary characters. Bravo, Wells, bravo.

One thing I loved in particular was the way the virus was handled. In my experience with deadly viruses in books, we aren’t given a lot of detail. The virus is thrown at us, and we’re just expected to believe that it is plausible. In Partials, Kira is in charge of researching this virus for a time, and this gives us direct access to RM’s details. Wells either knows his stuff, or did his research. Either way, it definitely works in Partials’ favor.

Overall, Partials met and then exceeded my expectations. There is never a dull moment. It is a brilliantly crafted page-turner, and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have an aversion to sci-fi.

5 out of 5 stars! 


  1. Beautifully written review my dear!! This sounds like it will be such an AWESOME read!! Though i hoped for a bit of romance in it! :D

    Farah @MajiBookshelf

    1. Thank you! I was hoping for some romance as well but I'm holding out hope that there will be a dash of it in book two. :)

  2. Great review! I'm sooo jealous you got an ARC. sigh. I'll just have to wait for the end of february to get my hands on this book.

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

  3. I always loved reading about how people come up with ingenious ways to survive :D
    EMail: puiereat at yahoo dot com

  4. Great review :D It sounds wonderful and I agree a little splash of romance is always great to a book :)

  5. Wow! This book really seem amazing. I'm really curious about it now. Great review!

  6. 5 stars now Im really exicted about reading this! I love tough strong female leads looks like girl is one too!

  7. I'm actually going to look for this book the next time i go to the library! this review was awesome, i really wanna read it! go strong heroines!!!!! :D
    alyssa s.

  8. I currently have this out of the library but haven't read it yet. I've been wondering whether I would even enjoy the topic since so many dystopian/apocalyptic books have disappointed me lately. However, your review has made me really intrigued...especially the part about the virus...reminds me of Andromeda Strain (of course I haven't read Partials yet, but that is what it brought to mind while reading the review!). Hopefully I love it as much as you do.


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