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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

REVIEW: The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells

Partials is the first book of the Partials Sequence series by Dan Wells.  A take on apocalyptic dystopian fiction, this novel chronicles the state of the world eleven years after the fact. Nearly the entire human population has been wiped out. Survivors live in a small community on Long Island. What's worse is that a deadly plague continues to kill every infant born with the youngest of the 'plague babies' (those who were toddlers at the brink of the apocalypse) now turning 14.

Kira Walker, 16, is a trained medical technician determined to find a cure for RMS--that is if she can do so before it become mandatory for teens at young as her to become pregnant. Discovering that Partials--a bioengineered group of super soldiers, holds the key to the cure, Kira and a few select allies attempt to capture one of these highly trained soldiers in her search for a cure.  Little does she know that this quest will unlock secrets not only concerning the world ending war but also everything Kira ever knew about her past.

I enjoyed this book.  There is a graceful depth to this complicated world building with equally compelling characters.  Wells hasn't skimped on the details of this broken society.  These survivors truly are in dire straights, as are the Partials, when Kira learns that they too are on the verge of extinction.  This is a unique perspective within the oversaturated dystopian market that I would definitely recommend to readers who enjoy the genre or who want a well written and though provoking series.

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Fragments is this series' second installment.  Having learned some startling truths about her past, Kira has left everything and everyone she's ever known to scour the 'mainland' for answers concerning her lineage and her father's role in the company that ended the world. This search spans the entire continent as Kira joins forces with several unlikely allies.

This novel features parallel storylines as Marcus--Kira's best friend and one of her romantic options--endeavors on his own mission to take a stand and help his people.  This change in POV makes him much more interesting during this phase of the series.

Overall, the addition of these plots and perspective shifts enhance the world building and character development begun in the first book. Samm develops more personality the longer he stays with Kira and Heron is a really interesting character.  Readers' hearts will break for Afa--what he's been through and his fate. I know others have remarked that they thought this book was also a bit slow in pacing; however, I was more engaged by this novel than the previous one.

Final rating 4 out of 5 stars

Ruins is the final book in the series. Having voluntarily sacrificed herself as Doctor Morgan's guinea pig, Kira hopes that the answers for curing both RM and Partial extinction lie in her DNA. Unfortunately, she is not the answer; however, Kira deduces that the cure for both actually lies in these two factions living harmoniously with each other--the cure for one is the cure for the other. She sets out to find other Partial groups in an attempt to broker a truce and foster agreement toward working together for a common good. However, she meets resistance and some scary characters.

There's a lot going on in this book besides Kira's quest:

Wells continues the parallel storytelling of the previous book. Samm and Heron remained in Denver with the human settlement--they too discover that the cures long sought are mutually exclusive. Wishing to share the discovery, the head east to Long Island.  Marcus and his crew are trying to divert a nuclear attack; whereas Ariel and Kira's other adoptive sisters journey toward a scientific lab that may save the life of an infant infected with a deadly disease.

Did I mention that winter is back for the first time in nearly 13 years? Yeah, its a bit like Game of Thrones.

This final installment was a bit of a letdown for me as a reader. While the romantic element of the series has been subtle throughout, I didn't care for Kira's indecision and felt as if the ending was a rather forced. In general,  I had high hopes for Ruins, especially since I'd enjoyed the others so much. However, this book just dragged on and on. I was waiting for an epic conclusion but the ending seemed far too rushed for a book that the general pacing was so slow. There is a general thematic lesson that the author wishes readers to acknowledge--that a peaceful coexistence is the only way to repair the ills of the world. When I got to the last page I actually said aloud, "That's it?" I was left wanting more finality or at least an epilogue.

Final rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

#Partials #YAlit #teen #dystopian #science #DanWells