'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 22 February 2013

REVIEW: 'Partials' - Dan Wells

Partials - Dan Wells
Partials (Partials, #1)

The only hope for humanity isn’t human.

In a world where people have been all but wiped out by a virus created by part-human cyborgs called ‘Partials’, and where no baby survives longer than three days, a teenage girl makes it her mission to find a cure, and save her best friend’s unborn child.

But finding a cure means capturing a Partial…

My Review: 5/5*
*May contain spoilers*

What would you do if the human race was at the risk of going extinct? This is the question left to the remaining members of the race living in Long Island. The opening of the book displays to us the state of anxiety and fear that the city of Long Island is currently residing in. Within this surrounding, we are introduced to our protagonist, Kira Walker, a sixteen year old teenage girl who is training within the medical industry. As Wells slowly builds up this dystopian world, it is explained that the human race created Partials - a military army of 'super-humans' who are unable to reproduce, but are incredibly strong, accurate, fast and have a built in link to sense other Partials in order to increase stealth. However, due to the mistreatment of the Partials, they attacked the humans, released the disease RM and have succeeded in almost wiping out the entire human race. The population of Long Island are all that is left. Ultimately, we soon discover that she is the one that is given the job to attempt to cure the human race of the deadly disease, RM.

The first thing that struck me about the varied characters within this novel was the difficulty of gauging each characters age. Kira, for instance, comes across as much more mature than a sixteen year old teen and certainly has far too much responsibility forced onto her shoulders for such a young age. This began through the falling pregnant of her best friend, Madison. this pregnancy urges Kira to forge a plan to capture a Partial in order to medically study them. She is unwilling to allow any more babies to die during child birth. Something that I have yet to mention is that the Senate has in place a law in which every girl aged eighteen or over must fall pregnant at least once a year in order to attempt to revive the human race. As more babies die due to contracting RM, panic begins to rise and the Senate lowers the pregnancy age to sixteen, something which causes outrage in the radicalist group, The Voice.

The Voice is an unknown, hidden radicalist group which are against Partials, but also against the Senate's decision to continue lowering the birth rate. Apparent Voice attacks riddle the book, but is all as it seems? I'll let you guys find that out for yourselves! This may just be my memory, but I can't quite remember what it was that The Voice officially believes in/ are trying to achieve. This is probably the only issue I had with this book. I found the entire concept of The Voice, Partials, RM and the panic which follows a gritty and attention grabbing read. The anxiety of the government is clear as they go against any previous scientific notion of safety to the mother in their haste to attempt to produce babies to continue the human race. I felt that this panic certainly added to the terror factor of this book.

I loved Kira, but perhaps most shockingly, I fell in love with the captured Partial Samm. As a character which we are expected to hate 100% (they're meant to have killed us!) I couldn't help but like him from the word go. There was something captivating and innocent about his figure. I don't want to reveal too much but I will say that not all is as it seems in the world created by Dan Wells. There are many twists and turns, many shocking reveals and it is incredibly difficult to figure out who to trust. My only issue with Kira was that I have quite a strong dislike for martyr-like figures. 'I'll die for this - go on without me - I'm going alone!' etc. etc. etc. I find it quite an irritating characteristic, if friends are willing to risk their lives in order to cure RM, why not let them?

I loved this book and just can't wait to sink my teeth into my copy of Fragments! (Thank you, Net Galley!). I highly recommend to any dystopian lover, especially any who's a sucker for a heroic 'baddy'!


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