Partials (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Partials by Dan Wells 
Partials #1
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only 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 have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of 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 find 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.

After a terrible virus called RM, created in the war with the genetically engineered soldiers called Partials, decimated almost the entire world's human population, the survivors have retreated to Long Island. There have been no attacks for many years, but the danger still remains. Each day is an utter struggle to try to find a way to survive as no child has been born immune in over a decade. Laws have been passed making women little more than baby making factories in hopes of even one live birth, and not everyone is happy with this decision. As what left of society is on the brink of civil war, one young medic, Kira, steps up with the determination to change their fate. She'll have to make hard choices and sacrifices, even if it means losing everything she has ever known, for there are secrets to be found and harsh truths to be learned on the journey.

In any dystopian novel there always is going to be some sort of control and oppression. As Partials starts, you can see some of that control, but it has a pretty facade that makes it look like everything is being done in the people's best interests. However, the further you get into the story, the more that pretty facade starts to wear thin as Kira starts to see the ugly truth about the council. As I read an ARC copy, I won't directly quote the book, but one specific realization that Kira had really stuck with me. She questioned to herself whether the council could have been making the decisions they were if it had of affected their own daughters. A crucial element is missing in their leadership as no one has any familial ties left anymore. There are no sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, or any other sort of blood tie. Without those connections, it becomes much to easy to enact laws to control others. It was simply amazing to me that even with the threat of the complete extinction of humanity, everything would revolve around oppression rather than hope and determination to find a cure.

I found the Partials element to be completely fascinating. It almost reminded me of the Terminator franchise, but only in a biological creation rather than a mechanical one. There is such an element of fear on the human side, as these are the "people" they believe destroyed them all. However, after a ten year silence on both sides, you would think the survivors would have started to question why they would have been allowed to live if annihilation was the Partial's real goal. What could they possibly stand to gain? I would have thought it have been more likely for them to want a slave force. Of course a lot of the story revolves around Kira and her refusal to just accept what she is told. Her determination is nothing short of admirable as she is completely willing to sacrifice everything, even her own life, on the low chance at finding a cure. If more people like her had of been placed in power, then things would have been much different. Of course then there wouldn't have been a story to tell, and I would have missed out on an incredible book.

I'm a huge science fiction geek when it comes to movies, but for some reason, the same type of stuff doesn't typically appeal to me very much in books as I like to lean more towards the paranormal. However, Partials may very well have changed that tide for me as I absolutely loved it. I have a feeling a lot of that was due to the technology level being quite similar to our own, so it was quite realistic. Well, realistic in the sense of what could happen after 99.9% of the world's population died. Partials is the perfect blend of sci-fi goodness set in a dystopian setting that kept me utterly captivated from the very start. It will definitely be an agonizingly long wait until the next installment's release date.

(Received a copy from Netgalley)


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