Partials Book Cover Partials
The Partials Sequence
Dan Wells
Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Balzer + Bray
Feb. 12 2012

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.


“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a phrase that we all love to ignore.

On some books it’s a pretty font.

Worth your time

Others, a thought-provoking picture.

This is what I found when I googled "thought provoking"...

This is what I found when I googled “thought provoking”…

But with this book what caught me was the quote on the back cover.

Partials Back Cover

I mean…holy crap.

How can you not read that and go, “Well geez. Life sounds pretty much terrible there…” And what makes me want to read a book more than inviting me to watch the world burn?

hjOStEG - Imgur

Maybe pretty fonts. BUT it’s a close tie.

Partials starts us out in a maternity ward, eleven years after the Partial War unleashed a weaponized virus that wiped out the majority of the human race. We meet Kira, a nurse who is tired of the government’s attempts to rebuild society through mandatory pregnancy laws. Her problem with these mandates is not the ever-lowering age, or even the immorality of telling someone else what to do with their body. It’s that, in the eleven years since the Partial War, not a single child has survived. Thousands upon thousands of lost lives, all in the name of saving humanity through data tracking and trial and error. Then one of her closest friends, who is practically a sister to Kira, reveals the news that she’s pregnant. Now, Kira is determined to save her friend’s child and find a cure for the disease that has killed every newborn for over a decade. And what better way to start than capturing a Partial?

So obviously when I started reading this book, my hopes were high. The quote on the back and the promise of a world in turmoil was more than I needed to capture my attention. Now that I’ve read it, while I can’t say I’m entirely disappointed, I’m not blown away either.

Talking positives I can genuinely say I enjoyed reading Partials. It was a quick, easy read, and just pleasurable to experience. It was interesting and a nice spin on the post-apocalyptic novels that have been swirling around the last several years. The cast of characters was nicely balanced with innocent do-gooders, not-what-they-seemers, distrusting military folk, and the genuinely funny comic relief.

Aaaand, talking negatives – To preface what I’m about to say, you should know I am not someone who is adept at guessing what’s to come. I am usually as in the dark as the characters themselves, and sometimes even more so (see my review of The False Prince as verification). But in this case, I totally knew what was going to happen. The twists were all ones I had seen before, and nothing was surprising to me. And while I maintain that the characters were nice, I didn’t particularly care about any of them. To be specific through example, if any (and I do mean any) character had gotten shot in the face during the course of the book, I would have gone, “Huh. Well that might complicate the plot a little…” and I’d move on. If, as a reader, I don’t grieve for a character’s death, or celebrate their victories, or feel like I could give them a hug because I know them so well, I feel like something is wrong.

Lastly, I was disappointed to find out that this is a series. I wasn’t aware of this when I started reading, but as the end drew near, I could tell that this was going to be drawn out for at least another book. I didn’t really feel like that was necessary, and I’m a little disappointed in the number of trilogies I’ve seen lately that really should have been contained in one novel.

Positives- 60 words. Negatives- 243 words. Despite appearances, that ratio doesn’t really reflect my opinion of the book, so don’t let my criticisms scare you away from reading Partials! I wouldn’t give it any awards, but it was a simple, pleasurable read, and sometimes it’s nice to have those. As a result, I’m giving Partials an amazingly average 3 stars and a tsk-tsk in the direction of Dan Wells for deciding to make this a series.

What are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between?

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Stephanie Sawyer

Co-Blogger at Librarian Bibliofiles
Stephanie was a library employee for 5 years and has been a lifelong library patron. Her primary focus and love in life is teaching, which fits in nicely with her love of books. She also enjoys being judgmental and obsessive about proper grammar.

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