Wendy Darling's Reviews > Partials

Partials by Dan Wells
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It seems as though YA Science Fiction is experiencing a bit of a resurgence lately. Like many other readers, I'm a little tired of the barely-dystopian trend, so it's great to see a very firmly science-oriented book like Partials come along. Airborne viruses + survivalist action drama + human interest story is a great combination, and one I think most fans of post-apocalyptic thrillers will enjoy.

In the year 2076, 11 years after an airborne viral outbreak, the average newborn lives just 56 hours. 16-year-old Kira Walker, a young medic interning at a hospital, thinks that the key to human survival lies in studying Partials, a group of rogue cyborgs described as "unthinking, unfeeling human killers." Since Partials released the virus to begin with, surely they have the answers to a cure--whether it's through their genetic makeup or through their knowledge. When her friend Madison gets pregnant, Kira embarks on a dangerous mission: to find and capture a Partial so she can save her friend's child.

But you've seen some positive reviews and some negative ones, right? So here is the type of person that I think will have a blast with this book.

You're a Battlestar Galactica fan. There are many similar BSG elements in this book, in a very good way. Partials are very similar to Cylons, and there's a war between humans and Partials that will decide the fate of both. There are also some elements of Star Trek: TNG, and The Matrix in this book, which aren't bad influences to have at all. But lest you be concerned about knockoffs, this is definitely an original story, told in a very engaging way.

You like medical thrillers. Kira runs a lot of tests on a captured Partial in this book, and while some readers may have an issue with all the medical business that goes on, I personally love books about viruses and analyses of scientific data, etc., so I very much enjoyed all that. Do Kira's experiments require some suspension of disbelief? Sure. Especially since a. she's a student b. we don't get all the answers we might be asking and c. this disease doesn't actually exist. (True story!) But what worked for me was that the author did a great job of walking us through the steps and logic and reasoning behind Kira's methodology.

Post-apocalyptic books rock your socks. Something about this book reminded me a lot of the feel of Mira Grant's Feed and Deadline, but for the YA crowd--and I don't make those comparisons lightly. There is a great blend of virological talk, exciting action sequences, and entertaining twists and turns that will appeal to fans of the Newsflesh series. Plus there are some survivalist elements I also really enjoyed. Worrying about energy conservation, day to day needs, salvage runs? Please, tell me more!

You appreciate butt-kicking heroines. I really liked Kira, who is a smart, responsible heroine, even if she is a little too narrowly focused on her ideals and a little too quick to fly off the handle. I would liked to have felt more of an emotional connection with her, the way I did with the very intriguing Samm (view spoiler), but I did feel as though I understood her. And it's great to have a girl scientist portrayed in YA.

Do any of these sound like you? If so, get thee to a bookstore and grab a copy of Partials asap!

I will say that some of the secondary teen characters blended together for me, so that it wasn't until significant things happened to them that I remembered who was who and what part they were playing in the story. All the adults are there primarily to advance the plot as well, and basically serve as foils and obstacles to the teens. And even though it's understandable that teenagers have taken on more advanced roles earlier on due to the outbreak, they have such huge responsibilities that it does make you raise an eyebrow a bit; it's almost as if Partials was written with adult characters, but was adapted for the YA market. While some of the specifics of the story may strain credulity when you stop to look at the big picture, I have to admit that during reading, it's hard to care, because the story is so well-paced and entertaining. I'm hoping that in the sequel, we'll see deeper character development and further exploration of the ramifications of the Hope Act as the story continues.

All in all, Partials was a lot of fun for me. My immediate reaction when I finished the book was "fan-freaking-tastic!" and I'm excited that there's such a great science fiction option out there for YA readers. Don't get me wrong, I love fluffy novels or the types of books that feature girls in pretty ballgowns. But I like the kind of girl who wears lab coats, doesn't mind risking her life for what she believes is right, and argues passionately about the civil rights of cyborgs, too.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
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Reading Progress

01/13/2012 page 28
6.0% "I think post-apocalyptic novels are almost always better than dystopian ones. Plus the use of the word "isthmus" is a bonus point in this book's favor." 2 comments
01/14/2012 page 118
25.0% "Dear Mr.Wells, you heard us crying because we had to wait until June for the last Newsflesh book, didn't you? Love, Wendy and Michelle" 10 comments
01/15/2012 page 401
85.0% "Love. This. Book. I hate having to go socialize with people, all I want to do is finish this!" 12 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 181) (181 new)


message 1: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Talbert I'm really looking forward to reading this one! Can't wait to see what you think!


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead I won't catch up with you but I'm gonna read this too!


Wendy Darling I really like this so far, Molly! Yay for good books.

Omg, I was thinking of you last night as I was reading this, Michelle. This is such a you-and-me book!


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "I really like this so far, Molly! Yay for good books.

Omg, I was thinking of you last night as I was reading this, Michelle. This is such a you-and-me book!"


I'm gonna read it tonight!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooo! Hope you are enjoying it so far!


Wendy Darling Dead babies and viruses in the very first chapter! Plus (view spoiler) shortly after that. :D The tone reminds me a bit of Newsflesh, which is obviously a biiiigggg plus.

And awesome, I'm so glad to see 5 stars from you, Mocha! That's a good sign.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "I really like this so far, Molly! Yay for good books.

Omg, I was thinking of you last night as I was reading this, Michelle. This is such a you-and-me book!"


Wendy... you are SOOOO right.... this book was written for us! LOL


message 8: by Amber J. (new) - added it

Amber J. can't wait for the full review! I'm still waiting to find out if I win the giveaway for this one; if not then your summary is going to have to be good enough lol


Wendy Darling I'm pretty sure Mr.Wells was lurking on all our Newsflesh threads, took notes, and wrote this just for us, Michelle!

So far it's awesome, Amber. If you like post-apocalyptic fiction + viruses + dead/maimed people. :D


Reynje I requested this.. my fingers are very tightly crossed :)


message 11: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina I'm hearing Newsflesh #1 right now and I really like it so far. Maybe I should Preorder Partials. Do you know how long this series will be?


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "I'm pretty sure Mr.Wells was lurking on all our Newsflesh threads, took notes, and wrote this just for us, Michelle!

So far it's awesome, Amber. If you like post-apocalyptic fiction + viruses + de..."


I agree.... I wanted to continue with the story so badly last night but I was tired. I did wakeup snuggling with my Kindle (this is the 2nd time I've done this). My hubby is getting jealous.


Wendy Darling I hope you get approved, Reynje! I approve of you. *bedroom eyes*

So far there are two books listed on GoodReads in this series, Tina, though I haven't seen official confirmation that it ends there. I'll see what I can find out.

I know, same here, Michelle! I think I'm at 40% so far and it's been non-stop entertainment. And hee hee, your husband should know by now that when there is a post-apocalyptic book on the horizon, your attention is going to be elsewhere!


message 14: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Thanks Wendy!


message 15: by Jillian (new) - added it

Jillian I'm jealous at how early you get to read the book. I've been positively dying waiting for it to hit the shelves. Hoping you continue to enjoy!


Wendy Darling I had no idea it was going to be this good, Jillian! I put it on my shelf automatically awhile back, but I was unprepared for how good the writing is. I really must read the serial killer one sometime soon, that's been on my list for ages, too.


message 17: by Parametric (new)

Parametric I'm a huge fan of the Newsflesh books, so you're definitely selling me on Partials!


Sharon His serial killer books are awesome. I can't wait for Partials.


Wendy Darling Parametric, I do not make that comparison lightly, believe me. There are no zombies in this, but the feel of it is very similar. LOVE.

I think you'd enjoy this, Sharon! I haven't gotten around to reading his other book yet but I'm definitely bumping it up after this.


Elena You are killing me, Wendy! I want it nooooow.


Wendy Darling Aw, I'm sorry! But just one more month to go, though, Elena. :) Not too much longer to wait.


Heidi Oh I just requested this!


message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this Wendy so I can make a final decision on whether or not I want to read it lol I keep going back and forth about this one.


message 24: by Rose (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rose Yay Wendy! :) I can't wait for your review. I've requested this on NetGalley - hopefully I get lucky enough to get an ARC. I loved his Serial Killer series, so I've been eagerly looking forward to this, also for the subject as well.


message 25: by Sasha (new) - added it

Sasha YAY! I love it when you enjoy a book. :)


message 26: by Kelly (new)

Kelly YAY!


Wendy Darling Ooo, definitely a Donna book, I think. :) What's holding you back from reading it?

Good luck Heidi and Rose! Fingers crossed for those approvals. I have to read his other series now, too, I'm a little upset that I've put it off for so long.

I love it when I love a book too, Sasha. ;) Contrary to delusional conspiracy theories, most of us do not sit around wanting to get worked up over mediocre books.

YAY indeed, Kelly. :D


Samina ~ Escapism~ This sounds promising.I was hoping to read this series too.


message 29: by Tarra (new) - added it

Tarra The blurb sounds so good. A good review from Wendy = money to Amazon. :)


Wendy Darling I think you'd definitely have to be someone who enjoys science-y sci fi, because the main character is a medic-in-training and there's a lot of cool stuff with her running tests on a Partial, etc. But if you love that kind of thing--like I do--you'd like this book, Samina!

And hah, that's awesome Tarra, but I hope I don't get blamed too much if people end up disagreeing with me!


Experiment BL626 Wendy Darling wrote: "I think you'd definitely have to be someone who enjoys science-y sci fi, because the main character is a medic-in-training and there's a lot of cool stuff with her running tests on a Partial, etc. ..."

Oh Wendy, you're killing me here with all this hype. Y_Y Wanna read it now...


Wendy Darling Aw, February 28th will be here before you know it, Experiment.

And Wendy says this one strongly, Cillian. But you have to read Angelfall first. ;)


Wendy Darling I'll hound you until the day you read it, Cill. :D


Amanda (Good Choice Reading) This looks right up my alley.


Wendy Darling Ohhh yeah. :)


message 36: by Amanda Pearl (new) - added it

Amanda Pearl I WANT. I loved Feed so much, it was one of the best books I read in 2011, and probably the best zombie book I've ever read. If this is anything like that, I know I will be in love forever lol


Wendy Darling I'm pretty sure if you love Newsflesh, you will love this book, Amanda! That's my party line anyway, and I'm sticking to it, hah.

Ohh, I think you'd enjoy this too, Sam. The world-building is very good and the characters are fleshed out just enough. The main character is also great, strong but believably flawed.


message 38: by Isabel (new)

Isabel Yay! Glad you enjoyed it so much, since you're a pretty tough grader. :)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "The main character is also great, strong but believably flawed. ..."

This is VERY true. I find my annoyance at her very refreshing! She's definitely strong but makes lots of mistakes.


Wendy Darling So it seems, Isabel. ;)

I like her a lot, Michelle. Are you enjoying the book, in spite of your (usual) questions? :)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "So it seems, Isabel. ;)

I like her a lot, Michelle. Are you enjoying the book, in spite of your (usual) questions? :)"


Samm sold me on the story. Until Samm came into the story, I wasn't too sure. I'm trying very hard not to question everything and just enjoy the story. I'm really, really, really trying!


Wendy Darling Hah. :) I am a big fan of Samm, I think you will be an even bigger one further into the story.

I'm such a geek, but I enjoy all the medical testing and scientific experiments, hah.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "Hah. :) I am a big fan of Samm, I think you will be an even bigger one further into the story.

I'm such a geek, but I enjoy all the medical testing and scientific experiments, hah."


Same here, I like all that stuff. I can't wait to see where the story goes now that I'm on part 3!


Wendy Darling I blew through this one pretty fast. :) Can't wait to see what you think of the end. Some of my theories were correct, others were not!


message 45: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Netgalley needs to hurry up and approve me! :)


message 46: by Donna (new)

Donna I just grabbed this today :)


Wendy Darling Fingers crossed for you, Bonnie. :) And yay Donna! I think you'll love this one. I really wish book two were already out. *sigh*


message 48: by Kt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kt I started this about two weeks ago. I was enjoying it a good bit, but then got distracted by other books and haven't been able to get the initiative to pick it back up. I'm happy to see you enjoyed it, perhaps once I finish my latest book I'll dive back in.


Wendy Darling Oh, I hope you'll enjoy it when you come back to it, Kt! I liked it a lot, but then again I'm inclined to like most post-apocalyptic books with a lot of action and/or a lot of science.


message 50: by Karen (new)

Karen (BookishWonders) I so need to get my hands on this book! I've heard lots of good things. I can't wait to read your review! :D


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