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 51-100 of 181) (181 new)

Wendy Darling Hah, is that a HINT that I should hurry up and write one, Karen?!

message 52: by Karen (new)

Karen (BookishWonders) Lol! Only if you want to. Take your time, it seems like your to-review list is really long. Nonetheless, I do really enjoy reading your reviews/opinions. :)

Wendy Darling I want to, hah. I've been procrastinating on my reviews, but I promise it will be up soon! :)

message 54: by Karen (new)

Karen (BookishWonders) Awesome, I enjoy reading your reviews! I've got a feeling that I might like this one, I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic books and books with a kick-butt heroine!

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "I want to, hah. I've been procrastinating on my reviews, but I promise it will be up soon! :)"

I've missed your reviews!!! It's that darn The Selection book...it's taken up all your reviewing time. I might just have to be like The Selection comment enforcer. You are just too darn nice Wendy.

Wendy Darling I think you'd probably enjoy this one then, Karen. :)

Awesome, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, FREEBIRD! I liked this one a lot, I wish book two were already out.

And yeah...I've been reading, I just haven't really felt like reviewing much, Michelle. It's disheartening. And I have a hard time understanding why people won't just let this die.

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "And yeah...I've been reading, I just haven't really felt like reviewing much, Michelle. It's disheartening. And I have a hard time understanding why people won't just let this die. ..."

I know about not wanting to review books (but probably for entirely different reasons). Well at least I hope you are enjoying the books you are reading.

message 58: by Kt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kt I just finished. I loved it, but am completely blank for what to say in my review ><

Charlotte Just finished this and OMG!!! So great! How in the world am I going to make this review spoiler free??? Haha

Thank you for the inadvertent recommendation. ;)

Wendy Darling Hah, I understand that, Kt! I finished this 3 weeks ago and still haven't reviewed it yet. Although to be fair, I haven't been online much this week at all. :)

And yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Charlotte! Wrestling with that problem myself, hee hee.

message 61: by Flail (new) - added it

Flail Around I'm really interested to see what you think about this.

message 62: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy I really like the sound of this, will have to check it out when it's released :)

message 63: by Em (new) - added it

Em I have this ARC somewhere. I've heard good things about it! Excited to see that you enjoyed it. Can't wait to see your full review soon.

Wendy Darling Agreed, Freebird, I don't have the patience to wait either. :)

I really liked this one, Flail and Lucy, I will try to get off my butt and write the review soon!

And yay, I'm glad you have the ARC, Em! If you enjoy post-apocalyptic YA, I think you'd like this one. :)

message 65: by BiblioJen (new) - added it

BiblioJen Wendy, would you call this one dystopian-with-oppressive-government-control, or post-apocalyptic-just-trying-to-survive? I am finding that I just don't enjoy the former very much, but usually do the latter. Not having a good distinction on a lot of these new "dystopian" releases has pretty much got me gun-shy over all of them. This one sounds good tho ... a little "Battlestar Galactica" action there with the Cylons. LOL

Wendy Darling It's actually a little of both, Jen. There is an oppressive government, but much of it is more post-apocalyptic (which I also enjoy more) with some survival stuf. I agree, there's been a lot of mediocre pseudo-dystopian YA novels out there.

I'm not sure this reaches BSG heights, hah, but it's pretty entertaining. :) I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Desiree I got an ARC of Partials from my local book store (they love me there) and I didn't read it right away because I have about 200 books laying in wait and didn't think it sounded very good but after reading oyur comment I think it just might be next in line or at least close to the top!

Wendy Darling Lucky you! I really liked this one, look forward to seeing what you think, Desiree.

Charlotte Grrrr....I'm pulling my hair out trying to write this review right now! I don't want to retell any of the story and I don't want to give anything away. There is just so much to say, yet everything leads me to spoilers. I'm ready to just say... READ THIS DAMN STORY...IT'S FREAKING AWESOME! LOL How's yours coming along?

Wendy Darling Hah hah...it's not. I have so many books I have to review, Charlotte, it's not even funny. I am going to try to write it this week, though--I am determined to make a dent in this pile.

I'm so glad you liked it too! Look forward to comparing notes with you.

Jessa I am absolutely DYING to read this...now I want to read it even more lol!

Wendy Darling SO good, Jessica. :) It's out very soon, so you don't have too much longer to wait!

Jessa Wendy Darling wrote: "SO good, Jessica. :) It's out very soon, so you don't have too much longer to wait!"

Yes, I am excited :D! I made sure to get it for Kindle pre-order because I will usually end up getting it at 9pm PST on the Monday before lol and it's like worth it just for those few hours...of course then sometimes I stay up all night reading and have to go to work with no sleep LOL...

Wendy Darling I've done that pre-order more times than I can count, hah. Usually it's with the next book in a series that I love. I have a feeling there are a lot of night owls up late reading Tuesday nights for just that very reason...waiting for a big release day!

Greta is Erikasbuddy My library just got this in their system ;) And who's second in line? I am!!!

Wendy Darling Awesome, Greta! I can't wait to see what you think of it. I am pretty sure you will love it.

message 77: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ Excellent review Wendy. I think I ticked all the boxes in your: "So here is the type of person that I think will have a blast with this book." Which is a good thing because I already have the book, haha! :)

Wicked ♥  (Wickedly Bookish Reviews) aka Bat-Jess Great review Wendy! You've convinced this post-apocalyptic fiction fan. I'm adding it to the pile!

Experiment BL626 Your review hits all the right buttons on my reading preference. Thank you! This book is going to my top priority pile.

message 80: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura “Rock your socks”—love that! Hehe…made me smile. I can’t wait to dive into this one! Wonderful review, Wendy! p.s….My heart just went all a-flutter with the word—Newsflesh! ....*deep sigh*…

Bookphilia Aha! I knew I wasn't the only one that drew that BSG similarity out. :)

message 82: by Abi (new) - added it

Abi I am that type of person! Thank you for the thoughtful (as always) review. :)

Wendy Darling Oh good! I'm glad you guys like the checklist, hah. I really think most fans of post-apocalyptic sci-fi will enjoy it. There's always the odd duck *cough* Michelle *cough* but it's solid entertainment, with lots of great action sequences.

Wendy Darling Sam, I think you would really enjoy this one. :) I had a ton of fun reading it--and besides, I think Sam will love Samm!

message 85: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm pretty stoked about this book.

Wendy Darling If only you were a devastatingly attractive cyborg, Sam! ;)

With good reason, Fry. With good reason.

message 87: by Mimi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mimi Valentine Yay!! I actually just got this one from the library today and your review makes me want to throw it on the top of my TBR pile even though I have so many others to get to! x) Brilliant review, Wendy! :)

Charlotte When I finished Partials I felt exactly the same way you did. :) When I finished your review, I felt exactly the same way AGAIN! Haha!

Fan-freaking-tastic review Wendy! One of the hardest things for me on my review was not giving anything away. There is just so much story here and so many layers to it. You did a great job of exciting the potential reader w/out revealing a single twist or important detail.

I too agree with (view spoiler)

Great book. Great review.

Wendy Darling Throw it, Mimi, throw it! Hah. I know what you mean, though, sometimes there are just too many good books to choose from. I rarely know what I'm going to read next until I decide what I'm in the mood for.

Aw, thanks Charlotte! I decided to go the more general route with the review, sometimes I feel like that's better when there are so many potential spoilers. (view spoiler) <--- More of that in the sequel, please!

Maria Samm. WOW. :) love your rev, Wendy! I agree with your spoiler. LOL

Wendy Darling Samm WOW sums it up pretty nicely, Maria. ;)

message 92: by [deleted user] (new)

Sold. Dammit. Thanks to you my TBR shelf is growing faster than I can shrink it.

Wendy Darling I can't help it, Mlle! 2012 has turned out to be a pretty great year for YA so far. Um, the occasional unpleasant experience aside, of course.

I think the "faster than we can shrink it" TBR list is true for everybody, though. Darn these authors...

Maria Wendy Darling wrote: "Samm WOW sums it up pretty nicely, Maria. ;)"

(view spoiler) and that makes me really hopeful that i'd see him again! *sigh* ;)

message 95: by Wendy Darling (last edited Mar 15, 2012 07:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wendy Darling Lady Moorchild wrote: "Excellent review, Wendy. I love Dan Wells."

Thanks, Lady M! I am dying to read his serial killer book (and yes, I know about the big twist, which I'm okay with).

I think you might like this one. There's very little romance in it...although I hope for more in the second. :D But oh, oh! Have you read Taming the Forest King? That, I think you might LOVE.

Amanda (Good Choice Reading) 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.


message 97: by Tara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tara Oh man...I could NOT put this book down. I loooved it. I've been on a dystopian kick lately and this is the first one that has excited me enough to keep me up all hours since Divergent. I think I may like Kira more than um...lol see...I've forgotten her name. Oh yeah! Tris! ;-)

Thanks for the awesome review, Wendy. I'm right there with ya ;-)

Wendy Darling Heh, I know that's your kind of girl too, Amanda. :) That's why we get along!

And yay, I'm glad you loved it too, Tara! I agree, it's among the better books of this sort out there.

Experiment BL626 So. Many. Great. Books. To. Read... Too. Much. To. Handle.

Self-destruction in 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

*mind explodes*

Wendy, how in the world do you keep up with this? And to write such well written reviews?

... Are you a goddess? Can you grant me a modicum of power?

Wendy Darling I dunno, I have been accused of being an alien, part robot, some chick on Buffy, and a lot of other things before because of the amount I read, but "goddess" has never been mentioned before, Experiment. :D

But I have the luxury of a lot of reading time in my life at the moment, so I'm just taking advantage while I can. Still, there's never time enough to read all the books I want to read. And I'm literally 20 reviews or so behind, most of which I have to do because they were galleys, so...don't be too impressed.

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