Wendy Darling's Reviews > Fragments

Fragments by Dan Wells
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's review
Jan 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: february, 2013-publication, harpercollins, young-adult, dystopian-post-apocalyptic-utopian, asian, poc, 2013-favorites, action-packed, read-2013, survival
Read from January 20 to February 04, 2013

Win a Fragments ARC on the blog!

This review is spoiler-free, and safe even if you haven't read the first book in this series.

In my review of last year's Partials, I posted a handy check list to help readers decide whether the book was for them. If you're a fan of well-written science fiction thrillers or post-apocalyptic novels with strong heroines, this series is one you should definitely check out!

What do you need to know going into the sequel?

-- There are fantastic action sequences, full of taut suspense and emotion.

-- Survivalist enthusiasts will love it. During the first half of the book, Kira spends most of her time searching through rubble for clues to ParaGen's involvement in the devastating events that decimated human society.

-- A mysterious character named Afa, who has been wandering alone through Manhattan for 12 years since the break, could hold the key to everything Kira needs to know. If you liked the gentle, defenseless character Maury from The Reapers Are the Angels, Afa's relationship with Kira reminds me a lot of that his relationship with Temple. A few of the scenes involving Afa are among the book's most touching.

-- Improvements from the first book: the secondary characters are more defined. Less politics. Marcus is much more interesting. But romance still takes the back seat here, even more so than in the first book.

-- More of Kira's history, and the creation of the Partials, is revealed. And they are both intriguing.

-- There were some readers who complained about the pacing in Partials, and I'm afraid that it's even slower--and occasionally more sluggish--in Fragments. This is a hefty book at 564 pages, and while it's all good material, I would have preferred seeing probably 150 pages of it edited down. This would have balanced things out a bit more, and tightened up the story line in a way that sustained the tension better.

Overall, I thought this was a terrific sequel to a series I very much enjoy. My only issue was really with the length of the book, but hey--after plowing through so many disappointing sophomore efforts, I'm just grateful to have a book two that lives up to the original! And I can't wait to see how Kira's story ends when the final book is released next year.

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

01/26/2013 page 127
22.0% "Dun dun dun! Although you probably should have seen that coming, Kira." 10 comments
01/30/2013 page 364
64.0% "Acid rain. :D" 9 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 63) (63 new)

Wendy Darling You haven't read the first one yet though, right? And this one looks almost identical to the first book! Except now one of the boys is next to her. And I guess whatever they're headed towards is probably different.

message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Bond I was so disappointed by book one I may just pass on this.

Wendy Darling Oh yeah? I really liked the first one! But you're not alone, I had other friends who didn't care for it, including some that I was sure would.

message 4: by Julia (new)

Julia OH. MY. GOD.
Wendy, my jealousy is... like an explosion in my soul that I just cannot contain. I adored the first book. No pressure, but seriously you better finish this fast and review it. Just kidding, take your time. But really. Try to hurry. A little. If you can.


message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate Bond My taste is all over the map, W. I fully expected to love it, even though I guessed the twist when I read the blurb on the back cover of the book.

Katherine OMG!!!!!!!! Jealous!!! How is it?!

Wendy Darling Juliebird! Katherine! I loved the first book, too. I'm a little over 100 pages in, and although so far it's slower-paced than the first book, I'm really enjoying it. But it's huge--564 pages!--so this might take me awhile, hah. Also, I love your "explosion in my soul I just cannot contain" description, Freebird. :)

P.S. (view spoiler)

Katie--guessing the twist sometimes kills it for me, too, although I don't think it would have for PARTIALS. To each her own...

message 8: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Oh jeez! I bet this will be mind blowing! Can't wait to hear what you think.

Wendy Darling Our brain matter will be EVERYWHERE, Molly. Heh.

message 10: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Oh goody. I'll wear a helmet ;P

message 11: by NotoriousGOT (new)

NotoriousGOT Love that you have filed as "asian"

Wendy Darling Oh, I track that in case people are shopping my shelves who are looking for significant Asian characters or authors, Margot. I have a "poc or persons of color" shelf, too. (view spoiler)

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm beyond jealous of you right now. Any reassurance that it's worth the wait?

Wendy Darling Yes. I'm over 200 pages in, and I'm enjoying it even more than the first, Tenielle. :)

Latoya I just finished this one..it was long but good

message 16: by Purcheria (new)

Purcheria oh nice! I can't wait to read your review to see how you liked it. I loved the first book,.

message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I loved Partials. Can't wait to see what you think of this one, Wendy.

Wendy Darling I'm about halfway through now and I love so many things about it, ladies! LaToya is right, though--it is VERY long, hah. I was patient with the wandering-through-the-barren-wasteland part for the first 200 pages, but then I started to get a little antsy. :) Still very much enjoying, though. Great action sequences.

message 19: by Purcheria (new)

Purcheria Nice. I can't wait for it to come out. Argh. It just seems like it's taking so long. .. boohoo. :(

Wendy Darling I'm sorry, I know things seem like they take forever sometimes, especially with series you really love! I am sort of buried in books I have to read/review though, so it's a little crazy from that standpoint to see how many interesting books are coming out this spring. But that's a good problem to have. :)

Book Whales Ohhhhh... I enjoyed the first book. I can't wait to see what you think about this, Wendy :D

Wendy Darling It is VERY long. I was patient for the first half, but you really start feeling it after that point, hah. But I am still enjoying it, and there are some great scenes. I just wish there was a little less wandering among the rubble. Even though that's normally something I very much enjoy.

message 23: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen) If you ever get the chance to meet him, he's hilarious. :-)

Wendy Darling So I keep hearing. :)

Kelly Sierra I'm so glad to hear it. This was one of my favorite new series last year!

Wendy Darling I really enjoyed it, Kelly! I don't think I'm going to be alone in bemoaning its length though, hah. It's not that what's there isn't good, by the way--it's just that my attention span is only so long.

message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I am excited to read this one! More so now that you gave it a good rating.

Sanette Oh I can't wait! I loved the first one. Looking forward to your review Wendy :-)

Wendy Darling Yeah, if you enjoyed the first book, I think you'll enjoy the second, Lisa and Sanette. Even though it may take you awhile to get through it, hah.

message 30: by Beth (new)

Beth  (YA Books Central) I still have the 1st one to read and everyone says it is good! I have got to catch up to it! :)

Wendy Darling Ah, you must give the first one a try, Beth! I thought it was really fun. This one is a little drier, but still enjoyable too. :)

message 32: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen Powell I'm a little over halfway through Partials, and even though I really don't have that many complaints about it, I'm finding myself struggling to pick it back up and keep going. Maybe it's the pacing of the part that I stopped at, but I'm really just not that invested. :-/ BUT! I hear such amazing things about Fragments, and we're really only JUST getting into the scenes that include actual cylons--uh, I mean, partials, so I know I should keep going.

Wendy Darling Welll....to be honest, this one is a lot longer than Partials and I think it's a lot drier, too. If you're having issue with pacing in the first book, I'm not sure how you'll feel about this one! But yes, the second half of Partials is where everything really picks up, Gretchen. Hope you enjoy! It was one of my favorite books last year.

usagi ☆ミ Definitely agree re: needed to be edited down.

message 35: by Julia (new)

Julia Oh, yay! I think that I am going to devour this book like a piece of chocolate next to my bed when I'm on a diet. I had no problems with the pacing in Partials so I wonder if I'll find the pacing in this novel slow. Either way, fantastic review as always, Wends :)

message 36: by Lucy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lucy I agree completely, especially with your point on improved character development. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I cared about Wells' characters by the end of Fragments!

Wendy Darling Ah hah, I knew I wasn't going to be the only one who thought so, GW! I'm coming to check your review in a sec.

Juliebird, I didn't really have an issue with the pacing in the first book either, but I know other people did. I hope you get your hands on this soon! And PS, our giveaway on the blog is international. ;)

Lucy, I think the secondary characters were both more interesting in this book and they were just written better, too. As you said, I cared about them a lot by the end, and that didn't really happen with the first book. Maybe this trajectory means that the third book will probably blow us away. ;)

sh(e)reader oh dear - do I wait for the library to get it or just bite the bullet and buy? I've been anxious for this one!

Wendy Darling Hah, I don't know! Does your library even have it? Your answer might lie there. ;) Despite its length, I definitely am glad I have a copy for my shelves--I really enjoy this series.

sh(e)reader Well, my library does have the hardbound on order, with only 50 or so holds :) ... as my name suggests, I do love digital. But I see the Kindle version isn't out for another month!

message 41: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth i loved the first one

Wendy Darling Wow, it's kind of weird the ebook follows a month after the book's release--I wonder why that is! Either way, I hope you get a chance to read it soon. :)

Beth--then you need to get your hands on this one asap!

Ashley Kreutzer really looking forward to this one...these books are right up my alley. :) thanks!

Wendy Darling Oh good--it's out tomorrow, Ashley! I hope you enjoy it. :)

Maria You had me at Maury, I mean Afa. :) can't wait for a copy of this!

message 46: by oliviasbooks (new)

oliviasbooks Sluggish ...?

~Tina~ Great review Wendy! I need to pick this up:)

Jennifer at BookShelfery Man, I am so bad. I've had Partials FOREVER on my Nook and I still haven't read it. I hear this series is just so good, so far!

Wendy Darling I'm glad you liked the Maury/Afa reference, Maria! Hope you enjoy the book.

And yes--very, very slow in parts, unfortunately, olivia. The thing is, it's all good material, I just think there was too much of it. My puny brain can only take so much.

Thanks Tina! I hope you get your hands on it soon. :)

Jennifer--I really like this series, although I know some readers aren't as crazy about it. The first one is very science-oriented, and this one's very survivalist. It's really hard for me to tell who will enjoy it, but I'm curious what you'd think of it.

Kelly Sierra OMG, it took me to long to get into the book but when it sucked me boy did I feel like I was riding the tea cups at Disney. Cannot wait until the next book! (P.S. I obviously loved your review)

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