All Things Urban Fantasy's Reviews > Fragments

Fragments by Dan Wells
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's review
Feb 26, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed-by-abigail
Read in February, 2013

Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

How does an almost 600 page book end up feeling too short? Masterful plotting, harrowing danger, meticulously detailed worldbuilding with a complex history, and truly human characters even when they aren’t actually human.

I called PARTIALS, the first book in the Partials Sequence, ‘the first truly great dystopian debut of the year!’ in 2012, and FRAGMENTS is even better. So much so that I’m calling the Partials Sequence one of the best dystopian series since The Hunger Games. The medical thriller elements are just as prominent as in the debut, and while the concepts became necessarily more complex, I found them to be more easily comprehended this time. We learn more about the geneticists who created the Partials, how and why they were made, and how the RM virus that attacks humans is connected to the expiration date for Partials. Not to mention Kira’s unique role and explanation for her existence.

Books with amazing concepts often fall into a rut with their sequels either regurgitating essentially the same story or breaking so far from their original premise that they alienate fans of the debut. FRAGMENTS neatly sidesteps both common pitfalls. Author Dan Wells has carried over his brilliant balance of characters who possess opposing viewpoints and has still made them all sympathetic to readers. He raises numerous ethical quandaries in FRAGMENTS and Mr. Wells respects both his characters and his readers enough not to give them easy answers. At the same time, he forces his characters into new environments and drops MIND ALTERING revelations that we rarely see in middle books for trilogies.

The beginning of FRAGMENTS was a little slow, and I did prefer the chapters with Kira more than Marcus back on Long Island (fortunately the ratio is 3:1 so most of the book follows Kira). The plot is crazy dense and amazingly well paced, but it didn’t leave a lot of room for character development until the showstopping end (which will leave readers breathless). But those criticisms are so minor in the face of everything that this book gets so right. The conclusion to the Partials Sequence can’t come soon enough.

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