Shannon (Twilight Sleep)'s Reviews > Fragments

Fragments by Dan Wells
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bookshelves: reviewed-on-twilight-sleep, arc-read, arc-physical

I originally won an ARC copy from Epic Reads (part of Harper Teen) but since the ARC didn't show up until a day or two after the book had already been published, I just went ahead and read the proofed version. This review can also be found on Twilight Sleep

ALERT: SPOILERS AHEAD

Wow. Ok, I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this book at first. I don't know what it was....a combination of things, perhaps, the largest factor being a complete lack of time combined with my battle with a mysterious illness that leaves me rather lethargic. But there was also the fact that the beginning of this book just seemed to drag a little...there was a lot of fighting and a lot of traveling and not enough of Samm and Kira kissing and it just kind of left me wanting. Thankfully, it didn't stay that way.

Fragments varies between Kira's viewpoint and Marcus's viewpoint for the most part, with a dash of Samm's thrown in. I think this was another thing that made the book slow for me - while I understand that we needed Marcus's viewpoint to fill in the political backstory, I found his side of the story to be rather boring for the most part. His voice was not nearly as enjoyable as Kira's, despite Wells' attempts to make him funny and likeable. Kira's story was much more interesting, although still very slow to develop. Her meeting Afa was a definite highlight, but I was more than little annoyed when that storyline was ripped out from under me after a long ride through no-mans-land on horseback. I found it a little hard to relate to her grief over Afa's fate as well. I know we find out that Kira is a Partial...but I wasn't expecting her to feel less human than she did in Partials. She just didn't seem as relatable in this book, and that made me sad.

And then there's her and Samm. Talk about a snooze inducer. I really expected (wanted) there to be more romantic development between them in this book, but it simply wasn't there. Sure, we get a sort of half-assed explanation for why it wasn't there near the end of the story, but that does nothing to appease my need for TEH FEELS. *le sigh*

I know, so far it sounds like I didn't like the book at all. NOT TRUE. We learn a lot more about the Partials and after the Kira/Samm smoochfest, that was what I wanted most. I think the author did a great job of showing just how humanistic the Partials really are; they were rather easy to think of as machines in book one, despite Samm's part in the story. Book two doesn't allow the reader to do that. You get personality, you get emotion, you get civil unrest...and suddenly you realize maybe they're not as different from us as you thought. You see Kira struggle with her humanity, you see Samm give in to his, and you see Heron deny hers. But you see the same things happen with humans in the story - with Morgan and Trimble and Vale and Nandita.

On the other hand, who was Samm in this book? He was sadly spineless and lackluster...I loved his unwavering faith in Kira, but I hated his determination to just follow her to the ends of the earth without ever having an opinion separate from hers. Heron was annoying enough to kick in the face, but at least she did spice things up a bit. I think the most enjoyable part of the story was when Kira had to come face-to-face with the reality of, I'm going to say it, how to save a life. At some point, children become adults. And it's at that point that we, as living beings, come to realize that things aren't always as simple as they seem - not everything is black and white, and not every decision is morally clear. I found myself wondering right along with her which choice I would make if faced with it - and how it might affect not just the people immediately involved, but everyone in my life on a larger scale. It was thought-provoking...and in a way it kind of saved the whole novel.

A lot of questions get answered, but of course some of the answers generate more questions. There are plenty of plot twists - some obvious and some not so obvious. I finished the book feeling like I'd been drugged, taken for a spin, and then dropped off in a back alley with no clue how to get home. It was a good and bad thing...and I didn't really realize how on the fence I would be about the rating for this one until I started writing the review. But when it's all said and done, I'm going to give Fragments 3 and 1/2 stars. It suffered a bit from sophomore slump but the overarching story is still so fascinating that I can't say I didn't like it.

But the next book better involve some Kira/Samm romance or I'm going to lose it.
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Reading Progress

July 18, 2012 – Shelved
April 1, 2013 – Started Reading
April 22, 2013 – Finished Reading
June 27, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed-on-twilight-sleep
July 5, 2013 – Shelved as: arc-read
September 5, 2013 – Shelved as: arc-physical

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