Backlist Review, Book Review

Backlist Review: “Partials; Fragments; Ruins”

This isn’t my first attempt at book blogging. I ran The Cheap Reader for a number of years before burning out. I’m dusting off some of my reviews and giving them new life over here.

Partials by Dan Wells

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials–engineered organic beings identical to humans–has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.


Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what’s left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them–connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Summary from Goodreads

Review

  • Hooray! I got some science in my science fiction. That really excites me. It’s not only a science fiction book, but it’s also got some medical thriller mixed in. I always find medical thrillers to be particularly scary since it doesn’t matter how strong or smart you are, the virus will always get you.
  • To a certain extent, some of the story was predictable: sneaking over the Partials side, getting caught, having a corrupt government, a touch of romance. Thankfully the predictable bits have some spice to them to make interesting.
  • There were a few good twists in the book that kicked the book from “enjoyable” to “pretty good.”
  • Overall it was pretty readable. Yes, there’s quite a bit of action but it’s not overwhelming. You get sprinkles of politics and medicine mixed in. All 3 of those work together really well. I finished the book rather quickly over 2 days.
  • I liked Kira as a heroine. I loved that she was intelligent and that was an asset rather than something negative.
  • Yay for a multicultural group of characters!
  • Not only was there a corrupt government, there were all sorts of other bad guys in the story: the Voice, the Partials, and the Trust. That obviously makes the story more interesting but it also adds depth. There’s never just the good guys and the bad guys. Everyone has done some right and wrong. Now you can’t just write off a group of people. I think we’re going to need everyone to figure out the problem.

The bottom line? This was some pretty good science fiction.

Fragments by Dan Wells

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence–it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?


Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.

Summary from Goodreads

Review

It was a very middle of the series book.   It was a big book but most of the big developments didn’t happen until the last ~100 pages or so. That’s a LONG 400 pages to read before things get really interesting.

Despite how slow going the book was, the big developments are really interesting. I didn’t see them coming and I can’t wait to see how things go in the next installment.

I loved the moral gray areas in the book. It’s an interesting take on racism (species-ism?) and the decisions that need to be made aren’t easy ones. I know when reading I’d think about I would do in their situations but things would quickly change as we find out more information.  You don’t know who the good or bad guys are. You’re not quite sure who you want to win. That always makes for interesting reading.

I’m not sure if I was a fan of the different perspectives. It did help because there were a lot of storylines going on and it filled in information we needed. On the other hand, it made for some choppy reading and I was constantly getting annoyed about being taken away from a storyline.

The bottom line? Slow going but the last bit of the book makes the book worth reading.

Ruins by Dan Wells

Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.


There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

Summary from Goodreads

Review

Ruins (and to a certain extent Partials and Fragments) really captured how problems aren’t just black and white. This was never really just Humans versus Partials.  Yes, there were Humans who just wanted to save their skins. Yes, there were Partials who just wanted to save their skins. There were also people who thought the two species could live together. Then there was the big question: are you really willing to exterminate the other group even though that will mean your death? I liked all the exploration of that gray area.

All of those perspectives were really nicely examined because of all the POVs going on. It did make things a bit confusing but you did get a clear picture of everyone’s investments. I wouldn’t say it made everyone entirely likeable but it certainly made everyone understandable.

I thought Ruins did a good job of finishing off the world building and answering questions. All the POVs were a bit all over the place but things started to come together. From what I could tell, all the loose ends were tied up.

Can we talk about the romance for a second? I thought it was well done in this book. Kira’s got two love interests but they never interfere with what needs to be done. She knows how to prioritize. May I present my favorite quote from the book?

She would worry about Samm and Marcus when she wasn’t running for her life.

That’s how romance needs to be done in YA (or at least in sci-fi/fantasy when huge things are at stake). Once things were ‘solved’, she then wrestled with the idea of picking one boy over the other. That was incredibly refreshing to read about.

The bottom line? It was a good wrap up to a very interesting sci-fi series.

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3 thoughts on “Backlist Review: “Partials; Fragments; Ruins””

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