Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Partials

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: When I first read the synopsis for Partials I thought it sounded pretty interesting.  I also couldn't help but feel like it would be difficult to pull off well.  Going into it I didn't really have that high of expectations.  I was completely blown away.  It was wonderful.  Definitely up with Pure and Legend  for amazing dystopian fic. 

Long Island is the gathering place for any human left alive after the Partials released the RM virus eleven years ago.  The last of humanity is held together by the Senate, who are desperately trying to make sure they all have a future.  Though the survivors are all immune to the disease that ravaged the planet, none of the children born after the virus hit have survived.  Humanity is fighting a losing battle to procreate.  The Hope Act was enacted in hope of taking a brute force attack to the problem of immunity.  Every woman at the age of 18 is legally obligated to become pregnant as frequently as possible. 

Kira had joined the maternity ward in the hospital in hopes of getting closer to finding a cure.  What she finds though is that no matter how hard they try, no matter how many precautions they take, the child always dies.  RM is still destroying them years later.  As if humanities position isn't in a precarious enough state, a rebel faction on the island is terrorizing the city in hopes of repealing the Hope Act. Kira is determined to try and keep the island from tearing itself apart.  She starts studying the virus, but to her horror they have already exhausted every single viable option for a cure.  The only hope humanity has is to find those who released the virus in the first place, Partials. 

I was completely blown away by just how much medical research was in this story.  I was anticipating vague explanations, but the author went really in-depth.  At least from my plain general knowledge of virology, it seemed well researched and accurate.  I was pretty skeptical that a 16 year old would be able to find a cure when the rest of humanity couldn't, but I have to say that Kira was very resourceful.  She dared to go where no one has gone before and her bravery and gall paid off. 

I really just loved the whole entire story.  The military structure was very well done.  I felt like I was in the middle of a warzone while reading.  Wells did an amazing job of putting you right into the middle of the action.  What I really loved was the conflict between survival and morality.  What's more important? Maintaining personal freedoms, or compromising those freedoms for the sake of survival? When it comes down to it, what's more important? When a select group of people determines what they shall do, worse always comes to worse.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the Senate needs to be stopped.  It turns from protecting humanity, to protecting their seats of power and control over Long Island. 

And the romance! Pure perfection! I could not have asked for a more perfect relationship in this story.  Kira already has an established boyfriend at the start of the novel.  I was terrified that when he became too protective that things were going to disintegrate.  But it was just so well handled and non-dramatic.  Kira understood that he was just trying to look out for her, that he was scared, and ultimately loved her no matter how stubborn she was.  Also, there was the opportunity to introduce a love triangle.  Did. Not. Happen.  I could scream from pure joy.  First. Time. EVER! I was pleased to say the least.  Plus I just loved the guy (his name is not coming to me for some reason).  He was utterly hysterical and sweet and just pure awesome.  He's not the bravest or most daring, but he loves Kira and will do whatever it takes to make sure she's safe.  More guys in YA need to be like him in my opinion. 

And last but not least, I loved the whole concept of the Partials.  It was a genius idea.  They were super mysterious throughout most of the story.  I really adored Samm.  He defied expectations and I never lost faith in him.  He's genuinely a good guy and he and Kira's fates become entangled. (in a very non-romantic way thank god) If I'm being vague, it's on purpose.  I cannot ruin anything about this story.  The plot twist was just great, amazingly well done.  Did not see it coming at all.  I was beyond impressed by this book.  It was a monster.  Took me roughly 10 hours to read.  I kid you not.  But it was soooo worth it.  I'm thrilled for the sequel and can't wait to see where the story goes. 

And to conclude this review, for your viewing pleasure he is an epic trailer for the book.  Honestly, if you haven't read Partials then it's kind of hard to pick up on the relevance, but it's a cool look at Partials and the  company that made them, ParaGen.