Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Fragments

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: Partials was such an amazing debut novel, that Fragments definitely had a tough act to follow.  Sequel books just as a trend tend to fall flat from the first novel.  Happy to report that Fragments was just as strong of a story as Partials was, if not stronger.  

It's been a few weeks since Kira left East Meadow in search of ParaGen.  Her recent discovery that she was not human, and in fact a Partial was a staggering blow.  But she is no less determined to save both species from the imminent time bomb that will destroy them both.  Humans and Partials both face extinction and Kira is one of the few that realize that their only hope is to work together. Meanwhile Marcus is back in East Meadow, trying to keep the island together.  When Dr. Morgan and her Partial army decide to take over the island in search of Kira, living in East Meadow becomes a struggle for survival.  Through it all Marcus is trying to piece together the enigma that is Kira and her adoptive mother Nandita, the woman who they all thought they could trust.  Nandita has disappeared, but the Partials are still after her, and Marcus is determined to figure out why.  

The bitter hatred between the two races is just as strong as ever in the sequel.  Both sides want to eradicate the other in order to try and save themselves.  And yet despite the mutual animosity there are some surprising twists.  Marcus, pure brilliant, goodhearted Marcus, suggests the unthinkable.  There are different fractions of Partials, some of which are attacking Dr. Morgan and her division.  His idea is perhaps even more radical than Kira's was, seek out the Partials for an alliance.  It's the first step in ending this ridiculous war, and Marcus isn't the only one who is able to take a leap of faith.  Both sides begin to step towards a tentative trust.  It was honestly one of my favorite moments in this novel.  A Partial willing to trust a human and even more importantly risk his own life for them, and vice versa. Things are still far away from being ok between the two races, but it was a step and I can't wait to see more of this new sympathetic Partial that has joined with Marcus. 

Kira's discoveries about ParaGen just keep getting more and more disturbing.  After running into Afa Demoux, a former IT head at ParaGen, who has been surviving on his own for 11 years, Kira learns some uncomfortable truths about the company that created her and their intentions towards the Partials as well as the human race.  Afa's mind is broken from having been alone all this time and most of the time his manic side is in control, but those brief moments of lucidity where he's a technological genius is invaluable to Kira to get the true information she needs about ParaGen.  

Eventually Samm and Heron find Kira and Afa, and they set out on a journey to Chicago and then across the acid rain filled wasteland that is the midwest to get to Denver, the headquarters of ParaGen.  They go through incredible hardships and loose more than supplies when they finally reach their destination.  The headquarters of ParaGen are nothing like they expected and they are faced with unthinkable decisions.  

I was absolutely blown away by the plot twists in this story.  There was supposed to be this master plan behind why the Partials were so integral to curing RM.  And yet the explanation was so f-ed up and yet it made perfect sense in a very sick way.  Never saw that coming to say the least.  And there is one other major plot reveal that I had no freaking clue about.  Just wow.  Mind was blown.  And the implications are terrifying to think about.  In the end, both Samm and Kira put the survival of both races above themselves.  It was probably the most heart-wrenching and scream inducing endings ever.  Yes I was yelling at the book and struggling not to throw it.  Maybe I got a little worked up.  Just why, Dan Wells, why would you do this to us?  

Well, during Partials I was just so happy that there was no love triangle in that book.  It had the potential to turn into one, and it didn't. I was ecstatic.  Ya well, now there is a love triangle.  And I don't hate it.  Weird right? And with the way this story line is going I don't know if there is even a remote possibility that it's going to happen anyway.  Just, so many plot twists! Curse plot twists.  

It's safe to say that I am dying for the third book already.  Why do I do this to myself really? I should just learn not to buy a series until all the books are out.  Waiting is killer. But worth it.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Of Triton

Synopsis: In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

My Review:  I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, Of Poseidon, but I was like what the heck, might as well give the second one a shot.  I ended up having the same opinion of the sequel as the first book.  

Of Triton really just picks right up where Of Poseidon left off, albeit with some overblown dramatics.  Emma's mother, the newly discovered lost Princess, panics and not only goes ninja warrior ass on all of them, but ferrets Emma out of there as quickly as she can.  She's convinced that the Sirena will send a capture team and kill Emma once they discover she's a half breed.  Emma's mother is convinced that she's the one that killed Grom, and thinks that the Sirena will punish her for her imagined transgression.  All the while she's implanting doubts into Emma's head about Galen's true intentions towards her.  Meanwhile Galen has fetched his brother and they're desperately trying to catch up to Emma and her mother.  

Despite their own little personal drama, the rest of the Sirena world is being thrown into a state of chaos.  With Emma's mother's reappearance, power hungry Sirena try and upset the applecart and gain power for themselves.  Emma has to decide what will be best not only for herself, but the Sirena.  Will she expose herself or stay hidden?   

I have to say my biggest problem with this book was the beginning.  It was just such overblown dramatics and how easily Emma doubts Galen just made me want to bash my head against a wall.  The beginning was just rushed and everything happened at a fast and furious pace.  It just kind of threw me off since the ending to Of Poseidon was such a big reveal.   I still don't really know how I feel about Emma's mom and Grom.  It's kind of just an awkward situation.   

As far as the rest of the plot went, it was fine.  Not really any huge surprises or plot twists, but I like the direction where the story led.  In the end, everything ended up working for the better.  I just wish the story had been fleshed out more.  These books would be ten times better if they were just LONGER.  The story is just so squished that it barely feels like there's any development going on.  Everything happens in such a tight sequential order that it doesn't leave you any room to breath and truly enjoy the story.  Maybe I'm being picky, but I like gradual build.  

There was a character death.  Obviously I'm not saying who, but I just felt like it was unneeded.  I didn't feel any emotional attachment to the character, which is probably why they got killed off because reader's wouldn't get too upset, but there was just no reason why they needed to die.  

Overall I just kind of feel meh towards these books.  Apparently there is going to be a third installment, though I can't see particularly why since the ending to this was pretty well wrapped up.