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Monday, June 18, 2012

Is It Battlestar Galactica? No, It's Partials by Dan Wells.

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

In the not-so-distant future, a crippled U.S. fights for survival.  

In desperation, American scientists create an army of "engineered organic beings" to battle the country's enemies.  

These "Partials" look like humans, but are, in fact, super soldiers.  Super fast.  Super strong.  They don't love, don't hate, don't reproduce.  They are nearly indestructible.

When the Partials turn on their creators, a bloody war ensues.  
Only 40,000 humans survive.

Crammed together on Long Island, the people who remain live in fear of the next Partial attack.   

The super soldiers have not been seen in 11 years, but everyone knows they're out there.  Just waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

That moment is now.  

The human world is already in chaos.  Women are being forced to bear children at ever younger ages.  Not that it matters.  Babies don't survive in this new world.  Every one of them is born with RM, the deadly virus the Partials unleashed during their war with the humans over a decade ago.  And yet, the so-called "Hope Act" demands that women do their civic duty, birthing as many children as possible in the hope that a healthy new generation will emerge.

As the Voice—a group of rebels fighting for their right to procreate only when and if they want—sows discontent among the law-abiding citizens of East Meadow, the threat of civil war looms. 

Between the Partial menace, the dying babies and the in-fighting, extinction is only a matter of time for what's left of the human race.  

A very short amount of time.  

Kira Walker, a 16-year-old medic-in-training, can't let her people die.  She must find a solution.  But how?  How can she possibly succeed when so many others have failed?  Only by trying something that's never been tried before.  Something crazy.  Something dangerous.  Something impossible.   

No, it's not Battlestar Galactica (although I have to agree that the plots are a little too similar), it's Partials, the first book in a new YA dystopian series by horror writer Dan Wells.  As you can probably tell, the story speeds along, with plenty of action to keep it moving.  An exciting, entertaining ride, for sure.  Wells does take the time to build his dystopian world, fleshing it out with enough historical and political detail to bore some readers.  Not this one.  To me, all the background information makes Kira's world more believable.  It helped me not just to understand the society, but also to care about its salvation.     

Although it's not the most original series in the world, I enjoyed Partials.  Sure, it could use more surprises (the plot gets pretty predictable), better character development (especially of the guys), and something different to really distinguish it from other stories (thankfully, the humans don't take to space or it would have been a complete Battlestar Galactica ripoff).  Overall, though, it's an absorbing read.  And, truthfully, if you handed me the sequel right now (which isn't actually possible since Wells is still writing it, but whatever), I would clear my schedule to make room for it.  Today.  Right now.  Yeah, I totally would.       

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of other YA dystopians like Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and Matched by Ally Condie)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), violence and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Partials from the generous folks at Balzer and Bray (an imprint of Harper Collins).  Thank you!  


  1. Not my usual genre of choice but I do enjoy a good dystopian world detailed enough to get lost in it. I may just check this series out.

  2. Great review and you're right, this does sound like Battlestar Galactica! However, as I loved that show I think this book sounds great and I'll definitely be checking it out.

  3. I LOVED this one. It probably helps that I don't know anything about Battlestar Galactica.


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