02 May 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials (Partials #1) by Dan Wells

Published: 28 February 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Pages: 468 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young-Adult, Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

My Thoughts

When I first heard about Partials, I knew I had to read it. Firstly, it's PA/dystopia/sci-fi (three of my favourite genres in one!) and secondly it's a big book at 468 pages - I love big books that I can completely immerse myself in for hours and hours on end. And it didn't disappoint!

I'm going to break this down a bit, as there is so much to talk about in this book.

World-building - this is probably one of the best examples of world-building I have read in YA for a long time. I could easily imagine the scenes in my mind, particularly the disintegrating buildings and infrastructure, the laboratories and hospitals, and a whole lot of other things I can't discuss without spoiling the book. Science backs up the story in a completely believable and intriguing way.

Characters - I loved Kira - she's tough, brave, smart, compassionate and a great role-model character. Her boyfriend Marcus was equally likeable and I found their relationship to be realistic and it was refreshing to read about a complicated relationship that actually had a good reason to be complicated. Xochi, Kira's adopted sister was one of the secondary characters that stood out most for me - her obsession with music and her outspoken attitude had me looking out for her in every scene she didn't appear.

Storyline - Keeping the pacing and reader interest in a long book is tough, but there was never a 'down' moment in this book for me. Sure, it's not all actioned-packed partial fighting all the way through, but even the political parts (which would normally make me yawn so hard my eyes watered) were intriguing and added an important dimension.

In summary - with the current glut of YA PA/Dystopia/Sci-Fi it's hard to find a book that really stands out from the rest, but for me Partials was a shining light - the writing is excellent and all the features that I love, great characters, awesome world-building and an intriguing storyline are all there in buckets. I can't wait for the next book!


  1. I am so glad you liked it! And I agree with the worldbuilding, it's splendid. What amazes me more in Partials, as you mentioned was the pacing. Great review!

    Smitten Over Books

  2. You loved it! This bodes well for me. He's going to be signing at BEA, so I'm planning to get a copy there!

  3. It was great. So jealous of you Christina! I'd be so excited!

  4. I can't wait to read this one! World building is so key to being able to immerse oneself in a book!!

  5. YAY! I'm super excited you loved it so much. I agree with you, it's definitely unique from what's out there and gosh after that ending I'm DESPERATE for the next one! :D

  6. I've been wanting to read this one for sooo long! Glad to hear there is great world building. I feel like a lot of dystopians lack this too much. Kira and her boyfriend sound great. I like realistic relationships.

  7. This has been sitting on my shelf for months. I am excited to experience the world-building! It certainly seems to have a very unique setting!



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