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.
Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.
I don’t quite know how to review Partials. On one hand, I enjoyed it and it held my interest (ie. I finished it in two days). On the other hand I found it very similar to other young adult dystopian novels I’ve read. The story felt very familiar and I ended up figuring out almost all of the mysteries way before the end of the book. Despite all that, I’m still looking forward to the next book in the series but not quite as much as some of my favorites.
In Partials, like in many other dystopian novels, the human population has been demolished by a devastating plague. There are only a few hundred human survivors in the whole world, or at least they think there are no other survivors. There is no way to know if there other survivors since most of the technology was destroyed. On top of that, new born babies are not surviving more than a few hours after their birth and they can’t figure out why. The human race will be gone for good if they don’t solve the baby problem soon. Oh and before the human population dwindled, they created these super humans, called Partials, that are dangerous and threaten to the survival of the human race. Kind of a major part of the story.
What makes Partials similar to other young adult dystopian novels? The plot, the characters, and their situation. The concept of the Partials felt familiar to me. Like every scifi novel/movie has done something similar. For some reason the Partials aspect of the story kept reminding me of the movie iRobot combined with I am Legend (Woah, a reference to two Will Smith movies, this can’t be going well). There are no robots or zombie like vampires in this book, yet I felt reminded of the story often. Maybe I’m crazy. Perhaps that characters
As far as the characters go, they also felt familiar. Kira sets out on a mission to save the human population and is successful, for the most part. She has surprising amount of skills, she’s smart, fast, and a scientist that is somehow solving the problem of the baby epidemic all on her own. Kira is a strong female character and is an excellent heroine but sometimes she too perfect to me. I like my characters with flaws. There are also two boys in her life, one’s safe and protective and the other dangerous and mysterious with a heart of gold. She is, of course, divided between the two. Although to be fair, the romantic interests are a very small part of the book.
What’s makes it different? The love interest(s) and the details. As I said in the above paragraph, there is a romantic interest but it doesn’t dominate the entire plot. Kira isn’t focused on boys but on the problem at hand and no one will get in her way, not even cute boys. I can’t tell you how refreshing that is. Hurray for realistic women in fiction! There is a romance enough to keep romance fans happy and there is a hint of more to come in the next novel. Kira also had great friends who got battle in their own way. I like how each of them contributed to their part in saving humanity.
Overall, Partials is an engaging read. A little predictable but for the most part good. I think my view of may be a little influenced by the amount of dystopian novels I’ve read. I really did enjoy it and I want to read the next one in the series for sure. I’m not usually a fan of dystopian novels with a disease focus but it didn’t bother me in this instance. It is the main underlying threat in the book but the story kept it light enough for me. I recommend Partials to fans of young adult science fiction and dystopian novels.