Review: Partials

Author: Dan Wells
  • Series: Partials #1
  • Published: February 28, 2012
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 468 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Won

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

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Just as the summary above that was taken from Goodreads states, Partials was a pulse-pounding journey into a world unlike any other. However, I have to say that the pulse-pounding action didn't pull me in until I was about 150 pages into the book. In a sense, this book reminded me very much of Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Not that they have similar plot lines, but each book had to write a large chunk of detail to introduce us to their unique world and the other characters before the author got down to the real page-turning action. With this in mind, I struggled through the first chunk of the book and I'm happy to say I did because I couldn't put the book down once I reached the action-packed section. When Kira finally sets her mind to go on a deadly and near treasonous mission, I fell in love with both her and the amazing sci-fi adventure that Wells had in store for us.

Kira is a very strong MC. Because of her amazing mind, she's a rising star in the world of science, at least what's left of it after the Partials War. It was refreshing to have an intelligent female protagonist that was intelligent beyond her years. Her motives are always admirable as well. She never once stepped out of line to hurt anybody and risked her life, a war, and the new government to save her best friend's child. It's safe to say that I'd kill for a friend like that. She wasn't willing to conform to all of the ludicrous rules that the Senate presented, especially the continuous lowering pregnancy age that makes The Hope Act make all females bear children as often as possible in an attempt to find a baby that could survive RM and give humanity a new hope for survival.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Wells' writing style. As I said before, I had trouble getting into the book in the beginning, but once all necessary explanations and world-building was complete and the plot began to flow, I couldn't put the book down. I found myself arguing with myself whether I should stay up past one AM to finish it that night or wait until the next morning to do so. My only other problem with this novel is that, at times, the sci-fi elements took over the book. Characters would give huge speeches and I'd find my eyes glazing over because the dialogue passages were so long I had trouble focusing. Pages of paragraphs of the same character talking isn't that entertaining. And when they would talk about specific science aspects, I had trouble grasping them, despite Wells' best attempt to explain it all. I mean... I've gotten A's in environmental science, biology, chemistry, and a B+ in physics. I'm not amazing at science, but I can certainly grasp scientific concepts. This book has some words that I have never heard of before, thus some of it went completely over my head. In this sense, I feel as if Wells' background as an adult writer crosses over into his first attempt at a young adult novel and blurs the lines between the two genres.

This book is earning 4 stars because of how enjoyable I found it. I certainly haven't found a world like this in any other post-apocalyptic novels. Nor have I encountered any concepts that I feel that I have seen before. In the end, the enemy is the last thing that you would expect. And when this all comes to light, you'll be dying for the next book in this series, just as I am. I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes a nice, thick read that makes you think. Despite the fact that it doesn't feel as long as it is, you certainly need to be able to set aside a large chunk of your time to complete it.


I do enjoy this cover! You can see Kira looking out onto what I am assuming is the City, preparing her mission despite having no knowledge of what could be waiting for her behind those buildings. It's great and would totally compel me to pull this book off of a shelf in Barnes and Noble.
4 stars


  1. This sounds like an amazing book! I'm going to put it on my wish list. Thanks for the great review!

    1. Hah no problem! Thank you for checking out!

  2. I have been dying to read this one! I can't wait until my number comes up on the wait list at my local library for it!

    1. You'll go nuts! You can't just have them ship it from another library? My library has a shipping program where they trade books with about 50 other libraries within an hours distance in all directions. It's pretty awesome. If your library doesn't have a book, you'll get it within 4 days from somewhere else.