Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the 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. But sixteen-year-old Kira is determined to find a solution. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that that the survival of both humans and Partials rests in her attempts to answer questions about the war's origin that she never knew to ask.

Playing on our curiosity of and fascination with the complete collapse of civilization, Partials is, at its heart, a story of survival, one that explores the individual narratives and complex relationships of those left behind, both humans and Partials alike—and of the way in which the concept of what is right and wrong in this world is greatly dependent on one's own point of view.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

468 pages, Hardcover

First published February 28, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Dan Wells

54 books5,715 followers
Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
19,412 (33%)
4 stars
21,764 (37%)
3 stars
11,931 (20%)
2 stars
3,397 (5%)
1 star
1,652 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,842 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,635 reviews34k followers
March 16, 2012
It seems as though YA Science Fiction is experiencing a bit of a resurgence lately. Like many other readers, I'm a little tired of the barely-dystopian trend, so it's great to see a very firmly science-oriented book like Partials come along. Airborne viruses + survivalist action drama + human interest story is a great combination, and one I think most fans of post-apocalyptic thrillers will enjoy.

In the year 2076, 11 years after an airborne viral outbreak, the average newborn lives just 56 hours. 16-year-old Kira Walker, a young medic interning at a hospital, thinks that the key to human survival lies in studying Partials, a group of rogue cyborgs described as "unthinking, unfeeling human killers." Since Partials released the virus to begin with, surely they have the answers to a cure--whether it's through their genetic makeup or through their knowledge. When her friend Madison gets pregnant, Kira embarks on a dangerous mission: to find and capture a Partial so she can save her friend's child.

But you've seen some positive reviews and some negative ones, right? So here is the type of person that I think will have a blast with this book.

You're a Battlestar Galactica fan. There are many similar BSG elements in this book, in a very good way. Partials are very similar to Cylons, and there's a war between humans and Partials that will decide the fate of both. There are also some elements of Star Trek: TNG, and The Matrix in this book, which aren't bad influences to have at all. But lest you be concerned about knockoffs, this is definitely an original story, told in a very engaging way.

You like medical thrillers. Kira runs a lot of tests on a captured Partial in this book, and while some readers may have an issue with all the medical business that goes on, I personally love books about viruses and analyses of scientific data, etc., so I very much enjoyed all that. Do Kira's experiments require some suspension of disbelief? Sure. Especially since a. she's a student b. we don't get all the answers we might be asking and c. this disease doesn't actually exist. (True story!) But what worked for me was that the author did a great job of walking us through the steps and logic and reasoning behind Kira's methodology.

Post-apocalyptic books rock your socks. Something about this book reminded me a lot of the feel of Mira Grant's Feed and Deadline, but for the YA crowd--and I don't make those comparisons lightly. There is a great blend of virological talk, exciting action sequences, and entertaining twists and turns that will appeal to fans of the Newsflesh series. Plus there are some survivalist elements I also really enjoyed. Worrying about energy conservation, day to day needs, salvage runs? Please, tell me more!

You appreciate butt-kicking heroines. I really liked Kira, who is a smart, responsible heroine, even if she is a little too narrowly focused on her ideals and a little too quick to fly off the handle. I would liked to have felt more of an emotional connection with her, the way I did with the very intriguing Samm , but I did feel as though I understood her. And it's great to have a girl scientist portrayed in YA.

Do any of these sound like you? If so, get thee to a bookstore and grab a copy of Partials asap!

I will say that some of the secondary teen characters blended together for me, so that it wasn't until significant things happened to them that I remembered who was who and what part they were playing in the story. All the adults are there primarily to advance the plot as well, and basically serve as foils and obstacles to the teens. And even though it's understandable that teenagers have taken on more advanced roles earlier on due to the outbreak, they have such huge responsibilities that it does make you raise an eyebrow a bit; it's almost as if Partials was written with adult characters, but was adapted for the YA market. While some of the specifics of the story may strain credulity when you stop to look at the big picture, I have to admit that during reading, it's hard to care, because the story is so well-paced and entertaining. I'm hoping that in the sequel, we'll see deeper character development and further exploration of the ramifications of the Hope Act as the story continues.

All in all, Partials was a lot of fun for me. My immediate reaction when I finished the book was "fan-freaking-tastic!" and I'm excited that there's such a great science fiction option out there for YA readers. Don't get me wrong, I love fluffy novels or the types of books that feature girls in pretty ballgowns. But I like the kind of girl who wears lab coats, doesn't mind risking her life for what she believes is right, and argues passionately about the civil rights of cyborgs, too.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
March 18, 2019
There was a serious lack of drama, suspense and tension in this book. The lengthy descriptions and idle conversations were dull enough without the subject matter going from hockey to guns to bombs. I braved the first boring 200 pages because I was sure once the hunt for the Partials began we would see something a little more kickass, dangerous, pulse-pounding... something that would make me excited to read on. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This is another one of those books that will be just right for fans of very slow plot development, but not one for people like me who prefer something a bit faster-paced and nastier.

This story is about a world where the human population has dwindled to approx. 40,000 because of a disastrous war with genetically engineered soldiers called Partials. The remaining few have congregated on an island, but all the babies born to the women die within a few days due to the release of a virus by the Partials. The adults, however, remain immune to this virus. Now the thing I find quite unbelievable is that we're expected to just accept that expert researchers have been studying the babies for years in search of a cure, and yet it takes a sixteen year old girl to come up the idea that they should also be looking at why adults have immunity to the virus. I mean... duh.

The romance, too, was so flat and uninteresting that it only served to make things worse. This book is for someone, I'm sure, though I don't know who to recommend it to. Probably those who thought The Book of Blood and Shadow had good pacing.
Profile Image for Lyndsey.
126 reviews3,188 followers
January 15, 2012
You can now check out the Partials trailer right HERE on Goodreads!

A Partials-themed Acrostic!

Pregnancy obligations for the young like in Bumped.

Amateur military of Falling Skies.

Rioters and mercenaries threaten way of life like in The Survivors.

The MC is a bad-ass female scientist like in Bones

Infertility woes of the women on the Lost island.

Artificially created humans similar to Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.

Lots of myths being busted.


The Rundown

The world has been decimated by an airborne virus that killed 99.9% of the population. The virus was released by beings called Partials, genetically engineered soldiers that look just like us but with 10 times the strength and stamina.

The Partials have let the few remaining humans live in peace as long as they don't cross the border into Partials territory. Every female of age is required to be pregnant as often and as soon as possible. The current reigning government, the Senate, figures that if the citizens have enough babies, some of them will eventually be born with a natural immunity to the airborne virus that fills the air around them and decimates their newborn population. After a decade of births, this still has not happened. Every baby dies within mere hours.
Our main character, Kira, has this brilliant idea that the scientists should focus on discovering how the immunity really works and figure out why the remaining adults and the Partials are immune.

And now for an intermission of Lyndsey Thoughts:
Me: Wait a tic - Kira thinks of this?! No one else in a decade, not even the Senate, has thought of that?
Other Me: Duh, Lyndsey. She's the main character. Of course, she thought of it!
Me: Right. I guess she's pretty smart then.
Other Me: Also, the Senate is full of bozos.
Me: Okay, thanks for clearing that up, Self.

In order to investigate the Partials immunity, they need to find one that will help them and the chances of that are pretty much zero. So they have get a hold of one somehow. Here's where it gets interesting! Veddy, veddy interesting!!

The Enevitable BSG Comparison

At first, I expected to be comparing this to Battlestar Galactic as I read. And sure, the storyline and background of the two share a lot of similarities, but Partials and BSG are two completely different beasts. I was completely caught up in the science and the questions of this book. Battlestar Galactica is so epicly character based, and I can't imagine it any other way. Characterization was not a strong point of Partials. I never heavily connected to the characters, but I was SO captivated by their surroundings and their story.
The tone of this book felt more like a science-based procedural crime show set in a post-apocalyptic world populated by cyborgs and a few remaining humans. This is Battlestar Galactica if Battlestar Galatica had been written by the writers of Bones.

Characterization and Romance

The weak link in Partial's chain was it's characterization. It's written in third person and I found it difficult to truly hear the voices of the characters. In fact, the only one I ever emotional connected to was the one that wasn't even human: the Partial that we meet later on, Samm. But considering that I am actually a cylon, you could say we share a certain kinship and all.

The Senate, Kira's arch nemesis, is full of people who are delusional and one-dimensional, seeming to be so set in their ways that they don't care if it destroys them.

Romance does not play much of a part AT ALL in this novel. It's an extra, meandering about in the background, sipping it's vente chai soy latte and speaking in a fake British accent. In fact, I couldn't have been less interested in the so-called "romantic" storyline between Kira and Marcus.  But even so, this book and it's story managed to transcend it's characters.

Does this put the SCI in SCI-FI?

This is pretty hard science fiction... for YA. Don't get me wrong, I've definitely seen harder.

Did you know that robots now play ping pong? And have ROCK HARD ABS?! Humina humina.

But that's usually in adult fiction, so this is a welcome move into the realm of young adult novels. Partials is an excellent choice for fans of "sciencey" science fiction. (That's me!) Kira spends time actually asking questions and analyzing data. And I loved every minute of it. Amazingly and most importantly, I felt like I understood it all.

I don't really know anything about how viruses work. But when reading this book, I am operating on the assumption that the author writing about viruses knows at least more than I do. That being said, I felt Dan Wells did an amazing job at breaking down the science, especially toward the end. 

I had a lot of questions while reading. Why do the babies get sick only after they are born? If the virus is airborne, why couldn't the babies survive in a filtered clean room? Conveniently enough, Kira had a lot of the same questions and managed to answer many of my concerns.

I've recently come to the realization that my obsession with literature stems from a quest for knowledge. I constantly feel the need to learn and grow and change. To see and imagine new things. I feel like this is one of those novels. One of those novels that attempts to push thinking forward, that focuses on the questions of life, as opposed to the problems in it.

Many post-apocalyptic novels are problem based, not question based. They encounter a problem and they push through. In Partials, Kira encounters a question and she answers it. A problem is just something that you have to work through and solve. You either solve it or you don't. A question is something that opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. Questions are often accompanied by their own problems, however. This is a story about solutions. Solutions to the questions asked and to the problems that come along with it.

The mark of a great science fiction author is having the ability to make the reader believe that they are a freaking rocket scientist. Or in the case of this book... A virologist. Write it so well that the reader is sciencing that science right along with the main characters. Dan Wells certainly excelled at doing just that.

The Pacing

I started this book with a straight face. Twenty five percent in, I was pursing my lips in question. Fifty percent in, I was nodding my head in agreement. Seventy five percent in, I was grinning with excitement. At the end, I was passed out from exhaustion and amazement.

The story moves along consistently, but not at a breakneck pace either. It has quite a bit of action and a constant crawl of information.

The Verdict

Partials is a dense post-apocalyptic delicious dessert, swirled with dystopian undertones, and topped off with dark military themes. Who wouldn't want a piece of that?

Well, what do you know? There's actually a BOOK for that!

I worry that it may have a hard time finding an audience as a young adult book because it is so heavily grounded in science. Sci-fi in YA excites me, and this book was a great start to what is hopefully a new trend in the young adult world.

The story is not character or romance based, but it is high in concept, plot and science. It is also not a standalone as I previously assumed, seeing as it ends on a semi-cliffhanger. It is questioning, yet not too philosophical. Light cerebral sci-fi.

If you're looking at experimenting with science fiction (And, come on, science fiction and experimentation go GREAT together!), Partials would be an excellent place to start.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
October 27, 2019
oh my god!! i just got an unexpected ARC of this on the SAME DAY as i got the new ron rash ARC!!! what is a girl to do??? too many good things at once!!! this is the best nightmare i have ever had!


this is a very high three-stars. it would have been a four if i was just judging it on enjoyment and the ability of the plot to engage me. but i have decided to be more responsible when reviewing the YA, and not just letting it get away with stuff just because its intended audience is probably going to let it get away with stuff. since the lines between YA and adult fiction keep getting more and more blurred, and since dan wells has written primarily for adults before this, my hammer is coming down.

exposition is tough. catching a reader up to the action occurring in the novel's "past," particularly in dystopian settings where it is bound to be complicated, is tricky. but this isn't a movie. a book has the advantage of not having to do this in dialogue. and when you do choose to do it in dialogue, it just sounds clunky.

character one: remember five years ago when this thing happened??

character two: i do, but then that other thing happened so it made it somehow worse, but we were able to do blank which prevented us from blankety-blanking.

character one: right, but we forgot about that other thing.

character two: yeah, that was rough.

i mean - that is just an example of how awkward this kind of thing can be - it is obviously not as bad in the book, but it rankles nonetheless to have characters sitting around discussing events they lived through as though giving a memorized oral report on historical events.it just works better to have characters thinking these things to themselves. benefit of the medium - ca$h in on it.

the other complaint i have, and this might be unavoidable in YA lit of this kind, is how much agency these kids have. i understand that in a world like this, there would be necessary adaptation, and a heightening of responsibility and maturity, but little teens in business suits and briefcases working in the senate? rising to power in the military? curing cancer? it just seems too fantastic. and our sixteen-year-old heroine is the one to point out the very obvious blind spot in the scientists' research thus far? they spent eleven years performing the exact same tests without ever thinking of that? it just seems unlikely that the scientists are that terrible at their jobs.

and what are the rest of the survivors doing? there are three foci: government.military. doctors/scientists.where is everyone else? who is picking up the trash? did i miss where all the food is coming from? besides the herbs? although i am actually pretty glad that he explained the clothing thing, because it is simple and a cool detail that is never really touched upon in most the the stuff i have been reading. this kind of detail is not important to a lot of people, but i really like aftermath stories, particularly when the details of its restructuring are included. they are not necessary to tell this story, but i do appreciate it when a world built is built densely.

okay - enough nitpicking. because there is plenty of good stuff here. for all the lack in the world-building, there is plenty of detail in the virology elements. a lot of books like this would skimp on the details, and just say, "it is a viiiirus. it makes our babies diieeeee." and not go into why. this does. it is cleverly done, and makes sense, as far as my science-free brain is concerned. this is what made the mira grant books so strong - explanation of how things came to be in a respectable white lab coat. i am on board.

action sequences - also good. everything that happened on manhattan was well-written and gripping - i appreciated all the twists and turns and ambiguity. and then that thing that happens to her in the lab with the - fantastically jarring, that.

characters are mostly good: haru specifically is well-done - there is a lot of shadow in that character, and i really appreciated the murkiness and inscrutability. kira as true-believer is an archetype that can get old pretty fast, but at least she is action, and not just all talk.

aside: i'm not crazy about racial checklist books: one of these and one of those and don't forget to include a this and that mix. it just strikes me as disingenuous and pandering.

he is completely right about the names of towns of long island. ronkonkoma? ridiculous.

and am i the only one for whom

twists: also done well. especially the one you know which one i am talking about. when that part happened, i literally sat straight up and said, "iiiinteresting" and my brain started racing towards all the places this could go and getting excited to see how the rest of the series will play out.

so - yeah. ultimately, a high-three from me. but with such spectacular potential for future books. i really think this is just a matter of an author trying to fit themselves into the expectations of YA and having a reasonable amount of turbulence. on the one hand - this is definitely not dumbed-down for its audience. on the other, there are just some structural oversights and missteps. but a really fun book with a great future ahead of itself.

maybe not a great future for the characters muahahahahahaa

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,101 followers
February 9, 2017
I'm gonna struggle a bit here and say some good things. The writing is clear. The characters are easily visualized. The plot twist is serviceable.

It's not a bad book. There's plenty of tension and action and *big* *fear*.


Yeah, well, um... I'm read it before. A lot.

But it's YA! It's meant for new readers who've never been blown away by classics like Darwin's Radio or The Children of Men or any of two out of three dystopian YA novels on the market.

Add cute girl and two cute boys, give her talent and drive, cut and paste into a slightly different dystopian future filled with almost everyone dead, add supersoldiers, mix, then a reveal. Sound familiar? That's because it's formula.

Powdered milk with a bit of mineral fortification. It kinda misses the whole point of having a bunch of thriving gut flora and leaves a child's mind weakened to truly invasive memetically-modified horrorshows that will change your life.

Again, it's pretty standard stuff. It's okay. But it won't change anyone's life.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,757 followers
November 29, 2018
A few annoyances (like the oft-mentioned kudzu. WE GET IT.) but I found this really enjoyable! It's sci-fi, dystopian, post apocalyptic and I think you'd like this if you liked This Mortal Coil or if you like stories about rebellions, clones, or medical threats.

I think the main character was said to be Indian-American.

tw: baby death, electrocution, human experimentation
Profile Image for Nickie.
Author 4 books124 followers
October 9, 2012
I feel like this review should begin like one of the old AlkaSeltzer commercials.

"I can't believe I read the whole thing."

I try to be balanced on my reviews, but this book made it very difficult. There were a million little things that got under my skin, and it added up to a book that didn't make sense and was ultimately unlikable.

What I liked about this book:
The genre? I guess? Although, reading this had made me rethink that decision.

What I didn't like about this book:
Hoo boy, where do I start? The little things really killed this book for me. Writing fiction is all about suspending disbelief. If you're going to throw me into an entirely fictional world of your vision, you have to paint a compelling pictures, keep your world building consistent, and make your characters fit into that world for me to buy it.

Every few pages I ran into some little thing that just pulled me out of the story. The suspension of disbelief never last more than 5 pages, and then I was back at square one. Allow me to list some examples.

1. (My biggest beef with this book) Imagine *Society* has collapsed. 99.9% of all humankind has died from a virus. You probably won't be getting electricity, and you're definitely going to have to fend for yourself. Everybody died quickly, in their homes and in their place of business, from a terrible plague. Where, oh where in the great nation of the United States of America, would you think to settle yourself?

Somewhere with a low population so you don't have to bury too many dead? Somewhere with nice weather, you say? With fertile lands and plentiful hunting grounds? With access to clean water? Why, how sensible of you. Too bad all the remaining humans decided to move to New York City without you. You die!

******Seriously, this bugged me the ENTIRE time I was reading this book. Why would they move to New York City? Why? How does that even make sense? It's never explained********

2. The second major conflict in the book is that humans have not been able to successfully reproduce since the onset of the plague. Babies are carried to term, but become infected with the virus almost immediately after birth and die within days.

In response, the government has mandated that all women 18 and older do their part to conceive as many children as possible (you know, take a run at statistics). How many children is enough for the government, you ask?

Why, little lady, you only have to get pregnant once a year for the rest of your fertile days! That's totally reasonable, right?

This is where it became painfully obvious to me that this story was written by a man. There's just so much wrong with this. Pregnancy is more than just squeezing out a baby. It has to develop for nine months, which literally depletes nutrients from a woman's body. Women who have too frequent pregnancies or pregnancies too close to each other run into a whole host of potential health problems (OB/GYNs generally recommend 18 months between pregnancies, not 3!!! What the heck.)

So this society is on the brink of collapse, and they're willing to risk the health of the entire female population. Yep. Gotcha.

3. The slang in the book killed me. The book begins 15 years after the plague, so there's no TV, no magazines, no internet. Yet Kira described one of her friends as having a 'supermodel flat' stomach. Seriously? Why would Kira be familiar with supermodels?

Etc. etc. etc.


This review will be a mile long if I list every little thing that annoyed me, so I'll stop there. The point is, every time I read something totally off kilter, I paused, put the book down for a moment, and said 'What?' I kept getting pulled out of the story, which is the exact opposite of the desired effect. The story needs to pull me in. I found that the little things made it impossible for me to ever get settled in Kira's world.

Final verdict:
Save yourself some heartache and skip this book. If you really need to read about plague survivors, pick up Stephen King's 'The Stand' instead. If you want to read about almost-human clones, grab a copy of 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' Those are classics for a reason, and 'Partials' doesn't come anywhere near these two.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,355 followers
February 25, 2012
Intense with highly sophisticated world building- Partials is a fantastic addition to the dystopian genre. Babies don't survive and the youngest human on earth is now 14 years old. With 99% of the population gone, killed by a new epidemic, Kira is determined to find a cure to save humanity.

I have to start with Kira because she is an excellent protagonist. She is incredibly determined, and this presence throughout the novel of pure dedication to her cause is all consuming. You want her to succeed so badly that it becomes a truly captivating read. This is not her only quality; she is also strong, confident and outspoken. These are all traits that make a well-rounded, easy to root for protagonist if you ask me. I clicked with her almost instantly. She is shadowed by quite a few secondary characters as well who are equally of value to the story. Some of them are more developed than others, but they all have great personalities that really fill up the pages.

One thing that stands out from this book that actually surprised me, is the lack of a romantic plot. Yes the protagonist has a boyfriend, but we barely see them together. She's not one to forget that this is the end of the world because a cute boy happens to pass by. The plot - saving humanity - comes first! Surprising right? I do enjoy romance, but I was relieved to see that, finally, we've got a dystopian not powered by a love story.

I had heard this novel was a bit on the scientific side which made me a bit wary because me and science are not great friends. Therefore, I surprise even myself when I say that the science added to the story is what makes it the most interesting. It turns everything that is happening in this future world completely realistic, and truly alarming. Instead of simply being told that there is a virus without a cure, killing all our babies, we go in deeper with Kira researching what exactly is happening inside our bodies, and why a cure still hasn't been found in over a decade. It's not overwhelming by any means. It was neither confusing, nor boring. The only thing it made me, was fascinated.

The Partials almost made us extinct, the Voice is rebelling against the few surviving humans, this leaves us with a story full of villains. What does this promise? Intensity! It does take a little bit to get into a fast pace, but once it does it's especially action packed until the very end. We also quickly realize that there is no clear picture on who the enemy really is, or who we should trust. This essentially turns an already exciting plot into an intense roller coaster ride full of fear, uncertainty and surprise. With no shortage of dystopian novels on the shelves nowadays, make sure that this one ends up on yours!

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,314 followers
March 20, 2015
Oh, wait while I find my mouth under my bed where it dropped.

..So, are you ready for this wonderful journey into the future?
Here we go…

It all came down to a war - the worst of them all.
It was not between humans, but between them and the Partials.
Because what if robots didn’t look like robots anymore?
What if they looked exactly like humans? What if they were genetically programmed and made into the best weapon alive, a dangerously thinking one? Breathing flesh-and-blood robots meant to kill - stronger and faster than us.
What if they’ve decided to take over the world?
What if they’ve almost succeeded?
What if humanity would be collapsing each day?
Well... Here's where the story begins...

"I lost my father, my mother, my wife, my children, my friends, neighbors, patients, colleagues, students. I was in a hospital at the time; I watched it fill up and spill over until there weren't even enough survivors to carry away the corpses. I watched my entire world eat itself alive, Walker, while you were playing with your dolls. So don't tell me I'm not doing enough to save the human race, and don't you dare tell me we can risk another Partial War."

It’s not only that the premise was absolutely wonderful; it’s the fact that the whole book is so amazing.
I am not going to tell you too much about the story, because you need to read it by yourself, I am just going to keep telling you about all the things I liked about it.

Yes, I must confess that it was a bit slow for my taste in the first half, but by the ending I needed to remind myself to breath – because the action was breathtaking, with so many turnarounds, so many new informations about the this world, and the insecurity was killing me (not knowing who’s bad, who’s god, who’s gonna betray next).
There were so many questions I had not only about the Partials but also about the humans. I got some of the answers, but also the number of questions started to grow with every page, keeping me on the edge of my seat.
There were many people comparing this series with Newsflesh by Mira Grant, and they are quite right. I thought about it too while reading this book. There is this big challenge to find a cure, and to discover all the dirty politics and the people behind them all. It also has the same feeling and many of you might like it just as much. I know I did.

"It had been easier, in some ways, when Kira was a kid and the Partials were the big bad guy. Everything terrible that had happened could be explained, and while the explanation might be scary, at least it was simple. Darkness was clearly divided from light. These days... Kira had no idea who the enemy was, or who you could blame, or who you could trust."

There were not many characters that I got to really care about, but for the first time it didn’t bother me (there were many other things to keep me entertained).

From the beginning we are introduced to Kira and her friends and family. I really liked her for being smart, strong, and mature for her age. Even though some times her actions brought her more trouble then needed, she always had the very best intentions. She cared about her people and the future of humanity.
Her story with her boyfriend didn’t hold my attention, but it helped us see another side of her. Also, all her discoveries were surprising even for me, and now I am more interested then never to know her better.

"Forget love, forget freedom, forget choice, just get yourself knocked up and save the damn world already"

Talking about intriguing characters, I should mention of course Samm - a Partial about to turn Kira’s world upside down. Every time I thought I’ve figured him out something happened, changing my mind completely (not always in a good way, but still).

"Was that your plan?" asked Kira bitterly. "To use us as slaves? As labor to maintain your infrastructure?"
"You mean the same thing you have done to us?"

There are some pieces missing from this puzzle, but this was a great first book in the series, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. I am all on the Partials’ side, but still I want our people to survive, so I’m a bit conflicted.

Anyways, if you want a story full of adrenaline and plot twists, this one is for you. A great dystopian, post-apocalyptic world that promises a lot in the next installments :)

This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

Book source: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you!

Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)
Profile Image for Nafiza.
Author 6 books1,237 followers
November 18, 2015
The YA genre is certainly rife with dystopians. You can't go out without tripping over one. Okay fine, that is an exaggeration but I can't help but get weary of the same plots with a few subtle differences (you know, differences like the cause of the ultimate breakdown of modern society). There's usually a girl. She usually has powers. There's also usually a society with tyrannical rulers/dictators/whatever you wanna call them (a rose by any other name and all...). Then there is a boy. Mysterious. Intriguing. Attractive. Whom the girl will feel attracted to against her will. And who will make her see her the things wrong with the system she has been blissfully living in. Okay fine, not blissfully. Let's say complacently. How does that sound? Good? Okay.

There, I have described the majority of dystopians out there. It's almost formulaic. I'm almost ready for it to be a girl the other girl is attracted to. Or a robot. A cyborg! (Though, I'd say Prince Kai already has that down, hur.)

Anyway, to the review proper now. All the things I mentioned above? The stereotypical elements of a dystopian novel? These are all present in Partials. But you know what? They all work splendidly together to create a novel that is, a lot of times, breath taking. And no, I'm not even being cheesy (okay maybe I am, slightly) saying that but it's just. Well.

Partials, as all really good dystopians do, gives a peek at a future that may very well be our own. It really could be taken as a warning to all the scientists out there, you know, the ones playing God. Please be careful with whatever you are genetically creating. Seriously.

Anyway, Partials is really, really entertaining. Since I said two reallys, you know I mean serious business. There is wit, there is a touch of romance with Marcus and a whole promise of more romance with Samm. There is intrigue and boy, is there action. Lots of action. Casualties. Too many and some of them were senseless. So on a purely shallow level, I was very satisfied by Partials. It promised to be entertaining and it was. Very. The writing was sharp (and I mean this as an adjective to describe how very readable the novel was), the plot was well constructed and the pacing was spot on. Totally awesomesauce.

But. Well, you knew it was coming. I had some troubles with the novel. Not huge troubles. Just ones that niggle at me until I speak them out. And this may be because I analyze novels on a daily basis and I can't let a passage pass me by without analyzing the hell out of it but...I felt that the synopsis or rather the excerpt that we read on the back cover of the novel, you know, the final words of the last president? The gravitas conveyed by his final message, the sorrow, the melancholy, the loss, the utter devastation...these elements were subsumed by the overly action oriented novel. I liked the action, I did but I would have liked for us to take a breath and dwell on the immense loss of humanity. And perhaps it's just me, but I felt distanced from all the characters in the novel. As though there was something that kept me from getting inside their heads and knowing what they were thinking and feeling and I didn't like that. It kept me from connecting to them which in turn kept me from empathizing with them and all these things interfered with my final enjoyment of the novel.

Sometimes you read a book and it resonates within you; you keep on thinking about it. I remember being affected by Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brian (we will forget book the two exists) but I didn't quite get the same feeling from Partials. Maybe it was because I went in expecting quite a different novel than I got.

That being said, I still enjoyed the novel tremendously. In fact, I think this will make a kick ass movie. Is someone out there listening? You could sell millions. Anyway, I am definitely reading the second one in the series and I wholeheartedly (with ALL my heart, not just three quarters of it) recommend it to you. Yes you, the one who's still wondering. Go read this.
Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
March 25, 2012
Thank you, NetGallery! I should have read this book sooner.
No stupid love triangles, strong girl as the main character - no crying, thinking over and over about the boy and why did he do that or this, believable scientific background of the story and so on...
So, if you like sci-fi, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it type of the stories, grab your copy of this book and read it as soon as possible.
Profile Image for Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker.
596 reviews377 followers
January 19, 2012
Before you read my review…

I originally rated this book 4 out of 5 stars but after I wrote my review, I lowered it to 2.5 out of 5 stars (rounded up to 3 stars). My reasons… I rated the book immediately after reading it and I was clearly caught up in the last 25% of the book. When I wrote my review, I realized that the majority of my review was negative and I had plenty of issues with the story. Thus, I changed my rating.

The Bad

I didn’t feel a real connection with the characters. The real story seemed centered on dying babies, half robot soldiers, isolated humans being controlled by a secretive government, and a protesting secretive group that doesn’t like the government’s control. The characters felt like they were placed in the story after the fact and could be interchanged. While, in the end, I found myself liking Kira, I didn’t feel a real connection to her. If she had died along the way, I wouldn’t have felt any real sadness. If she had turned out to be a traitor, I wouldn’t have felt any real anger. If one of the minor characters suddenly took over the story, I wouldn’t have minded.

The world building. Dan Wells did his homework. He created a virus, explained it quite well, explained its impact on the world population, and came up with a creative solution to the virus. He also created a war, a fractured government, half humans, explanations for the survivors, and stories for the dead. The problem is the more he explained, the bigger the hole he created as well. While his explanations were plausible, they didn’t seem probable. I couldn’t prove him wrong (well, actually in a few areas I probably could have but I didn’t want to put forth that much work) but I was thinking in my head “ahhh, yeah, I don’t think so”. The believability factor started decreasing, the more Wells tried to explain what was going on. I almost wished he hadn’t done so much work to explain everything. Leave some to the imagination of the reader. The reader can’t argue with a writer if the explanation is in our own head.

The Good

The Partials. I loved the entire Partials vs. Humans concept. I feel like it has been played out especially in old sci-fi shows but I still liked it. I especially loved the twist. I was even more surprised that I didn’t guess the twist. It was interesting because I pride myself on figuring twists out and this one blindsided me.

The world building. I know, it is in the “Good” and in the “Bad” but you are gonna have to deal with my weird reviews. While the world building had lots of issues for me, it also was pretty impressive. Maybe I’m giving Wells kudos for effort but this IS my review so whatever.

The last 25% This is really where the story began. I know that doesn’t seem like a good thing but once the action in the story took off, I found myself hooked. I stopped worrying about the credibility of the science or my ambivalence to the characters and just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
Profile Image for Kassidy.
340 reviews11k followers
March 23, 2014
This book is so much fun!!
The plot is crazy and there is so much action.
I am a Biochemistry major and I love science, and this book had a ton of science in it. There is a virus called RM that inhibits babies from living past a couple of hours, so a large portion of the book is dedicated to finding a cure for this. It goes pretty in depth with the research and specifics of the virus and I just think that's so cool :)

I did like the main character Kira, although she was annoying at points because she had to save EVERYONE, even if it was a lost cause. Sometimes I just wanted to knock her in the head. She is really smart though and I enjoyed her personality. This book isn't as much character driven as plot driven, so I don't see myself getting real attached to the characters, which is kind of a downside.

I just loved the plot developments and twists, there were points where I was just like "oh my gosh", it was awesome. There are so many mysteries and secrets in this apocalyptic world, it was so exciting figuring them all out! It literally keeps you guessing the whole time!!! I have no idea who the real enemy is.

If you like science, science fiction, or apocalyptic stories, I would highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Ana  Lelis.
459 reviews157 followers
February 28, 2023
3.5 ⭐️

I like the idea but the execution felt flat for me. The main character is blant, even though the author really tries to make her look so smart and incredible. Really boring interaction with the partial, I was expecting much more from it. I don't know when I will continue this series.
Profile Image for Jacquelyn Sylvan.
Author 2 books168 followers
February 20, 2013
How do I love thee, Partials? Let me count the ways….

1)Thy witty, spicy dialogue. If you’re a fan of Firefly/Serenity or Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s (the show, not the movie) whip-sharp banter, you’re going to love this book. It’s got the same kind of effortless, rapid-fire discourse Joss Whedon injects in his cult-classic shows. A lot of authors shoot for this and fail miserably; Wells doesn’t just succeed, he excels at dialogue. I could seriously have read and enjoyed this book purely for the banter.

2)Thy heroine be neither ninny nor copycat. I never thought I’d say this, but…Katniss, this girl Kira could kick your ass. Kira’s genius-level smart, loyal, brave, stubborn—and, though we’ve seen these characteristics a million, billion times, somehow wholly unique. Maybe because Kira’s not running around trying to sacrifice herself for a boy; she chooses the cause every time, no matter what the cost. And, on that note:

3)Thou art a great crossover book for boys. I don’t care what authors and publishers say; there’s too much romance in mainstream YA to make it attractive to boys of the same age group. The romance in Partials, though, is minimal. Kira is already involved in a healthy relationship when we meet her, and the introduction of Samm doesn’t threaten that relationship—at least, not in the way we’re used to seeing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sampling the fruits of forbidden and/or starcrossed love as much as the next YA reader—but I didn’t realize how burned out on breaths catching and long, meaningful stares I was until they weren’t there, and I felt refreshed by their lack. So, if you’re looking for a book for a teenage boy, one that has hardly any mushy scenes, but many gunfights and military maneuvers and escapes by sea and ASPLOSIONS—get him Partials.

4)Thou makest science fiction easy and fun. I was a little nervous when I realized how important virology was going to be to the plot. I like a little science in my books—it adds to the realism—but lots of books go overboard on the intricacies of the science, and then I just get confused. But Partials took a complex idea and broke it down into smaller, digestible pieces. I understood it without feeling talked down to, and therefore my enjoyment of the story and all its implications wasn’t dulled.

5)Thou layest thy foreshadowing with a light hand on the brush. It’s annoying to predict how the book is going to end within the first three chapters and then, three hundred pages later, find out you were completely right. Partials has two major plot twists. One I sort of saw coming, but the clues were so subtle, and buried in conflicting information, that I doubted myself until the reveal. The other I was completely blindsided by—but when I found it, I was annoyed that I hadn’t guessed it earlier, because everything I needed to figure it out was there all along.

And there you have it—a book that I’m going to go out on a limb and include in my top five of 2012, even though we’re not even a quarter of the way through yet. Please to enjoy.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews707 followers
January 25, 2012

It’s been a loooong while since I’ve felt this excited about a post apoc/ dystopia YA. I thought I’d burned out on them after reading Starters and Eve and heck even Shatter Me; the lack of detail in the first two and the over indulgent writing in the other simply put me off. So I really am not kidding when I say it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this excited about a book of this type.

It's a little like Grant’s Feed (or Deadline) because this too does not limit itself to heart pumping chase scenes and big explosions (though there was plenty of the same here.) And if Feed had George and Shaun mixed in a plot of more than just one thing, PARTIALS was a little like that by going into the usual elements but delving deeper into each without sacrificing the pace. Specifically, it tackled the virus bit that most post apocs have beyond the superficial level; there was lot of detail (that likely went over my head); yet I did appreciate the lengths to which most things were explained.

There are sides in this one too. It’s is so much more than a story of the fight/plight of a rebelling faction; or even just that of controlling higher ups. There’s more than two sides here. And I liked how each side made the story more than just a little complicated. One thing is for sure, I was focused on trying to figure what the real deal was and who the real baddie was, or at least who the greater evil was. I mean it’s obvious that the Senate was up to no good, but like I said some of them could be passionate and fiery about their stand and sometimes effectively convincing. Then with the slow unfolding of one plan then another plan then yet another? OK, just color me impressed.

It’s split in several parts and in each part I found something that I enjoyed. Part one introduces some very passionate people who, I’ll be honest had me raising some questions. Mainly that they’re all so young and yet all sounded so old! BUT after considering the context, the when/where /how of the way they were living in, they actually did make sense. Given that, I was very impressed by the passion they showed… even when they disagreed, no, especially when they disagreed. With each argument, I got pulled in then understood where each was coming from, then ended up not quite sure about who to side with. My favorite moments though were towards the end. Those twists? I knew they were coming, but still… Awesome, anyone?

And it could get scary at times. There are more than a couple of things in this one that were scary. Why is it that in books like these, it’s the women who have to bear the brunt? The scary bits aren’t even about the virus or the humanoid soldiers (fascinating though those may be); the terrifying bit was when it touched on weighing a person’s liberties versus the “good” of all, reminding me a little of Offred and her story.


Thanks Netgalley!

Profile Image for Denisse.
499 reviews289 followers
July 29, 2015


Reading Partials is like James Dashner or Scott Westerfeld were teaching you immunology and virology and then taking you to this fantastic travel across a destroyed world!

This is the type of book any SCI-FI FAN would like. It has an interesting world-building, with a great backstory, amazing well developed characters, and more.

Also a lot of science and political stuff, not the classic "horrible-abusing government" but the one that could emerge after a catastrophic apocalypse.

El libro esta dividido en tres secciones:

EN LA PRIMERA PARTE, tenemos a esta chica, Kira, que es una estudiante de medicina harta de ver morir a los bebes por el virus RM, del cual todos los pocos miles de humanos sobrevivientes a la Guerra Parcial son inmunes, entonces empieza a ver que no hay forma de cambiar eso con la simple LEY DE ESPERANZA, que no es otra cosa que el embarazo cuando cumples los 18, y que ahora se redujo a 16 años, lo cual es la edad de Kira. Descubre que la única forma de hacer una cura es capturar un parcial y estudiarlo, pero su Gobierno (SENADO) no la deja, así que lo hace ilegalmente para salvar al bebe de una de sus mejores amigas.

En esta primera parte tenemos un montón de datos imnunologicos, biológicos y químicos sobre el virus, que en lo personal me fascinaron La lealtad de Kira es su mayor virtud, sin ser una sufrida ni una guerrera, Kira es una gran protagonista.

EN LA SEGUNDA PARTE, trata mas a fondo sobre el gobierno que se formo después de la Guerra Parcial, y los rebeldes que hay afuera. Y como afecta esto a Kira y su misión de estudiar el virus.

El personaje de Samm es increíble, empieza misterioso, y tiene sus altos y bajas. El resto de la banda también me gusto mucho, salvo tal vez Marcus, siento que aun le falta crecer.

EN LA TERCERA PARTE, conocemos un poco mas de los Parciales, seres creados a base de genética humana pero que son como robots-biológicos, su sociedad y que es lo que pasa con los que aun quedan ahí afuera. Se aprende mucho de su naturaleza, y es muy interesante hasta el punto de pensar "son humanos, pero con mayor resistencia y aptitudes".

En general el libro es muy realista para ser ciencia ficción, y los personajes son creíbles, y algunos hasta divertidos. Mis favoritos sin duda son KIRA, SAMM y JAYDEN.

La historia tiene muchos temas interesantes sobre arrogancia humana, la necesidad de poder, y asuntos políticos, te hace reflexionar sobre como a veces actuamos SIN HUMANIDAD y como el abuso de poder y de inteligencia puede destruirnos.

Lo único malo podría ser que el libro tiene muchas descripciones, no son aburridas, pero en mi opinión son muchas sobretodo de lo que pasa durante los tiroteos o de donde se tienen que esconder cuando están en plena acción.

En esta historia no hay buenos ni malos, solo malas y buenas decisiones.

MAS QUE UNA HISTORIA JUVENIL, ES UNA LECCIÓN DE HUMANIDAD, RESPETO Y TOLERANCIA, para aquellos que ven mas haya de solo una historia juvenil divertida.

Profile Image for Charlotte.
214 reviews
March 16, 2012
Oh! My! Gosh! That was Amazing!!!

If you like sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, amazing characters, action packed plot, twists that have twists, a little romance in-between things blowing up and gunshots, and just all around smart writing, put this on your to-read list! NOW!

Wow, this is going to be hard to do spoiler free. Here goes....

First let me say that the beginning of the book might be a little slow for some people. It's not one of those kind where the author takes forever to set up the story, it's actually just the opposite. However, it does take a while to get going, but it is totally worth it! So don't let that deter you from reading this because once this story does get going, it does not stop!

I'm not someone who likes to dive into a review and dissect a story character by character or plot point by plot point because I usually find that by the end of one of those reviews I have pretty much gotten an almost-spoiler free version of the story, met all the characters and learned their personalities as well. (Believe me, this is one of those stories that you could talk about forever. There are so many layers in here and so many characters that I could just write and write and share all it's awesomeness with you for days!)

But really, I'm more of the...how did this story make me feel, kind of reviewer. What was I thinking as I read it. Would I want my friends to read this and would I like to talk about it when it's done, kind of reviewer.

So, with all that said, this book made me feel like I wish it did not have to end. There were some great twists here...some I suspected, some I was like...WHOA! This was one of those books that had me tense, holding my breath and white knuckling the book, then shedding a few tears, then back to holding my breath. So, so good!

Dan Wells, in my opinion, did an amazing job with each and every character, whether I like them or not. He got me invested in their stories and had me cheering for the rag tag team of rebels every step of the way.

Book 2 can't come soon enough for me. Although, I will say that Wells left me in a pretty satisfied place while I wait, too.

Profile Image for Juli.
1,434 reviews134 followers
June 11, 2016
¿Vieron cuando un libro te atrapa?
Bueno esto es lo que sucede con este libro.
Sin lugar a dudas es una historia FASCINANTE. Una vez que empezas a leer no podes frenar. Reí, llore, ame y odie.
Este libro agarró mi corazón y lo partió en dos, después lo piso, lo reventó, lo molio a palos, los destrozó en mil pedacitos y asi y todo lo ame.
La historia es desgarradora, completa, bella, con un millón de giros que te mantienen al filo.
La protagonista tiene carácter y hace lo que cree mejor para mejorar el mundo y deja todo por sus ideales. Me gusto el personaje de Kira
Lo recomiendo.
*spoiler* me desgarro una muerte en especial, necesitaba que siguiera vivo *fin del spoiler*
Profile Image for Rose.
1,879 reviews1,065 followers
March 24, 2012
"Partials" had many elements that I absolutely loved - for the genre, for the audience, for the issues it raises and the questions that it poses for the characters within the world Dan Wells creates. Granted, some of the characters had their insufferable qualities just as realistic characters probably would when faced with the odds depicted in this novel, but man, what a ride. Each and every time I picked up this book, I did not want to put it down, and I can only think of that as a good sign.

I thought a while as to how I would write a review on Dan Wells' most recent series, the first book sharing the same title as the series name. I loved the John Cleaver trilogy, which had its roots in a YA supernatural thriller that didn't let me go even after I turned the last page of the final book. "Partials" marks a turn into a different set of genres for Wells, but remains grounded with strong writing and expansion on issues I think are quite vivid and masterfully executed. It's a young adult, sci-fi/dystopian novel depicting a society that faces quite many moral divisions, yet resembles a world not unlike our own. These divisions are perceived through the eyes of a young medic, Kira Walker, who learns that everything she thinks she knows about the world around her might not be as it seems. The human race teems on the brink of extinction, thanks to a widespread virus called RM that affects the human population and makes it impossible for the human race to reproduce, and 99% of the world's population has died. She seeks to find a cure for the virus by investigating a group called the "Partials" - who are said to have engineered the virus and are immune to its effects. But time is running out as more stipulations are set for the Hope Act, and tensions are running high with groups (like the Voice) who want to see the act repealed.

For the record, I love sci-fi that actually goes into the measure of exploring the "science" aspect of the world created. I mean, it's one thing to ask the simple question of "what if" certain elements were to occur, but to actually delve into the rationale and body of knowledge behind them is something that I don't typically see in this genre for this age group. Wells does this enough to where he's expanding upon the subject in a knowledgeable way, but the descriptions don't ever feel like they're too heavy or out of place for the context of book. It's very well researched. Some of the expansion might turn off some readers who don't necessarily like delving into the science based background of the world created within "Partials", but I. Loved. It. Every single issue, every single question about the spread of viruses that Kira asked in her pursuit to find a cure to RM were ones I asked right along with her. Virology is such a cool subject, and to be able to see it even in this bird's eye view, for however brief a time, I thought was awesome.

It does take a while for the book to move from establishing the rules of the world and the larger cast of characters, but it's worth it when you see the underlying moral and political repercussions that Kira and her friends have to face. And to say something of the characters: it's really cool to see a proactive heroine who questions the world around her and fights for what she believes in, and even the brief romantic ties that are established in the story feel realistic and not beaten overmuch in the readers mind. True, some of the characters have their distinct flaws (Kira's combative, Marcus is resistant to change, etc.) but they feel realistic enough to follow in the parts they play in the respective story. The only thing I had some trouble with in the reading of the story is that none of the adult characters seemed to be sympathetic at all, and seemed to work against the primary characters goals the majority of the time. I think in the political, steadfast idealogies established, some of this was warranted, but I think it could've had a little better balance.

The divide between "Partials" and humans was also refreshing to watch unfold. We're introduced to them as antagonists working against humanity, but Wells does a fine job of showing that the Partials have their own agenda and grounds for sympathy. When Kira comes across/captures one that could aid in finding a cure to RM (a boy named Samm), you follow Kira as she learns from and about him - about his secret mission, about how they're operating on their own race against time, among other aspects. There's a lot of action, betrayal, politics, science, technology, psychological turns, and character interactions in this novel that feel vivid and engaging to keep you reading until the last page.

In sum, I really enjoyed "Partials" and eagerly await the sequel.

Overall score: 4.5/5
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
September 4, 2014
Also reviewed for Addicted2Heroines.

So we finally managed to engineer super-soldiers...and then they decide to revolt.
Go figure.
And even though they were winning the war, they decided to release a virus that wiped out the vast majority of humanity. The humans who were resistant to the RM virus live together now, but their numbers are dwindling. Babies die within a few days of being born, and time is running out to find a cure.
Kira is a sixteen year old medic who believes that the cure can be found within the Partials genetic code, and she's determined to find a subject to help her prove her theory. Unfortunately, there is a civil war brewing within her small community, and the government officials are too preoccupied with keeping the peace to listen to her. There's also the small problem of her being too young for anyone to take seriously. Once her best friend becomes pregnant, though, Kira's determination to find a way to save the babies goes into overdrive. With the help of her closest friends she sets out on a dangerous journey that will change everything, especially Kira's understanding of what it means to be human.

I'd seen some bad reviews of this one, but it looked so darn cool that I finally decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did, because it turned out to be a good read. The characters were different than I thought they would be, and I love being surprised by things like that.
For example, I thought I knew how the romance would pan out. You know, the old boyfriend turns bad, and the new guy is a dream?
Not so much.
Kira's childhood sweetheart, Marcus, is really funny and laid-back. And even though I didn't feel a passionate burn coming from those two, it still felt like they needed and respected each other.
Also, I'm a sucker for a guy with a sense of humor.
Samm is...well, he's interesting too, but I don't want to give anything away. At any rate, the plot doesn't focus on romantic stuff as much as I thought it would. I think it's because Kira is a pretty of a self-contained character who isn't consumed by thoughts of boys.
I know, right?! What's wrong with that girl?

I also thought I had the secret twist figured out within the first few chapters. A couple of chapters later, and I just knew I was wrong. Then I was right...then I was wrong again. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, something would pop up and poke holes in my theory.
Good job, Mr. Wells! You had me going in circles right up till the final GOTCHA moment!

I don't recommend this if you're looking for a romance driven book, but if you've been dying to read a dystopian novel about androids taking over the world, then you may want to check this out.

Profile Image for Rebecca.
508 reviews7 followers
December 2, 2013

Okay. Starting to take notes, just for completeness.
-Viruses don't form spores. Bacteria form spores.
-Nutmeg isn't an herb, and it wouldn't be growing in an herb garden in Long Island.
-"It's just like a virus, but without the virus." What the blue hell does that even mean?
-A mountain lion could not kill an adult male white rhino.
-There are two forms of the virus. One is airborne, one is in the blood. But somehow nobody can figure out how they're related after 11 years of research, until a teenager thinks "hey, maybe one turns into the other?" This isn't even basic virology. It's common sense.
-11 years of advanced study and the best they can come up with is "have more babies and watch them die?"
-If Partial blood clots on contact with the air instantaneously, how is Samm still actively bleeding from his overnight beating when Kira walks in on him the second morning?
-Cutting off a hand to study virology and immunology is about as reasonable as giving someone a haircut to study their respiratory function.
-Viruses don't have nodules.
-You don't have glands inside your lungs. Also? "It looked like a gland?" Glands don't have a specific standardized appearance.
-Particle =/= chemical compound, or hormone, or enzyme, or pheromone. WORDS MEAN THINGS.
-Pheromones don't work instantaneously. It takes time for chemicals to physically cover the distance from one person to the next.
-You don't wear sterile gloves to perform an abdominal ultrasound.
-Someone having a heart attack doesn't start "thrashing and convulsing." Especially not when they're unconscious to start with.
-If you can't tell the difference between a virus and a pheromone, you don't belong in freshman Bio, let alone practicing medicine.
-A needle piercing your chest is not a "topical anesthetic."
-A surgical razor is not a particularly vicious or threatening weapon.

Bottom line? If your primary plot is going to revolve around advanced virology, get someone in the field to proofread your text before setting it free into the world....
Profile Image for Darren Hagan-Loveridge.
271 reviews39 followers
February 23, 2016
**4.5 stars**
**No spoilers**

This book was a really nice surprise. I think I must not have read the synopsis clearly when I bought it because I thought it was a book where aliens had taken over the world and there were only one community of humans left. But yeah, not at all. In a way I think that helped me to like it so much, because I was surprised whilst reading it. Maybe I should try and do that more often...

Anyway, I thought the plot was really interesting as I've not read anything about genetically engineered soldiers before. Hooray for first times! The pacing was generally good, however there were a few moments when they were travelling from one place to another that just felt like it dragged on a bit too long and my attention would wander - there weren't too many of those though.

The characters were great in my opinion. Kira is an extremely smart protagonist and her loyalty to making a better future for the human race was admirable and made me really root for her. One thing I appreciated was that she was already in a solid relationship at the start of the book, so there was no instalove to deal with. I loved her boyfriend Marcus too. They had a lot of cute and funny moments together, but he made me laugh a good few times. As did one of Kira's best friends, Xochi.

Partials was an engrossing book and I hope the series continues to be as good. I struggle to think of how to describe it so I can recommend it. It's like an apocalyptic world (not the zombie kind, but everything has gone to crap and 99.9% of the human race have died), where everything isn't quite as it seems from the get go and there are some surprising moments. I can't really say "you'll like it if you liked this..." because I can't think what it is like. Sorry :P
Profile Image for Grace A..
412 reviews38 followers
January 26, 2023
It started out slow, but once I got to know the characters, I fell in love with them and the plot. I especially love the tenacity and the strength of the main character, Kira. Against many odds, she rallied a small team in pursuit of a cure for the indomitable virus that’s made it impossible for babies to survive, putting an expiration to human survival.
I loved it and curious about how the story continues. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
April 5, 2016
An ARC was provided by Harpercollins Canada for review! Thank you!

Humans created the Partials long ago by ParaGen. They created the ultimate super being. Stronger, faster, smarter to help aid in modern warfare for the enemy hostiles. Then the Partials created the RM virus, wiping away almost the entire human population with a few being immune to the virus.

We find Kira, a 16 year old medical intern, who works and lives in East Meadow. She assists in the pregnancy ward of the hospital. Her best friend Madison becomes pregnant, and knowing that the virus will kill the new born baby she sets off on a mission to help her friend and the rest of her species. Along the way she meets friends and foes and even figures out the mystery of where she came from.

I was dying for this book and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC (THANK YOU HarperCollins! :) And boy I was not disappointed. Dan Wells writes with the pacing, tone and style set for a post-apocalyptic setting that most YA authors are writing about these days. And Mr. Wells is a great story teller. It reads like a movie. I felt like I was right there as one of the characters walking in East Meadow making do with what I had after 99.996% of the human population had been decimated.

Yes the book starts of slow, but what after reading more and more, your mind is set into Kira’s world where things aren’t what they seem to be. This book ends on a cliffhanger so I am warning you, you will get frustrated! I know I was!

This book is chock full of mystery, suspense action and a tinge of romance.
Profile Image for Eric Allen.
Author 3 books738 followers
March 31, 2012
By Dan Wells

A Review by Eric Allen

I have been totally blown away by every single book that Dan Wells has written. I don't know where he came from all of a sudden, but in the last 4 years he's written 5 extremely good books. And as writers should, he gets better with every book that he publishes, expanding his ideas, fixing things that didn't work, and improving upon his skills as a storyteller. If you have not read I Am Not A Serial Killer yet, go buy it or check it out of the library NOW, you do not know what you are missing. Even if supernatural murder mystery is not your thing, it is written so well, with such an amazingly compelling character that even those who do not like the genre will be sucked into it.

Anyway, Partials. Having finished his John Cleaver trilogy, and the suitably epic A Night of Blacker Darkness, which is only available in digital format and comes highly recomended by me if you've the means to read it, Dan Wells has started a new series with Partials. It is a far cry from his previous novels in terms of genre, instead of horror and suspense, he's tried his hand at dystopian science fiction. Where other writers tend to stumble when switching genres from their previous fare, Terry Goodkind comes to mind, Dan Wells has given us a spectacularly well written story in a very well crafted world, with great characters.

Eleven years ago the Partials, genetically engineered super soldiers created by the US government rebelled. They released RM, a virus that wiped out the human race in a matter of days, leaving less than one half of one percent of the population alive with natural immunity to it. The American survivors have gathered on Long Island, ever vigilant for further Partial attacks, but none have come. They stay on their island, content to let the Partials have the rest of the world, not knowing if there are any other human survivors anywhere else in the world.

RM still exists. It is everywhere. And in eleven years not a single baby has been born with the natural immunity to it. To ensure the future of humanity, and produce children with immunity, the Senate has introdued the Hope Act. This requires every woman of eighteen years to get pregnant as quickly as possible and stay pregnant as often as possible. Though there are some who truly believe in the Hope Act, and see it as saving humanity from extinction, most women feel that they are being treated as little better than cattle. This sentiment has given rise to the Voice, short for Voice of the People, a resistance group standing against the Senate for the human rights of not just women, but everyone.

Enter Kira Walker, sixteen year old medic intern. She became a medic to help make a better future for humanity, and cure RM so that babies never have to die days after birth again, but is abhored by how little she is able to do. She decides that she is going to work out a cure for RM on her own, but when she analyzes a blood sample, she realizes that it really is EVERYWHERE, all around them, and even in them. This gets her to thinking that if the Partials made the virus, then they must have built a natural immunity to it into themselves. She believes that the only way to cure RM is to capture a Partial, and study it to find how their bodies repel the virus.

The Good? As always Dan Wells' writing is excellent. He is great at creating characters that you can relate to, who are interesting, and for whom you want to root for. He has created a very realistic and interesting post-apocalyptic world, and he introduces it all in such a way that he never actually explains how everything works outright, which is the mark of a very good storyteller in my book. The danger of extinction feels very real as you read, and you can feel the resentment and tensions that the Hope Act creates. This book flowed along perfectly, it had its suspenseful moments, it's calm moments, and everything else in between, but nowhere did I feel as though the story dragged. Kira pretty much carries the entire story on her shoulders, but she's such a likable character that it works out well. There are some really great action scenes, but most of the story centers around Kira's inner turmoil, her inability to cure RM, her fears and apprehensions of reaching the Hope Act's pregnancy age, and her struggle to figure out what her true feelings toward her likely future husband, and it is really well done. Dan Wells is a master of inner turmoil, and he makes it not just interesting but riveting. There were also a couple very good plot twists, one of which caught me by surprise. It's not often that I don't see a plot twist coming.

The Bad? I can only make one complaint about this book, and it's really not much of a complaint. It's more of a nitpick than anything else. Kira is a teenaged girl, and Dan Wells is not, nor has he ever been. There are a few small instances where her character seems a little off. It's hard to describe. There's a few places where she acts more like a man thinks a teenaged girl should act rather than how a teenaged girl actually would act, if that makes any sense to you. Mostly this comes out in her being a bit overly weepy, too quick to shed tears. Yes, there are women out there who will cry over just about anything, but not many of them. In my experience, women cry a lot less over trivial things than popular fiction would have us believe. Though Kira is a very strong character, she still does feel a bit more like a man's vision of a woman rather than an actual woman here and there. The instances are few and far between, but they are still there. For the most part Dan Wells does show that girls can be strong too and still remain girls, and I'm pretty sure that's what he was going for with her character.

In conclusion this book was freaking awesome. I loved it and highly recomend it. Five stars all the way, and I highly recomend all of Dan Wells' books along with this one. If you like Partials, you should check out A Night of Darker Blackness, and I Am Not a Serial Killer. He also does a podcast called Writing Excuses with a couple other authors if you are interested in getting tips from published writers on how to make your own writing better. Despite a few very minor problems that are just nitpicks, Partials was an excellent book and I cannot wait for the next in the series.

Check out my other reviews.
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews842 followers
January 5, 2021
7 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Hannah Georgas – Enemies (Mathbonus Remix)
Royksopp ft. Robyn – The Girl And The Robot
Lunatica – Who You Are

Genre: post-apocalypses dystopia, YA
Stuff: bio-humans, deadly virus
Fail: slow pacing at the start
WOW: action
POV: 3rd person, female
Love-Geometry: light

“Sometimes the hand that feeds you needs a good bite.”

It was a slow start but near 40% I got it. Also, I got a taste of men’s writing style within the dystopia genre and liked it. Our MC is a girl but through the male’s eyes. It means no drama and a lot of action.

Sometimes while reading a book you are interested in a plot but have no feelings for the characters. You don’t care about their fates, relationships, and lives… It’s a fail. Partials’ characters are different. With them I felt either love or hatred, there was no room for indifference.

During this read, I had no desire to pick up something else along with Partials. And now I don’t wanna put the series off, I’m gonna read it at one gulp.

The first book introduces us to a new post-apocalyptic world and to Kira. She’s 16 and works in a hospital where children die almost every day because of a virus.

All the women down to the age of 18 must give birth to a baby as many times as possible in spite of certain death. The government, which is represented by the Senate, insists on putting down this age to 16. It has no sense! Why these girls should act like breeding sows when their babies die in 2-3 days after the birth? Go find the cure and then ordain a law like that. It’s stupid and pointless. Why does it happen? Maybe because the real parents of these young women are dead and people who came up with such a “solution” did lose their children, thus now they don't get that pregnancy isn't a fucking shopping. 9 not very pleasant months and a very painful income. Over and over again. FUCK IT.

Kira wants to find a cure and suggests catch up on a partial to study it. Partials are dangerous, but the virus is their work (or not?) and they are immune to it. Kira, her friends, and her friends' friends (or not?) escape their city and go for a catching-up trip. But partials are already waiting for them…

This is where I finally started to feel something toward this book. What happened after that? You should read it for yourself. As to myself, I really enjoyed the rest of the story. Sometimes I knew what was coming, in other times I had no idea what was going on. It’s a very entertaining journey.

But here is my I-don’t-understand-whys about partials. At first I thought they all are men but there are women too. They’re sturdy but feel the pain. They have feelings and after the war, they wanted to go to University. Wait a minute! Did they build up for wars? If it so then it would be more logical to create only men who don't need food (our partials do), feel no pain (so they could stand longer against their enemies), and have no hunger for knowledge (I mean this education thing). People created almost their own copies and now they are surprised that these androids rebel? I'm not.

Let’s talk about tiny details.

And I love how this book ended; this kind of finals is such a great motivator to pick up the next book immediately.

Partials Sequence (Партиалы):
Isolation (Изоляция) #0.5/3
Partials (Партиалы) #1/3
— Fragments (Фрагменты) #2/3
— Ruins (Руины) #3/3
Profile Image for Hannah Cassie.
404 reviews143 followers
February 18, 2017
MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!

So Laura told me about this book like three years ago. Since then I have had it on my kindle as an ebook but for some absolutely unexplainable reason I never picked it up till now. I expected it also for some reason to be about a whiny girl in some advanced technology world. Do not ask me why. I do not know. So I think it rather clear that I went into this book with very low expectation, even so yes, Laura has told me it is amazing and normally I believe her. I am weird sometimes, seriously.

THE WORLD: The world is this book is very much dystopian. We get New York which is now a little island hosting 40,000 humans, the only survivors. Why? Because more than eleven years ago the Americans created AI (Artifical Inteligence) people to fight for them in the Isolation war against China which claimed the energy. The AI creatures were called Partials. After they won the war and came back to USA nobody knew what to do with them so they used them as easy power. If you think about it, AI is not really different from normal humans. So no surprised that Partials raised against humans and that is how eleven years ago Partials War took place. Most of the people were wiped out except for a few. By partials and then by RM virus which killed everybody who had no immunity incredibly quickly. The ones that survived are the ones living in New York Island. But that is not all, the RM did not just go away, it prevents the survival of newborns. In other world, every single child born in last eleven year died. The youngest human in the world is almost 14 years old. So the story really focuses on this little island where they have this Hope Act, by law all women after 18th birthday are mandatory to give birth to as many babies as humanly possible. The key is to find a baby which has an immunity. Statistically that is the answer. In reality, it was not working and the Senate was gonna lower the age to 16. You get the idea. Now around this little Island live outsides, people that do not agree with the Senate. But it is dangerous out there, The Voice aka the rebels are fighting the Senate about the Hope Act. But that is only half the problem. Nobody has seen a partial for eleven years. What are they doing? Where are they? Are they preparing to attack or are they just waiting till humans die out?

CHARACTERS: The main character has a really nice name I absolutely love - Kira. She is a medic and frankly, she is a gifted researcher. I like Kira's character very very much, I like how she things and what she does. But what I loved most was how she was thinking about science. And in particularly virology. To me personally, as I am geneticist with a huge interest in virology, this part was like candy. And the best part was that there was no bullshit! What she was talking was actually scientifically correct. And the whole Lock and Key principle...brilliant! Alright so yeah, I love Kira. Now next to her we have Marcus who is her love interest. I have to agree, at first he was really annoying but then with story progressing I started to like Marcus. He is not my favorite character but he is very much an okay dude nevertheless. Aside from them there are a few more characters who play a big role in this book: Xochi, Jayden, Isorde, Haru and Madison. Well from them all my favorite was Jayden, he was a soldier but a damn damn good one. Made me cry! And my least favorite is Madison, oh my such a stupid female. Embarrassment to all women.

And of course how could I forget Samm...oh my....*heavy breathing*. He is, yes, a partial. But boy oh boy he is good, too good I could even say.

LOVE: So Kira had been dating Marcus since she was a child, she is 16 now. Marcus wants to get married and have children. But does Kira want that? No, what Kira wants is to find a cure to RM. So she risks her life and the existence of the left humans to get it. And in the process she meets Samm...and...and...well read it for yourself. Some things cannot be explained!

PLUS: The whole virus things made me so interested that I read the book in one sitting. 468 pages in one evening!

PLUS: Kira is a very good lead character. She literary was interesting all the time and I cannot think of a simple page where she annoyed me. Go Kira!

EXTRA: Me needs the next book NOW!

MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,842 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.