on February 26th 2013
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.
I’ve never been a fan of the dystopian genre. And by that I mean I read one, once, a couple of years ago and then never bothered to pick another one up. But this, this! I devoured.
I liked the characters, they were diverse and each had their own personality. I liked that there was a bit of romance, but it wasn’t the focal point. But what I liked the most was the plot.
Dan has given us a future that could actually happen. Army of super soldiers? We probably already have that. Virus that can wipe out 99% of the population? We probably already have that too. Whenever I’ve thought about how the world would end (that happens very little, just so we are all aware), those two things are always the first to come to mind. Both are a form of control; one causes fear and the other helps promote a sense of safety. It’s a very smart way to get humans to do what you want.
It was fun to read the story from Kira’s point of view. She isn’t just some giddy teenager caught up in a bunch of drama. She’s smart, funny and doesn’t always put her heart before her brain (but she’s also human, so sometimes the heart wins out). When Kira takes on the mission to help save what’s left of the human race, she does it for personal reasons too, which adds some depth to the very scientific research she partakes in.
Partials also explores some social themes, like a woman’s right to control her body. Because their numbers are so few, the Senate passes The Hope Act. This states that any woman over the age of 18 must become pregnant yearly (or as much as they can, I can’t quite remember). It’s their duty to the human race. I’ve always been pro-choice when it comes to your own body, but Dan writes in a way that almost had me going “okay, yeah I agree. Women of child bearing age, make babies. That makes sense.” And just as I was leaning one way, a character would voice their opinion and I’d be swayed back the other way. It made for some very interesting personal debates.
Even though I say it’s predictable, it didn’t take away from the fun of this novel at all. I loved it from start to finish, and I was very upset when I had to put it down. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.