Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 480 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Partials series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This was a very well written book, with a wonderful background, and great characters fighting to save humanity from extinction.
The humans made the Partials to fight wars for them. The Partials made the RM virus to wipe out humanity. As a side effect of the RM virus no human babies live longer then a few days. Kira is trying to cure RM by working in the maternity ward. When Kira decides the cure may lie with the Partials (enemies of humanity) she goes against all the rules of their society to do what is needed to find a cure.
This was an intricate world filled with well developed and interesting characters. The background story about a human invention, the Partials, becoming more adaptable than humans themselves and taking over humanity is a science fiction theme that’s been explored before. It is still really well done in this book and the Partials are so human-like that it makes the story even more interesting.
The characters make this interesting as well. You have two split generations forming this society. The first are the adults that survived the RM virus, the second are the “plague babies”…the people who were very young when the virus wiped out the majority of humanity. These two generations have very different ideas on how things should be done.
Kira is an excellent heroine. She is smart, incredibly driven, and determined to do what she thinks is right for humanity. She does’t let anything stand in the way of achieving her goal. All of the characters surrounding her are just as interesting and have just as much history as she does.
The Partials are an interesting enemy as well. They remain very mysterious for most of the book. When we are introduced to them in person, we find out they have some interesting capabitlities…including a very borg-like hive mind ability.
The plot is fairly complex and full of conspiracies. The elders of Kira’s city are trying to keep control of the city no matter what the cost; there is the Voice, a rebel splinter group of humans, and of course the Partials. There are lots of twists and turns and at times Kira doesn’t know who she can trust.
The book explores lots of questions around human rights versus human survival. One of the pivotal issues in the book is a law requiring girls to get pregnant starting at age 16 to ensure the survival of humanity. There are many other issues of personal rights and privileges when faced with the extinction of your race.
The writing style was easy to read and very well done. I enjoyed reading this book and found it hard to put down.
Overall an excellent YA dystopian book. I didn’t like it as much as Hunger Games, but it was still a great book with an intricate world, engaging characters, and interesting issues to be resolved. I am excited to read the second book in the series, Framents, when it release in Feb of 2013. Highly recommended for fans of the dystopian genre.