Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

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. (From

Partials sounded right up my street and I was really looking forward to it, even the size of it didn’t put me off. At over 450 pages it’s pretty huge, but I was sure the action packed plot would see me fly through the pages. I think maybe I picked it up at the wrong time though, when I had lots of other stuff on my mind, because while I liked it, I wasn’t hooked and it ended up taking me nearly two weeks to read.

I really loved the premise of Partials and thought the small society of humans on the brink of extinction was very realistic, including the leadership/government who force pregnancy on girls in a bid to save the population. Dan Wells made it just the right amount of sinister and chilling. I also really liked the idea of the Partials, created by humans to serve as soldiers in a terrible war who have now turned on us themselves. And there’s lots of rebelling in this book. I like nothing more than a good rebellion against corrupt leaders, of which there’s plenty of here.

Main protagonist Kira is a great heroine. Strong, determined, Kick ass…the type of character I like best.I didn’t really connect with any of the other characters and thought they were a little flat. I would have liked to see more emotional depth to Kira’s relationships with them. Maybe it was just me, but I thought despite having these people around her she was very much alone and isolated. Partials also has plenty of action, if that’s your thing and you love books like The Hunger games and Divergent, then you’re probably going to really like this book too.

I think the main problem I had with this book however was the medical/genetic aspect. It’s not that I hate this kind of stuff, I actually find it quite fascinating and it was one of the things I was looking forward to in this book. I think it was maybe a little too much at times and I did find myself skipping a few pages here and there when my mind started to wander. Partials took quite a bit of concentration from me, which leads me back to my first paragraph. It probably required more than I could offer it at the time. I also thought it was a little predictable and guessed pretty early on the way things would go. Will I carry on with the series? Yes absolutely…despite the problems I had it’s still an intriguing enough book and the possibilities are fascinating. I really do want to know what’s in store for Dan Wells world.

Published March 20th 2012 by HarperCollins (UK)
thanks to the publishers for sending a copy for review.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

  1. Great review – I have a feeling I'd feel the same about this book, after reading the description I get the feeling that it would be too similar to other books that I love and have read recently.

    Maybe after a break from them I'll feel differently 🙂


  2. great review, I like the sound of this and Im quite interested to see if I'll feel the same way. It does seem to be a lot similar to other stuff out at the minute though, I think I need to have a bit of a break from dystopian for a while as it sees to be taking over my reading!


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