Sixteen year old Kira Walker is a medic in training working in the maternity ward of the only operating hospital. She lives in a society where the average lifespan for all newborn human babies is 3 days. Kira has seen her share of unhappiness and unpleasantness as a medic. She is what the older folks call a plague baby because she was 5 years old when the Partials War took place and she lost her father to the virus.
When Kira learns that her best friend Madison is pregnant, Kira realizes that the only way to cure the RM virus is to find a Partial and bring it back for testing. She becomes so interested and focused on curing the RM epidemic that she ends up talking a small group of like-minded individuals into going into Manhattan with her. You could say that Kira is entirely too focused on the cure and not what is happening around her including her own boyfriend Marcus.
Kira also has to deal with the Hope Act. The Hope Act is a law that is passed by a desperate Senate who believes that having more babies born will make it more likely that one will eventually survive the RM virus. The requirement is that All females who reach the age of eighteen (later sixteen) are mandated to either become pregnant by sex, or artificial insemination, or face severe punishment.
Kira is a very interesting character. She’s damn near fearless and driven to find the answers to how the Partials were able to kill off 99.6 percent of the population without destroying the infrastructure of the country. When she and her band of misfits do stumble into a Partial ambush, they somehow manage to bring back Samm, a Partial who is on a mission of his own.
Some reviewers have compared this book to Battlestar Gallactica, and for that I will have to agree. The Partials are this books Cyborg’s who have overthrown their human masters, and nearly brought humanity to its knees. Those who were left alive, banded together to find a new home on Long Island.
The Partials are genetically engineered soldiers that were sent to fight the Chinese in the Isolation War. We are given a general idea of who made the Partials (Para- Genetics) but there are plenty of questions surrounding the reasoning behind the release of the RM virus into the air as well as who was ultimately responsible and whether or not any other humans have survived.
Some have found the first half of this book to be boring and obnoxious with all the information dumping and world building that is laid out. That’s a shame because the story gets even better after the second part of this book. The ending leaves you wanting to know more, especially about Kira and her father. I’ve heard that the next book in the series will be called Fragments and will release sometime in 2013. I am definitely one of those eager to learn more.
Overall, Partials is a fun book to read, and I just love books that delve into science fiction. I enjoyed most of the secondary characters, especially Jayden, Madison, Isolde, and Samm. I can't wait to learn more about the stunning revelation that happened near the end of this book, and what this could mean for Kira's own survivability.
Author: Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Released: February 28, 2012