Monday, May 21, 2012

"Partials" by Dan Wells

468 pages

When sixteen-year-old Kira was a small child, the world fell apart. The "Partials"--genetically engineered human-like creatures that were created to fight mankind's wars--revolted against their makers, destroying nearly every human being on the planet. Most of the people who weren't killed in the initial war succumbed to a deadly virus released by the Partials. Only the few who were immune survived, and now they huddle together on Long Island. The Partials have left them alone for more than a decade, but the survivors have another devastating problem--not a single child born since the Partial War has been immune to the virus. Not one has lived more than a few days. Kira, who works in the maternity ward of the hospital, vows to find a cure someday. When her best friend becomes pregnant, however, Kira's goal takes on new urgency. She decides that the only way to discover a cure for the virus is to go to the source--the Partials. But venturing into their world might disturb the fragile peace that exists between Partials
and humans...

This is one of my favorite recent sci-fi novels. The premise makes sense to me, unlike several other teen dystopias I've read lately ("Pandemonium" and "Fever," I'm looking at you). The characters and their internal struggles ring true and I connected with them right away. Kira is having a hard time figuring out what she believes: Should Congress do whatever it takes to ensure that humanity survives? Or should individuals retain some of their rights, even if it means risking the survival of the human race? Kira's debate with herself gave me a lot to think about. There's almost nonstop action and a nice twist at the end. Good stuff all around!

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