If you are into dystopian novels, Partials by Dan Wells is where it’s at! The Partials Trilogy consists of Partials, Fragments, and Ruins. The plotline is centered on Kira, a student training to become a doctor in Post-Apocalyptic America. The story picks up 10 years after what is known as the Partial War, which decimated pretty much the entire world. Before the war, the US government created the Partials, which are artificially intelligent beings that not only look and think like humans but also have feelings-notto mention their super-enhanced physical abilities. The Partials were made to fight on behalf of the United States at time of war; however, after the Partials won the war for the US, they returned home to only be treated as non-citizens without any rights. So they rebelled in what was called the Partial War. Not only were they stronger but during the war an air-borne virus was released that only left about 30,000 humans alive and infected and killed all babies within days of being born. The novel really gains interest as you learn that while Kira works to cure the virus known as RM, the Partials are working to solve their own problem. They have discovered that the humans that created them installed an automatic expiration date into each Partial, so as soon as they reach about 20 years old they start to age very rapidly and are dead within weeks.
Personally, I am really into dystopian novels, but even I find them to be a bit redundant after reading so many. This is one of the reasons I really loved the Partials trilogy. It was so unique from anything else I have read. The government wasn’t forcing children into death matches, there were no experiments happening on children, and there was no natural catastrophe that caused the end of the world. Humans had to deal with a problem that they brought onto themselves by being greedy for power and money and refusing to live peacefully with one another. Kira was a really likeable character because she was just a girl that was forced into becoming a hero without any real say in the matter. As the story goes on and she learns many secrets about not only the problems at hand but also about herself, she never wavers in her desire to do the right thing. Another point that I really liked was that although there was some romance involved (cue the love triangle!), I never felt like it took over the story. Kira always put it on the backburner.
Dan Wells did a great job writing this series. Not only was it a great plotline, but it was really smartly written. For any sci-fi lovers out there, you will not be disappointed. At times, I felt like I was being taught a science lesson, which wasn’t boring like it sounds! I am no scientist so I can’t testify to whether every fact in the story was true, but Wells did an awesome job making you believe everything he wrote. One of the best parts of this entire trilogy was how plausible it seemed. The mark of a good dystopian novel is that is makes you worried that what you are reading could at some point become a reality. Partials did this better than any other one I have read. The series is not set that far into the future (only about 50-60 years) and after I finished Ruins, I spent quite a bit of time just thinking about how easily this could become our actual future. Even the aspect of the Partials coming home and not being treated fairly mirrors our own society right now. Minorities are constantly fighting for equal rights and fair treatment. How quickly it could turn into artificially intelligent beings that are fighting for the same thing.
Overall, if you are interested in reading a unique dystopian novel that is smartly written, not totally focused on romance, and makes you believe it could actually happen, the Partials series is the one for you!
Have you read this series? What did you think? Did you like it, hate it, or can’t even remember the plotline? If you haven’t read it, do you think you will check it out?