- Title: Partials
- Classification: Young Adult (Ages 14 and up)
- Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First edition (February 28, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0062071041
- ISBN-13: 978-0062071040
- Author's Website: http://www.fearfulsymmetry.net/
'Eleven years ago the partials tried to destroy us, and they did a pretty d*mn good job. We built them to be stronger than us, faster than us, to fight for us in the Isolation War. They won that war handily and when they turned against us five years later, it didn't take them long to wipe us off the face of the earth, especially after they released RM. Those of us who survived came to this island with nothing--broken, fragmented, lost in despair--but we survived. We rebuilt. We set up a defensive perimeter. We found food and shelter, we created energy and government and civilization. When we discovered that RM would not stop killing children we passed the Hope Act to maximize our chance of giving birth to a new generation of humans with RM resistance. Thanks to the act and our tireless medical force, we grow closer to realizing that dream every day.'
Almost the entire human race has been wiped off the face of the planet. Those that survived, converged on Long Island. RM, a virus, has been wiping out newborns, and since it was released, not one baby has survived for longer than 56 hours. The Hope Act was implemented in an attempt to study and devise a way to cure or prevent newborns from catching the fatal disease. It also held out hope that at least one newborn would be immune and survive. After eleven years of research and tests it has become obvious to Kira that something different has to be done or all will be lost including hope. She has been working as a medical student in the maternity ward, and when she finds out her best friend is pregnant, she decides it's time for her to go into research. She's determined to find a cure so her friend's baby will survive. She thinks the solution lies within the Partials, who are the only ones unaffected by RM. Her plan is to capture one and study it. A hunting she will go.
This was a very fun read. I enjoyed the the idea of Partials. I don't think we were shown the whole picture of how Partials were made or what they are. The book trailer suggests they have artificial intelligence, but while reading the book it seemed more likely they were biologically altered humans engineered to be stronger, faster and smarter. The book flaps calls them engineered biological beings while Haru said, "they're machines--biological machines, but machines nonetheless." Does this imply they are part machine or was it Haru's way of saying they aren't human? They reminded me a little of main character in 'The Terminator' in regards to their strength and ability to survive things the average human couldn't. They are also said to be perfect and indistinguishable from a regular human to the eye. I found I wanted to learn more about them.
Kira, who is a medical intern, reminded me a little of Doogie Howser and a toned down and sweeter teenage version of House as she seems smarter than her age would imply. When she first suggests she's going to find a cure or a vaccine, Marcus states, "You know that I think you're brilliant, and you got better grades in virology than...anyone. Ever. How do you expect to suddenly solve the biggest medical mystery in history? I mean there's an entire research team at the hospital that's been trying to figure out RM for a decade, and now a medical intern is going to step in and just...cure it? Just like that?" Her response, "I know it sounds like the most arrogant thing in the whole world, but I--...I know I can help, at the very least."
Kira's group of friends are very loyal and interesting. Of the group Haru is my least favorite for reasons you'll need to read about. Nandita, her psuedo parent was the most interesting. She seemed a bit mysterious and reminded me of a tiny bit of Mr. Miyagi from the 'Karate Kid' with her words of wisdom like, "Each life has a different purpose, and some people can find their purpose more easily than others. The key,... the most important thing you can every know, is that whatever your purpose is, that's now your only choice...No matter why you're here, no matter why any of us are here, you're never tied down to fate. You're never locked in. You make your own choices, Kira, And you can't let anyone ever take that away from you."
While I think Mr. Wells did a great job with his world building, I did have some questions like what was the ratio of adults to children of the survivors 11 years ago? Is that the reason teens are being accepted into the professional work force at such at such a young age? Were there not enough adults to do so or did they want as much knowledge as possible to be passed on before those who were thought to be experts died? Additionally, what the heck does RM stand for? I looked and looked and couldn't find an answer. Gah! Maybe this holds some significance and that is the reason the author conveniently didn't say?