Monday, 29 April 2013

Book Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity’s time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means—and even more important, a reason—for our survival.

“It's not enough, is it? Just to follow; just to have faith in someone bigger and smarter and better informed. That's how we're built, that's how every Partial is wired - to follow orders and trust in our leaders - but it's not enough. It never has been. We've followed our leaders, and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose; we do what they say and we play our part. But this is our decision. Our mission. And when we're done, it will be our victory, or our defeat. I don't want to fail, but if I do, I want to be able to look back and say, 'I did that. I failed. That was all me.” 

Last year I read Partials, the first book in the Partials Sequence series and I was pretty impressed. I liked it a lot; I thought it was smart, exciting and well written. I also thought it was very wordy and I gave it 4 stars because it was a little too long.

When I received Fragments for review I was a little put off by the length. This is a lot of book and I was intimidated, if I struggled with the length of the first book how would I cope with the second? I find the middle book of a series to almost always be worse than the first. But Fragments really surprised me, the length was not an issue and I thought it was better than Partials in every way.

I actually am finding this review a fairly awkward thing to write because I honestly cannot think of one negative thing to say about this book. I thought it was amazing, it improved on the first book in every area and I can do nothing but gush at its brilliance and pure audacity.

The world building was impeccable and I lived every second of this novel. I think Dan Wells is probably the best dystopian writer out there at the moment. The devastation and bleakness of this world was on par with McCarthy’s The Road.

I liked the characters so much more in Fragments. I connected with the confused and desperate Kira in a way I hadn’t before. I liked that other people in other parts of this torn apart and devastated world got their say. This is not just Kira’s story but its Marcus’s, Ariel’s and others story as well.

We got to see a lot more of the Partials in this, from the sweet and loyal Samm to the temperamental and self-assured Heron. I really liked them and it was interesting to see life through their eyes.

There was less politics in this which I preferred but it was still terribly smart, if not more so. There were many twists and turns that had me gasping. Wells also manages to add in some important subjects like racism, war and dictatorship but it doesn’t come across as preachy.

There is also some romance but it is by no means the main storyline, it is incredibly understated yet, somehow it managed to get under my skin and I think I might have swooned.

This book ends on a bang and I don’t know if I can wait for the next book. Fragments is better than Partials in every way and if the series carries on this trend I might not survive Ruins. I thought this was a triumph and it is by far one of the best books I have read this year.

I give it ALL the stars!!!!

5 stars

Published March 28th 2013 by Harper Collins Children’s Books in the UK &  February 26th 2013 by Balzer + Bray in the US. A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads

Review by Kate Phillips

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