Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Report: Partials by Dan Wells

One of my goals this year is to read 50 books, and so far I’ve gotten six read. Not too shabby. Probably should be more, considering how much free time I have, but whatever.


Partials by Dan Wells (click here for the page) is a new book that just came out last week and it’s pretty much Battlestar Galatica meets Children of Men but isn’t as good as either. And it’s too long. It’s WAY, way too long. That makes me sound dumb, but full disclosure, I finished Deathly Hallows within 24 hours of it being released, and that book is 759 pages. (I know that because I just got up and looked, not because I have that number memorized.) I am not afraid of a long book.

The reason Partials is too long at 468 pages is because it feels too long. There were entire chapters that I skimmed because they literally consisted of the main character rehashing everything she just learned in the previous chapter for other characters who weren’t there to learn it with her. Every important point was repeated about twelve times for every different character, sometimes verbatim. Where were you on that, editor I assume this book had?

It got a lot better in the second half – mostly because Kira got away from her irritating boyfriend (whom I did not care for at all personality-wise, I found him to be the embodiment of an author trying way too hard to throw in some comic relief) and started being a badass. But overall, I thought many of the character interactions were unrealistic and the scenarios even more so. Kira is doing research to find a cure for the virus that wiped out most of humanity and she finds it within, like, a month. She’s 16. Nobody had EVER thought to try what she tried before? Not in 11 years of them dealing with this…? Yeah right.

If you’re going to try and rip off a couple of ridiculously well made and well known pieces of pop culture, you have to at least do them justice.

Something I’ve been wondering about since I read this… characters constantly refer to annoying people as “blowholes.” I… have never heard this before. I realize that this book is set in the future, in the 2070s I think, and maybe this is what is supposed to pass for the evolution of slang, but um. I did not like it. It was stupid. But is that a thing that I’ve just never heard before?

And someone used the word “weirdball” in serious conversation. Pretty weirdball.

I’m also taking points off for the extensive conversation some people have early on about how pointless hockey was back in the day when they had electricity. An entire room where they keep it cold enough for an ICE RINK to exist?!?!!?? Maybe this was the author’s homage to the sport but since every other character seemed to think it was the stupidest idea ever and omg our ancestors were like, so dumb for doing that, what a waste of energy, I was annoyed.

All that said, I’m probably going to read any sequels this book is going to have, because I like dystopian stories about robots. I’m pretty easy to please that way. I do think the story will get better from here on out.


  1. Lol. So...the book sucks but read it anyway? That's so weirdball.

  2. This wasn't a recommendation post. Obviously. I was saying I ended up liking more of the second half than the first half. Also I didn't mention this, but the robot guy in it is awesome. Also, spoiler alert, Kira is secretly a robot. Which isn't a surprise, but makes me more interested in the sequel since she is leaving to go hang out with the cool robot guy and not her annoying boyfriend who I wanted to punch in the face.

  3. Dan Wells' premise in "Partials" seems to be a combination of "Children of Men" and "Feed" but it unfortunately lacks the depth and realism of both novels. I recommend this book to young readers of post apocalyptic fiction. It deftly deals with powerful themes of prejudice and determination but remains superficial and vague in execution; particularly in its action and fighting sequences. And don't be fooled by the cover, this book is more geared toward the general teen demographic as opposted to the dystopian/teen romance crowd.

    Despite the book's flaws, it is a fast and exciting read and I'm looking forward to the sequel. Wells has proved himself a competent author and he doesn't fail to deliver his usual trademark plot twists and turns coupled with engaging character development.