Author: Dan Wells
Genre: YA Scifi/Dystopia
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Available: $8.99 (paperback) at Amazon
Rating: 4.5 stars
From the publisher:
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.
What I liked:
Although I didn’t connect that well with the main character, I admired her determination and drive, and a surprising maturity considering her youth. Her somewhat naive faith in her ability to cure a disease that no adult had managed turned out to be correct, and my inner teenage self cheered her success. After a slow start, the action didn’t stop and provided an interesting conflict, intriguing characters and a couple of twists – one not that surprising, the other very much so. I didn’t find this anywhere near as whiny and full of teenage angst as a lot of YA I’ve read – I felt the teens all had damn good reason to protest life was unfair!
What I didn't like:
The beginning was slow and dragged, to the point I almost wanted to quit. There was too much repetition -- I felt the whole Partials war, plague, and the details of the RM virus had been engraved into my memory the number of times they were mentioned, something that an editor should have picked up on. It all seemed to go round in circles, and even though it spelled the end of humanity, I didn’t really feel the impact emotionally. I was close to not caring if they all died out.
So why, despite being things I didn't like, did this still rate 4.5 stars? Because I really enjoyed the story. I'll forgive certain flaws in a book if the overall story is compelling enough, and from the fact that I'm keen to read the sequel. The twists at the end definitely hooked me to read the next. YA without a lot of the irritating angst, and dystopian without being 'we're all going to die'. Recommended.