Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fragments by Dan Wells

Fragments by Dan Wells ReviewReading Level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 564 Pages
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Narration: Third Person: Kira & Marcus
Genre: Sci Fi/Dystopian
Challenge: Dystopian

Partials Sequence Series
Book One: Partials
Book Two: Fragments
Book Three: Untitled

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

After reading Partials, an action packed, seat gripping novel that had me constantly repeating the mantra, "Holy shit, that did not just happen." I was a bit disappointed at the pace Dan set for his wildly anticipated sequel. Well at least for the first 15-20%. Although I did find Marcus's character to be hilarious, I was really more interested in finding out what was happening to Kira and am ashamed to admit that I skimmed some pages when the point of view was focused solely on him. Even when it was Kira's turn to take the reins and steer the story, I was still bored. 

Of course, I admired the way Kira handled herself in the wilderness of Manhattan, including the split second decisions she was forced to make as well as mapping out all the possible outcomes, both good and bad, while making them. But without any other characters to interact with her, the story seemed bland and monotonous. So I sluggishly continued on, wondering if I should just give up for the night when BAM! I was suddenly clinging onto every single word, staring wide eyed at all the revelations being so suddenly revealed. I seriously shouldn't have started this novel so late at night because once I really got into the story, my fingers had a mind of their own, and no matter what I did my body wouldn't allow me to stop reading until I finally crashed out of exhaustion at 5 A.M. in the morning. Curse you, Daylight Savings Time! I really needed that extra hour. >.<

Kira has definitely made it to my top favorite heroines of all time. I didn't even grasp the fact that she was written by a male author until I had an epiphany and realized, "Hey, Dan isn't a female name......" Slow, I know, but I was so completely wrapped up in the story that I didn't even have the mind to notice anything else. Even though difficulties and obstacles were constantly being thrown at Kira this way and that, she still tried her best to keep a upbeat and positive outlook on life. She believed that they could complete their mission and ultimately discover a cure to both RM and the Partial's Expiration as well as find out what she really was and why she was made in the first place. Where any normal, sane person would've thrown in the towel and gave up, she kept going, determined to face everything head on while gripping tenaciously to her sarcastic attitude the whole time. 

Like any other teenage girl, she did have her doubts about whether or not there even was a way to synthesize a cure or a way to fix the Partial's looming expiration date. While also fearing that Partials and Humans wouldn't be able to let go of their prejudices and coexist peacefully with one another even if they did find solutions to both problems. Dan also created a depth in Kira that I rarely see in other YA heroines. She felt like someone I could reach out and physically touch, someone who could be mistaken as a best friend or older sibling, especially when she gave the horses names according to their varying personalities. Something that I would definitely do. xD

Then we have the rest of the team. Heron, a Partial who had broken off from Dr. Morgan's faction in order to find a solution for her inevitable demise, was both similar to Kira as well as completely different at the same time. Both females are strong willed, stubborn, sarcastic at the most inappropriate times, and intelligent, which causes them to butt heads more often than not. However, the similarities end there. They have a completely different outlook on life. Kira believes that there is hope for both humanity and Partials alike, that sometime in the future they'll let go of their past, forget their differences, and work together in order to save the last of both species. Heron on the other hand doesn't wish for the overall demise of the human population, but doesn't really care whether they die or not. However, I'm questioning whether she really believes what she claims, because her actions near the end of the novel say otherwise.....

Afa was a very interesting character, definitely one we don't see often. Bluntly put, it's pretty obvious he's mentally disabled, from issues at birth or just from isolation, we don't know, but he literally acted like a huge kid. He was intriguing to read about, because at times he seemed to be completely lucid and brilliant, but in others he was lost in his own world, not completely comprehending what was occurring around him. 

And last but not least, we have one of our main love interests, Samm, a Partial who sacrificed everything in order to save Kira from a life of probing and observing. Not because he was hopelessly in love with her, but because it was the right thing to do. Which is probably one of the most interesting aspects of this novel. Although Samm does fall in love with Kira along the way, that wasn't the sole purpose of his mission. He did it to save both his world as well as humanity, despite the fact that 99% of the human population wouldn't hesitate to kill him if it meant their own survival.

The characters definitely weren't the only part I loved about Fragments. Dan described this apocalyptic world so well, that he actually had me believing it was real. So much of everything he described before the Break sounds exactly like what's happening in the world present day. I actually woke up in the middle of the night, because I had nightmares of this story becoming reality. 

The slightest rustle of sound, every creak of a loose floorboard, had me believing that a Partial in cahoots with Dr. Morgan was going to kidnap me from my bed in order to do some sort of sadistic biological experiment. Which means that even though I'll be wildly anticipating the final conclusion of this epic series, I'll wait until broad daylight to read it. And if the government ever decides to start building enhanced soldiers for some war against China, I'll be stocking up on nonperishable supplies, holed up in Costco getting ready to survive on nothing but purified water and stale beef jerky. xD

Overall, if the first 20% of the novel hadn't moved so slow, Fragments would've gotten a solid 5 stars from me. Dan Wells is obviously a talented author who knows what he's doing!  If your looking for a healthy dose of sarcasm and enjoy stories with top notch world building, foretelling the ominous upcoming Apocalypse, you might want to check out what this thought provoking series has to offer.

Heroine- 6/5
Romance- 4.5/5
Action- 3/5 First 20% was slow, but after that it was amazing.
Comedy- 5/5 One Word. Hilarious.
World Building- 6/5
Writing- 5/5
Overall 4.5/5

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