“Partials” by Dan Wells


I have a bad habit of choosing a book simply because it sounds vaguely interesting, but I never really have a high expectation of it.  This one completely blew me out of the water, I couldn’t put it down.  It is a post-apocalyptic teen book, but within the story Wells has hidden issues we deal with every day to some degree.  Females in the story are not given the option to become pregnant, once they turn a certain age they are forced to conceive, knowing full well their child will die within 3 days.  Other authors like Caitlin Moran have brought up the issue of women’s rights, and although “Partials” is fiction, there have been issues like this throughout the world.  The reason for the pregnancy act is because the perfect disease was created by their enemies.  It killed off almost the entire world population and forced the Governing body to make difficult and controlling decisions for the sake of what remained of the community.  Anyone watching any history or National Geographic channel will know of the fear-mongering of diseases (swine flu anyone?).

The book itself is based on America after the war between humans and what is known as Partials.  The book isn’t quite clear on what a Partial is, but it is known they are an engineered humanoid.  They look and act mostly like a human but they were created to be the working force.  They eventually rose up to be the perfect army.  They do not age, they do not get sick, and they heal almost instantly.  The Partials apparently created a disease that wiped out almost the entire population on earth, and the ones that were immune, any child they have dies within days.  The human population is aging, but not replenishing themselves.  The government created the Hope Act where any female over the age of 18 must have a child, willingly or not.  Because of the act, a branch of people rebelled and became known as the “Voice”.

The story, basically, is about humanity and what would you do, and how far would you go to save it?

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