Review — Partials

Partials is the first book in one of Dan Wells’ book series, The Partials Sequence. It is a trilogy (with an additional novella in the same universe) about a post-apocalyptic world. All thirty thousand human survivors have rebuilt a civilization on Long Island, but nothing is going right.

The apocalypse was brought about by a race of engineered superhumans, called the Partials, which turned on the humans and all but wiped them out with a virus known as RM. The human survivors are the only people to ever build an immunity to it, but the problem is that every baby born since the virus was released has died to it. Obviously, a cure must be found, but the way the virus works makes this seemingly impossible.

Synopsis through, I’d say this is a very nondescript book. I haven’t finished the series, (going through the second one now), but I didn’t find anything about this story to be exceptionally surprising, heartwarming, tearjerking, or anything like that. To me, it was just a book where things happened. In my opinion many of them were predictable, but it could simply be that I’m familiar with this sort of story.

I had thought that this was Dan Wells’ first series, but after some research I found out that his John Cleaver series was actually his first set of published works. It surprised me, because the latter is a much better read. To me, Partials wasn’t really original or interesting. It didn’t have any redeeming qualities. Of course, that may change as I read the series. I’m all too aware that the first book in any series isn’t necessarily reflective of the quality of the overall series. But as far as I’m aware this book series is just a trilogy, with no plans to expand on it. I can’t imagine the story getting that much better with how mundane the first book was.

I am exaggerating a bit, though. It wasn’t boring as much as it was unoriginal and predictable. I can’t finish every book I start. I’ve tried, and failed, to read Fellowship of the Ring three times, always stopping about a third of the way through. I can’t handle every sort of writing style, so if I can’t get through Tolkien, it must be some sort of compliment to Dan Wells that I was able to get through a book I didn’t particularly enjoy.

Another thing is that I wouldn’t say I have a vast knowledge of the post-apocalypse genre. I’ve seen and read some of the big ones, of course, but my experience, like in many other fields, isn’t extensive. So, as far as post-apocalyptic books go, this isn’t bad. There are far better ones I would get under my belt first, but there’s nothing outstandingly bad about Partials.

And along the lines of Dan Wells specifically, his other works are far better. John Cleaver is good because it’s premise is pretty original. I reviewed it a few months ago. I’ve also read the novella A Night of Blacker Darkness, which is also amazing because its British humor, something I don’t experience a lot but I absolutely love.

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