What I’m Reading: Partials

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I’m a Hunger Games freak. I love the series, and I saw the movie on opening weekend in IMAX. I’m a big fan of YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction in general, and I’m also a fan of Battlestar Galactica. Partials by Dan Wells sounds like a YA Battlestar Galactica in a lot of ways. It’s a sci-fi dystopia. There are organic robots. Humanity has been reduced to a small group of people trying to repopulate their world. It didn’t take much more than reading the description to know I’d like this book.

Partials

by Dan Wells

 

 

 

The main character Kira Walker is working as an apprentice in the hospital learning how to be a doctor. She mostly observes the deaths of newborns because a virus released years ago by the organic robots (known as Partials) kills the babies within 72 hours. This means the human race is slowly but surely dying out. Because there could be a chance that someone will have a child that is immune to the virus, the government has passed the Hope Act requiring all women over 18 to get pregnant as often as possible. Kira becomes convinced that curing the virus is tied to the Partials, but no one has seen one in years.

There are so many twists in this story, and even if I guessed many of them, I enjoyed the ride. Kara lives in a world where teenagers have all the responsibilities of adulthood but few of the advantages. One of the things that annoys me in much of YA is teenage angst, but Partials is one of the rare stories where the angst was justified. These teenagers work hard at full-time jobs, live independently, and contribute to society like adults, but they have no say in their government because the voting age remains 18. As every teenager has said at least once, “That is so unfair!” Kira is a strong and confident young woman who is determined to make a difference, and I followed her journey without blinking. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Partials is a book you should buy, not borrow from the library. I highly recommend it.

Books I Want to Read

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I’m officially stuck in a dystopian rut. Every single one of these books is some kind of post-apocalyptic dystopian YA novel. But I really want to read all of them! See, t his is what happens when I spend my lunch hour surfing Amazon. You know that lovely little program that recommends similar items to what you’re looking at? Bane of my productivity.

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

This looks amazing. A self-aware prison full of creepy metal forests and recycled cities, a young prisoner with no memories, and an escape plan. There’s also a magic key that the main character uses to communicate with the daughter of the prison warden, a young lady destined for the prison of an arranged marriage. Sounds like something I ought to be reading. The sequel Sapphique will soon hit stores, so I’ll probably be forced to pick it up too.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The forest is full of zombies! The main character lives in a village surrounded by a chain link fence in the middle of a forest infested by the undead. These are books 1 and 2 of a series, and it’s getting raves from one of my favorite authors, Scott Westerfeld. At some point, I will get my paws on my own copies. I have Max Brooks to thank for my recent unexpected love of zombie fiction.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In the future, Mom and Dad can have you dismembered for spare parts. Be too big of a brat, and when you turn 13, they’ll “unwind” you and give your liver to somebody else. How’s that for being grounded? I think I have a taste for creepy fiction. I’m less certain about wanting this book than the others. There’s some parts of the premise that could ruin the book for me depending on how Shusterman handles it. I’m probably going to borrow this from the library instead of buying it.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This book hits stores August 24. If I somehow got my hands on an advanced reader copy (completely not happening, but oh the bliss of the thought), I just might be the happiest person alive. This is the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, and I love the series so much, I’m tempted to have a release party. Or at least attend one.

After my eager raid of Half-Price Books this evening ended in empty arms,  I plan to plunder Amazon for most of these books and probably a few other titles that little “Recommended for You” box plants in my psyche.

What I’m Reading: Broken Angel

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I read Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer quite awhile ago, but it’s worth a short review.

For those unfamiliar with Sigmund Brouwer, I grew up reading his books. His Winds of Light series for kids is about “wizards,” Merlins and druids, who use little known technologies and poisons to battle for control of medieval Europe. Brouwer is a very creative writer, and Broken Angel is definitely no exception.

Broken Angel is about a dystopian future America that has splintered into several smaller countries. A young girl is being chased by bounty hunters determined to kill her. It’s more of a thriller than a sci-fi novel, delving into her complicated relationship with her father, his secret past, and a dangerous secret about herself that even she doesn’t know.

Unfortunately, I saw within the first few minutes what the end of the novel would be. It lessened my interest a bit, but I still enjoyed exploring the theocratic legalistic world of Appalachia. Brouwer spends extensive time developing her psychology, which I appreciated, and he delves into her relationship with her father and her confusion at his sudden abandonment.

Several themes are woven throughout the story, but the one I kept noticing was the importance of knowledge. The people of Appalachia do not know how to read and only know what their government and priests tell them about God and the world. This is a theme that Brouwer seems to stick to. In the Winds of Light series, the wizards are only successful because of the ignorance around them. They are powerful because they can read and learn. Brouwer is also a literacy and “get kids reading” advocate, in case you were wondering.

It’s a quick and easy read with thought-provoking themes and a unique setting. I’d recommend it for a quiet weekend.