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I Belong


Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

FragmentsTitle: Fragments

Author: Dan Wells

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: Partials Sequence (Book #2)

Publication Date: February 26, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 576 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062071076 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062071071 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Jessie

Synopsis

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is only just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues as to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence–it can only be part of a larger plan, a plan that Kira knows she must be a part of, a plan that could save both races. Her only allies 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 they will both 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 ever more important, a reason–for our survival.

Quick & Dirty: A slower paced, but still unpredictable and dramatic, sequel to Partials that launches Kira on a ridiculously awesome journey and hurls us straight into the final book of the Partials series, Ruins.

Opening Sentence: “Raise a glass,” said Hector, “to the best officer in New America.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Fragments is an interesting and exciting sequel that almost lives up to the rest of the Partials series but falls a smidgeon short in a few areas. The main characters remain just as captivating (but still believable), however, the plot just had a hint of filler thrown in. With a really good book or series it’s hard to say that less is more but they could have cut out a little more of the monotony in this particular part of the series and maybe even added on some more details at the end of the series, or to the most exciting portions, particularly as a certain romantic relationship starts to develop.

Kira is as compelling as ever, as she fights heartily against everything that comes between her and saving humanity. She is too driven and stubborn to succeed easily as a liaison between the Partial and Human races, but the best characters are ones that have to overcome themselves, in addition to outside forces, to succeed. Samm, Heron, and Marcus all develop much more as characters and it is quite refreshing to see their points of view. This style keeps the focus on Kira while serving a utilitarian purpose of keeping the audience informed as the characters are separated by a much wider surface area in this novel. Emotionally, however, rotating points of view is much more rewarding, as a bit of our anticipation is quenched when we find out that Kira’s interpersonal skills really are lacking in some areas and most of the characters are not actually thinking what she thinks they are. The new characters that are introduced in Fragments do not play minor roles. They are fully integrated into the plot and become more important than we can initially comprehend. When Kira teams up with a highly unlikely hero, Afa, he adds interest to the book by being so raw and plain. On the other hand, especially with his limitations and his skill set, he seems just a little too convenient.

With Afa as the most obvious example, for as long as the book is, several factors in Fragments seem to trend more toward convenience than believability. The other books didn’t have that same effect, which made it seem almost as if  the focus was on the first and third books in the series, with the second thrown in with less thought and less core. The plot was still necessary to the collection, just somewhat rudimentary in comparison to Partials and Ruins. Part 3 of Fragments is where the Partials story truly grips its audience. There is definitely a curve ball thrown in a totally unexpected way, and everything from that point on is unpredictable, hurling us straight into the raucous events of Ruins. The last chapter of Fragments leaves us hanging on an edge and ready to dive straight into the third book. This is definitely not a book that could stand alone.

Fragments really shines in everything that is unpredictable. The landscaping for Kira’s journey is well thought out and absolutely enthralling at times. Several moments are literally jaw-dropping, “I never saw that coming” experiences, which is totally entertaining. Wells does not disappoint at all in keeping the creativity and surprises coming one after the other.

It is noteworthy that certain elements of this book have a definite, but not overdone, horror element to them. The audience is questioning exactly how far Dan Wells will go in the Partials sequence, and although he flirts with that line, he doesn’t end up crossing it.  The creativity of the entire story is intriguing, as are the details. There are definitely points that are creepy and even shocking. The Partials series is for those who appreciate imagination and thrill, and that isn’t just flattery. The entire series does not disappoint in that department. In the romance and pacing departments, we could use a little more discretion, but Fragments will keep you wanting more Partials.

Notable Scene:

“What does that have to do with anything?” asked Kira.

“You tell me,” said Heron. “What’s your little boyfriend Marcus likely to do when he finds out what you are?”

“Easy,” said Samm. “Everybody just calm down. This argument is not going to get us anywhere.”

“Neither is this bridge,” Kira growled, and turned Bobo’s head to lead him back down to the highway. She wanted to yell, to scream at them both, even at Afa–that this was their fault, that they had fought this war and destroyed the world before she was even old enough to defend it. But this one part of it, this massive act of destruction, she couldn’t even blame on them. That was the worst part of all. “Let’s find another way around.”

Partials Sequence:

0.5 Isolation

1. Partials

2. Fragments

3. Ruins

crow5

FTC Advisory: Balzer + Bray/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Fragments. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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