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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Just when I thought that YA dystopian fiction with decent world building was a myth akin to a Unicorn, Dan Wells' Partials rekindled my faith and happily Fragments confirmed it. Wells' carefully crafted a world that was both visually and descriptively solid and realistic in the first of his series and Fragments picks up where it left off never once letting go of the reins with another stunning and compelling instalment that left me breathless by the end.

Partials ends on a hopeful note as our protagonist Kira has returned to East Meadow, triumphant with the cure for RM, saving the life of her beloved adopted sister's baby. However when Fragments begins, all is not well in her world. It is as brutal and harsh as ever as the last humans' left deal with betrayal from those elected to protect and defend them. With power still up for grabs and riots breaking out as fear of extinction still pervades the air; peace is still a ways off.

The story is told from two perspectives, Kira whom we know well from Partials and her on-again, off-again boyfriend Marcus. This was a great move by Wells' as it allowed the reader to always have a keen perspective and knowledge of what was happening first hand, both in the human world and the partial world. Kira, who was devastated to learn that her origins may not be as simple and clear-cut as she has always believed, leaves East Meadow looking for answers, both for RM as her "cure" is unable to be synthesised and also as to who she really is, where are her parents and how did she really come to be a part of the East Meadow community. Her journey takes her to New York where she meets up with computer genius and ParaGen tech, Afa Demoux, who has believed for 12 years that he is the last human on earth. With his help and that of Samm, a Partial with whom Kira feels an inexplicable connection and Heron, a covert Partial model, Kira sets off on a perilous and harrowing journey across the rough and wild terrain of an America that has forgotten who used to be in charge.

I love how Wells' drops us right into the action with little back-story to weigh us down. In the world he's created, it is so richly vivid that it isn't needed. Partials was still very clear in my mind as I read Fragments which allowed Wells to expand on the scientific and technological aspects of this brave new world. As in Partials, at times, the "info-dump" can be a little overwhelming, this time it is computer knowledge whilst in Partials, it was genetic science. However it is all extremely interesting and any fan of Michael Crichton or Battlestar Galactica will be in heaven. I certainly was.

The addition of Afa was brilliant; his sweet, complex character highlighted the compassionate side of Kira and added an extra layer to the emotional aspects of the story. Samm made a welcome return; his quiet, affable nature always complimented Kira's more emotional and fiery character. Their relationship grows in complexity throughout this story and was one of my favourite aspects of the plot. Heron was at times the most human of all characters despite her cybernetic origins. Feisty, opinionated but above all loyal to both her race and her friends, she was a welcome addition to the core group of characters. At times, Kira's journey through the wastelands of what remains of the US was a little slow paced at times and hampered the action. My only gripe with the whole book was its length, at over 500 pages, it is a hefty weight and it was at these junctures that the length was truly felt.

Marcus's journey however was more action packed as the Partials bring war to the humans' front door. It was fascinating again to read about the ease in which society can be destabilised and how utterly terrifying it is when power breeds corruption. As the humans battle to save themselves from RM, the Partials are facing an equally terrifying fate, an expiration date, which they believe the answer to lies somewhere in the human world. As both races battle to save themselves, they foolishly allow emotion to get the better of each other rather than realising that the answer to their prayers lies in trusting each other and working together. Again as in Partials, Humanity and its treatment of its "children" comes under scrutiny and we see how en masse, the race is fragile and utterly incapable of saving itself from it's own destruction. The sub-plot of the "Failsafe" highlights this and was one of the more sinister aspects of the story. Marcus teams up with Ariel, the mysterious sister of Kira's who left her home as soon as she turned 16 and together they search for answers to Nandita's identity and what her role in Kira's background truly is. While Marcus attempts to save the world by bringing the fight to the Partials, Kira feels its weight as she follows the endless clues to the true reasons for the "beginning of the end of the civilisation."

The book is in four parts and it is in part three that the action really excels. The sense of hopelessness and fatigue as the journey towards the answers they seek grows more perilous comes flooding through the words and the pace picks up as the race against time grows shorter. The final part of the book was a thrill ride from start to finish and the tension as both Marcus and Kira get closer to the end of their missions was unbearable at times. A new threat, Kira's true and terrifying fate, the progression of new relationships are some of the things we have to look forward to in the next book as Wells' leaves us with a cliff hanger that is seriously mind-blowing and will be a wrench to wait for. An amazing addition to the series, Wells' once again gives us a glimpse into a terrifying future that awaits humanity with just a few simple yet misguided choices. Unmissable.
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on 15 March 2013
Alison for [...]
Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Please note, this book is second in the series, if you haven't read the first there may be spoilers.

Picking up a couple of weeks after the events of `Partials' `Fragments' is a very strong second book in a series. It holds a hint of nostalgia for me as `Partials' was the first book I was given to review by the Big Book Little Book team, as soon as the galley for `Fragments' appeared I was very eager to get my hands on it, the book didn't disappoint.

Partials was very heavy on the sci fi, Fragments has moved away a bit from this. It's still an incredibly strong theme in the book, it always going to be when you are writing about biologically engineered robots, but much of the science has already been established so I suppose it doesn't need explaining in quite the same way. There is also a move away from the dystopian topics of control, this book looks at individuals and their relationships to a much greater extent. It's almost as Dan Wells felt as though he needed a book to establish his world and then he could concentrate on his characters. That's not to say that the characters aren't well drawn or one dimensional in Partials, but in Fragments we did see a greater depth to them and some relationships were explored in more detail. This was fantastic, as for me it's the characters that really make a book. Fragments also had more of a sense of adventure to it with some incredible action packed scenes. This isn't just a book for the girls, even with a female central character this is a book that I should be able to sell to the boys too.

There is still the crucial element of Romance and the hints of that ever present YA device, the love triangle, but this doesn't take over the book. It's there in the background, enough to satisfy those who like a little romance in their books but not enough to overwhelm the story. Just the way I like it.

Fragments has built such a believable future world that you can't help but be drawn into the story. It isn't a short book, but despite the length and fairly complicated storyline it is a fairly easy read. The writing draws you in and you really start to care about the characters. I found that I needed to know more and had to carry on reading.

The book also raises some interesting arguments over morality. The entire premise of the series, the creation of bioengineered robots, who think for themselves, being made for military purposes is always going to raise some interesting questions into the ethic of such a thing. What I have found incredibly interesting in both books is that Wells has decided to set the book after a virus has wiped out most of the human species, rather than the event itself. This means that both sides have had chance to evaluate their actions and how different camps have come to different conclusions is very interesting. The preconceptions of each side towards the other could be applied to so many issues that affect the human race, it becomes an interesting study of what it means to be human, even though one side technically isn't. This really comes to the fore in Kira's internal struggle, raised as human until she finds out that she is actually a partial as a teen, she feels that she doesn't fit in either world. Human's would see the robot whose kind almost destroy the human race, where as the partials just see someone is thinks like a human. I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of this can be resolved in the next book.

Verdict: A well built world, fantastic characters and some interesting moral issues, what more could you ask for?
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on 7 April 2013
Kira has found a cure for RM but it is not easily accessible as it means using the partials, now she is on a search across the country with Samm, Heron and an unhinged computer expert called Afa for a cure for both the humans and partials as well as answers to who she is and who know about her. Meanwhile back on Long Island, Marcus and the rest of humanity are on the edge of war with the partials, a war which they know they cannot win, will Kira and Samm find the answers before it is too late for both races.

Fragments is the second instalment in the Partials series, which is a different but ok YA dystopia. This story does drag a bit as it focuses too much on the journey to find answers and less on the actual action.

More so in this book than the last I could not connect to any of the characters and did not really care about what happened to them. Also I did not like the love triangle developing between Kira, Samm and Marcus as I am so bored of them in YA books.

Fragments is an ok book and I hope it gets better in the next one. I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed the first book Partials.
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on 7 March 2014
****SPOILERS CONTAINED IN THIS REVIEW****
Fragments is the follow up to Partials and finds Kira out on her own looking for answers after she found a photo with Nandita, her father and her as a little girl outside a ParaGen building. On the back of the photo is a message - Find the Trust. Who is the Trust and what do they have to with Nandita and her father? Were they a part of this? And how did she know Nandita before the Break? She needs answers. So this is what Kira sets out to find.

Along the way she meets Afa who, before the break, was the IT Director at ParaGen and has collected information about the company, the Partials, RM and the Trust among other things. Unfortunately Afa has been alone since the break and seems to have gone slightly mad having only small moments of lucidity where Kira can get useful information from him. She also meets back up with Sam and Heron and they join forces to travel, first to Chicago and then through the wastelands to Denver to find the answers she's looking for.

In between their travels we get to see what's happening back on Long Island since Kira left. The human settlement is invaded by Dr Morgan - who it seems is more than meets the eye - looking for Kira. Dr Morgan believes that Kira holds the key to the Partials expiry date which is fast approaching for all of them. Marcus, Kira's boyfriend, ends up fighting in the war between the humans and Partials and comes up with an idea after he finds out that there are separate factions within the Partials that disagree with the methods that Dr Morgan seems to be employing. Can they join together to defeat Dr Morgan?

This part of the trilogy is a race to find the answer to RM - although Kira knows that there is a cure there is no way to replicate it - and to the Partials expiry date. Kira finds herself torn between two worlds and loyalties as she realizes that she herself is a Partial (although a newer model than the others and very different). Should she think of herself as human still as this is all that she has known, or should she start to side with the Partials. She struggles with this throughout the book and finds herself wanting to save everyone. She wants all to survive and live in harmony together instead of fighting and warring with each other and looking for ways to get rid of the other side.

The story makes you think about the work that was done in order to create the Partials in the first place. Just because we can do something does it mean that we should? Obviously this kind of technology isn't real but should we be trying to accomplish and work towards some of things that they were able to do in the future? Maybe, maybe not. It raises some interesting moral dilemmas.

The growing relationship between her and Sam was lovely to read. Kira is confused over her feelings and Sam, being a Partial, does not know how to express or show emotions. He trusts Kira implicitly and would do anything for her. It takes a shock from someone else to finally verbalize his feelings but is it too late?

This book answered a lot of questions but also raised some more - as all good series should. I cannot wait to read the final chapter and am desperate to see how both parties can get what they need and save the world. Will Sam & Kira find their way to each other? I hope so!!
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on 28 April 2013
Last year I read Partials, the first book in the Partials Sequence series and I was pretty impressed. I liked it a lot; I thought it was smart, exciting and well written. I also thought it was very wordy and I gave it 4 stars because it was a little too long.

When I received Fragments for review I was a little put off by the length. This is a lot of book and I was intimidated, if I struggled with the length of the first book how would I cope with the second? I find the middle book of a series to almost always be worse than the first. But Fragments really surprised me, the length was not an issue and I thought it was better than Partials in every way.

I actually am finding this review a fairly awkward thing to write because I honestly cannot think of one negative thing to say about this book. I thought it was amazing, it improved on the first book in every area and I can do nothing but gush at its brilliance and pure audacity.

The world building was impeccable and I lived every second of this novel. I think Dan Wells is probably the best dystopian writer out there at the moment. The devastation and bleakness of this world was on par with McCarthy's The Road.

I liked the characters so much more in Fragments. I connected with the confused and desperate Kira in a way I hadn't before. I liked that other people in other parts of this torn apart and devastated world got their say. This is not just Kira's story but its Marcus's, Ariel's and others story as well.

We got to see a lot more of the Partials in this, from the sweet and loyal Samm to the temperamental and self-assured Heron. I really liked them and it was interesting to see life through their eyes.

There was less politics in this which I prefered but it was still terribly smart, if not more so. There were many twists and turns that had me gasping. Wells also manages to add in some important subjects like racism, war and dictatorship but it doesn't come across as preachy.

There is also some romance but it is by no means the main storyline, it is incredibly understated yet, somehow it managed to get under my skin and I think I might have swooned.

This book ends on a bang and I don't know if I can wait for the next book. Fragments is better than Partials in every way and if the series carries on this trend I might not survive Ruins. I thought this was a triumph and it is by far one of the best books I have read this year.

I give it ALL the stars.
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on 27 April 2014
This is the second book in the Partials Sequence. I loved it!

I downloaded this book in audio format, as I wanted to read it but didn't have time to. Getting this book in audio allowed me to be able to listen to it whilst doing household chores, or when I was too tired from work to hold a book or my Kindle. The narrator, Julia Whelan, did another fantastic job in bringing the characters to life by giving them their own accent and voice.

Kira Walker is now seventeen years old and is still trying to find a solution to the deadly RM virus. Her search takes her on a dangerous journey through a deadly and treacherous landscape called "the Wasteland". Along the way she meets new friends, and new foes are looking for her. Will Kira and Samm be successful in their mission?

The story continues from the end of the first book, and see's Kira trying to find information on Paragen - the company that created the Partials (and her) - and travelling across the mainland to Chicago to find answers to the numerous questions that were left unanswered in the first story. This story is now told from various points of view, rather than just Kira's, and this gives the reader an insight as to what is happening to the other characters in the various locations. It was nice to have Samm's thoughts and feelings brought to life, as I had commented in my review of Partials that I would have liked to know what he thought of things. The multiple view points of Kira, Samm, Marcus and a few other characters has given me a broader picture and it made it easier to picture the scenes. In fact, I felt like I was watching a movie, as the details and descriptions were extremely vivid. There are surprising twists and turns that pepper the story, and I was completely engrossed from start to finish. There is a huge twist that shocked me, but in a way, the situation made sense. I was in tears for some of the story, as it is rather brutally sad, but there are some rather touching moments that also made me smile. There is a lot of danger and adventure that had me sitting on the edge of the seat. At one point, I found myself holding my breath as Kira explored a building, and got a little lightheaded from the lack of oxygen! The end of the story finishes on a cliffhanger, and now I can't wait to get a copy of the last book in the trilogy, Ruins.

Dan Wells has written a fast paced, action packed post-apocalyptic YA novel that kept me riveted from the first page. I loved his writing style, which kept me highly entertained and the story flowed wonderfully. I would love to see this series being made for the big screen.

I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love books like The Hunger Games and Divergent or YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian or Post-Apocalyptic genres. - Lynn Worton
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on 6 April 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley.)
This is the second book in the `Partials Sequence' series, and kicks off 2 months after the end of book 1 `Partials'. **Warning - some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 - `Partials'**
It's two months since the events of book 1, Kira has escaped to Manhattan, New York, in hopes of discovering more information about not only RM, but the partials expiration date.

Kira's friends meanwhile are still on Long Island, and things take a turn for the worst when Dr Morgan (the woman controlling one group of partials, who trapped and tried to experiment on Kira previously) leads a partial army onto Long Island in search of Kira.

Marcus comes up with an idea that hinges on Nandita, which he puts into action, Haru has his own plans, and he goes off in search of a solution to the current war on Long Island, and the girls pretty much go into hiding to avoid being killed by the partials. Kira meanwhile makes some very significant discoveries in Manhattan that ultimately aid her in her quest for the cure to both RM and the expiration date.
Can Kira find a cure for either of these problems? What does Dr Morgan want with her? And can humans and partials ever live in peace?

I really enjoyed this book, it was full of twists and turns, and you never knew what was coming next!

Kira is alone at the beginning of this book, and has made it her personal mission to find the cures for both RM and the expiration date. Her travels lead her to not only new information, but also to people, and her quest becomes more and more complicated. Despite this she keeps pushing on, and keeps going even in the face of certain death. It seems that nothing is going to stop Kira, and I think it's this unending faith of hers that she will find the cures that keeps her going. Kira's journey in this book is far from easy, and it really is a wonder how she keeps going at times.

This book is certainly one that triggers emotions, but not necessarily the emotions you would expect! There were several moments that made me sad - certain deaths that I found upsetting, and probably an equal number of moments where I just couldn't believe what was happening! The twists and turns and mysteries constantly kept me guessing, and I'm not sure if this book has made me paranoid, but I constantly worried that Kira shouldn't be trusting certain people, or was making choices that were downright stupid and risky! This book was certainly one that kept me saying OMG, and worrying about what would happen next!

This book did take me a long time to read though! Even though I had to stop 1/3 of the way in because of a challenge I was taking part in, the pace seemed pretty slow. The thing is though, even though the pace seemed slow, so much time was taken up with what Kira was thinking, and how these thoughts led her to her next discovery, that even the slowest parts had to be read thoroughly to be understood, purely due to the detail of the story. Be warned though; at 576 pages this is not a quick read!

It's difficult to say much about the plot of this book without revealing too much or giving away spoilers, but I have to say that it wasn't what I was expecting, and the plot twists were tremendous. I have no doubt that the author is building up to an explosive finale following the ending of this book (quite a bit of a cliff-hanger I'm afraid), and I for one and quite happy to put in the time to find out what happens next! (I'm actually quite afraid to find out too though!)

Overall; a harrowing journey at times, a complex storyline, war, unexpected deaths, and a multitude of twist and turns. If you like dystopian stories and aren't scared by the size of this book - go for it!
8 out of 10.
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on 6 April 2013
I started reading this book as soon as I had finished Partials and I must admit that it took me a lot longer to read than I expected, especially as I was excited after finishing book one. This wasn't because I was busy doing other things but because I found it hard to stick with for more than an hour at a time. I could manage a few chapters but anymore than that in one go and I felt my attention start to wain as parts were just too long.

Despite this though, I felt this book was better than Partials by quite a bit. There was a lot more action involved and it was described brilliantly. I also loved how Kira was developed, she got increasingly stronger and held her own. As well as this there was much more partial involvement which was great as that was one thing I wanted more of when reading Partials. This book was surprisingly unpredictable as well and I didn't see the ending coming.

There were a few things that frustrated me though while reading this book. The first was the way the author left things with Afa, it was so abrupt and there wasn't enough detail to satisfy me at that section. It just seemed like the author didn't know what to do at that point so glossed over it as quickly as possible without much thought. As well as this, Fragments was written from more POV than Partials and this became slightly irritating as it was a bit jumpy. My biggest complaint though was that the author hinted at a romance, however left it until the end to do anything about it and by that point it was too late to do anything which I didn't like.

Overall this was an interesting read that varied in pace, however it was a struggle to read more than a few chapters at a time. I enjoyed the twists and the action was described incredibly so it was easy to visualise however some parts left a lot to be desired for and I would have loved more romance, oh well maybe it will develop in another book as it does leave you on a cliff hanger which has me hooked!
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on 26 December 2014
This book is an edge of your seat page turner. I loved getting back into Kira's journey, and just as in the first book, all of the characters were well written, and the storyline was enjoyable.
I liked the introduction of some new characters, and how we got more secrets opened up to us about the Partials, Para Gen and the expiration date.
The emotions in this book were running high, and I loved the balance between chaotic and dramatic moments, with more emotional moments.
If I had to pick one thing that didn't quite hit the mark for me, it was simply that I found Kira and Samm's storyline in this book, a lot more interesting than Marcus' and so on. Whenever it was a chapter focussing on someone else, I tended to find that was when I'd take a break from reading. It wasn't that it wasn't interesting, because each character's storyline was interesting and added to the plot, but I did find Kira and Samm's the most enjoyable. Maybe that's just because they're my favorite characters, and I love reading about them.
Overall, this is a fantastic book, and I'm excited to read the next in the series.
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on 18 June 2014
This sequel to Partials has Kira and Samm heading across the US with Afa, a mentally damaged IT genius and Heron, the partial spy model, to find a solution to their assorted problems. Meanwhile back at the island, Dr Morgan and her gang are piling the pressure on Marcus and the remaining humans. Or are they...?

Characters were brilliantly illuminated in this book. There were fewer surprising plot and character segues, but such depth to the likes of Samm and the people in Denver that I didn't miss that (too much).

I can't honestly say that I've read any other books that are like the Partials series, despite them being jammed indiscriminately into the modern 'YA dystopian' genre. They're adventure stories set in an apocalyptic future, with an interesting and (sometimes very) complex DNA-based plot. Recommended to all.
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