This book is long.
I know that quite a few people made comments about the length of Partials, and at just over 450 pages, it was just a little thing compared to this one. Fragments clocks in at around 560+ pages, which is pretty chunky for a YA book. It’s a commitment but it is a worthy commitment if you like this genre.
***Honestly, you guys, we really don’t need to let the amount of pages keep us from reading books if we are interested. If the size of the book freaks us out a little bit, let’s read electronically either by ereader, phone, or on the computer. We can read big books!***
Fragments by Dan Wells is a really great follow-up to a really great first book. I mean that sincerely. I think I like Fragments better, actually.
I love a great post-apocalyptic landscape, and what we have here is an obliterated Manhattan/Long Island area that readers may remember if they have read Partials – PLUS we are introduced to new areas further west in which the landscape has been changed by war, natural disaster, etc. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to easily create a visual picture in my head – a movie, if you will – of each scene. That is WHAT I WANT in a book like this. Give me floods, give me broken-down buildings and societies, give me barren wastelands and fields – those are great. But ultimately I want to be able to create a picture from the words. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Partials Sequence books for your world-building pleasure.
At the center of this series is Kira Walker, who is like a dream for readers who love a butt-kicking female character. She is bold, she is strong, she doesn’t like to take NO for an answer. Kira gets the job done even when the job is tough. She holds her own against humans and non-humans. I respect her for her physical strength and her mind. Plus she has some secrets dropped on her/us are way cool. I can’t wait to see what awaits Kira in the rest of this series.
While Kira is both strong and awesome, she is also a character that has plenty of emotions and vulnerability. I love this about her, her ability to show all of herself – strength and weaknesses, etc. Kira thinks very hard about what she is doing and how it affects everyone, even when the risk to herself is great. She puts other people before her; she weighs the safety and future of the human race against her own. She also weighs the safety and well-being of those that she loves against her own, and I can’t help but get behind a character with qualities like this.
Readers will hear more from Marcus this go round, and I believe that this is a good thing. Marcus did not impress me all that much in Partials, but he has more than redeemed himself to me in this second installment. I consider it a treat that we also hear more from Samm in this book, and I loved getting to know more about him. Samm is a Partial (not a spoiler, check the summary above) so he is a little different than Kira – and it is these differences that I loved. Samm stands out among the rest of the characters for several reasons. I loved that his communication was different as well as his ability to hone into the emotions, facial expressions, etc of other humans – these are things that Partials are not created to need or use, so they don’t really understand them. Reading about Samm’s struggles and efforts in this area was neat and made him seem the slightest bit more human-like. Because of the story and where it takes them, Samm and Kira spend a lot of time around each other in this book, and I loved the relationship between the two of them. It was my favorite part of the story.
(I also loved all of the action-sequences, which were plentiful and filled with tension and awesome.)
Speaking of relationships, the romance portion of the story flows over from Partials but is still so subtle, so much a part of the background. I was always aware of the romance aspect, but because it just wasn’t important to me as the story as a whole – it wasn’t prominent in my mind the entire time I was reading. I appreciate that The Partials Sequence is being told in this way because the reality of this story so far is that there is really little time for romance.
Besides the length of this book, the only thing that I could possibly consider a negative is the computer-speak. I just don’t understand the tech-speak that new-character Afa uses. He is a computer WHIZ. It is essential to his character, though, that he be able to express his computer smarts, so he gets a pass from me. I did find my eyes bugging out at some of the technical words and terms words he was saying. (So did Kira. I’m quite sure of it.)
Fragments excels in world-building, in creating a corrupt government that has some pretty big problems, and fantastic plot twists. The twists come at just the right time/every time and are exciting, moving the story all over the place. I love it when I read something that makes my jaw drop, and this happened several times. I loved the unexpected THINGS (!!!) that popped up and have am excited to see where the story will end up for Kira, Marcus, Samm, and the rest of the population as they struggle to survive both the RM virus and the dreaded Partials.
Truthfully, Fragments is way better than I can articulate and if you are a fan of books in this genre, you might really like it. It is indeed long and could probably be a bit shorter, but it is still worth the investment for a story that is this well-crafted. I understand that I’ve said the phrase ‘I loved…’ way too many times in this blog post but I’m not sorry. There is a published novella, Isolation, that I wish I had read before I read this book but unfortunately I did not. I am invested in this series for the long-haul and have tons of respect for Dan Wells for his ability to write an action-driven plot with plenty of characterization that entertains me like this one.
I recommend Fragments (and Partials) for fans of YA science-fiction and dystopian/apocalyptic that has a butt-kicking female leading character. People who love compelling survival stories may also like this.
Fragments will appeal to fans of:
Very Strong Female Protagonist
Excellence in World-Building
Tons of Action Sequences
Fragments by Dan Wells
is currently available for purchase.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. Thank you Balzer + Bray/HarperTeen!
Have you read PARTIALS or FRAGMENTS yet?
What did you think?