Literature / Partials

"The only hope for humanity isn't human."

Partials is a 2012 young-adult science fiction novel by Dan Wells.

After the war with the Partials, the RM virus kills almost all of humanity except about 40 thousand who have taken refuge in a suburb of New York City. It has been 11 years since The Break and none of the babies born since then have survived.

Kira Walker, a 16-year old medic-in-training, is tired of watching RM kill off every baby within three days of birth and has come up with a plan to find a cure: go to the ones who started the outbreak in the first place.

This book provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Somewhat justified as the kids who grew up without many memories before the Partials War aren't as "woe is me" as the adults and are more likely to do things the adults are too prejudiced to try.
  • Failsafe Failure: Inverted. ParaGen designed a fail-safe for Partials in that they would dissolve after twenty years.
  • Foreshadowing: Kira can hear better and see farther than army trackers/scouts.
  • Hive Mind: Sort of. The Partials' pheromones means that they can sense each other's emotional states.
  • Immortal Infertility: Partials. except for the immortal part.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. For years, every baby born has died of the RM virus within days. The first line of the book reports such a death.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Samm, whose name was originally "Sam M." but he just started including the second m as part of his first name.
  • Super Soldier: Partials were built to be Artificial Human Weapons.
  • Teen Pregnancy: All women 18 and older must be pregnant as frequently as possible. And they're thinking about lowering the age to 16...
  • They Walk Among Us: The Senate warns that the Partials look like normal people.
    • The Voice is comprised of normal people, rebelling against the government.
  • Think Happy Thoughts: Parodied
    Marcus: Look on the bright side.
    Kira: This is the point at which you would traditionally suggest a bright side.
    Marcus: I've never been a real traditional guy. Besides, I'm not saying I know a bright side, I just think this would be a great time to look at one.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Kira does this with a bullet in the second book. The Partials after her don't fall for it, and immediately move away from the noise... so she drops the next one at her feet as a double-bluff. That one works, and after that it's a game of I Know You Know I Know.
  • Time for Plan B: Discussed
    Jayden: Press the attack and hope for the best.
    Kira: Hope is not a strategy.
    Jayden: It's not plan A and it shouldn't be plan B, but it is every plan C that has ever been made.