Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Audiobook Review - Fragments (Partials, Book 2) by Dan Wells (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Science Fiction
Size: 576 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Date: February 26, 2013
ISBN: 978-0062071071
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Partials series
Source: Audiobook through
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Partials trilogy. It was an excellent continuation of the series and I enjoyed it a lot.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator does an excellent job of distinguishing between voices and characters and also conveys character emotion well.

Kira is determined to figure out the secrets behind her origins, so she journeys to the deserted Manhattan to find a business office for ParaGen and hopefully find the answers to her questions there. Meanwhile Marcus is still desperately trying to find a cure for RM; issues are complicated when the Partials threaten to invade Long Island. There are many twists and turns and many secrets are revealed.

This was a fast-paced and well done YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic type of novel. Some parts have more of an adventuring feel to them as Kira heads out west to find answers about her origin and I enjoyed these parts a lot. I also enjoyed how we got to see other parts of the United State, for example the wastelands that Kira and crew have to cross.

The book switches between Marcus and Kira; I found the parts from Kira’s POV to be a lot more engaging. Kira is out exploring and finding new things while Marcus is mainly trying just to survive from day to day. This book has more of a science fiction and less of a dystopia feel to it than the last book. There is also a lot of survivalist stuff going on.

Kira comes off as a bit bull-headed and determined throughout the book. While I understood her drive to solve the problem and save the world, she comes off as incredibly selfish at times. Heron calls Kira out on this multiple times, finally Kira starts to question the morality of some of her decisions. Kira does have a point though, she has determined that it is okay to sacrifice a few people to save many...although she struggles with this decision towards the end of the book.

Along with Kira for much of the story are Samm and Heron. Both Samm and Heron were more interesting and fascinating characters for me than Kira. Samm always seems so emotionless but this book explores a lot more about Samm, his life up to this point, and what he wants out of the future.

I thought this book was more consistently paced than the first book. The story is engaging and there were some interesting plot developments. There are lots of twists and turns. Also this book is much darker than the first, all of our characters end up in very bad situations. So while it wasn’t exactly an uplifting story, it was intriguing.

The one thing that really bothered me was that there were a few inconsistencies throughout the novel. For example Kira didn’t even know what a computer looked like early on, but then a short while later she is running searches on a computer without any help. When did she suddenly get so computer savvy? There were also some things that seemed implausible and contrived. For example the wastelands caused by oil rigs burning and off gassing; this seemed a bit contrived for me...especially in the way it was isolated to only a certain region. It made for an interesting story, but I couldn’t help occasionally thinking “this totally does not make any sense”.

Overall I thought this book was an enjoyable read. It’s fast-paced and engaging. There’s a lot of interesting secrets revealed and I enjoyed spending more time with Samm and Heron and getting to understand them better. The world-building is a bit weak and contrived and there were a couple inconsistencies in the story. Despite these I still found this to be an entertaining read. Recommended to fans of YA science fiction/dystopia.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- Young Adult Reading Challenge
- Audio Book Challenge

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