Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.
Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Kira lives in a world where humans are dying out. After the emergence of a deadly disease called RM 11 years ago, 99% of the human population was wiped out, and the last known human colony lives on long island.
RM continues to be deadly though, and not a single human baby has survived for more than 3 days in the last 11 years, and people are getting desperate. The Hope Act states that all females over the age of 18 must get pregnant, and must continue to bear as many babies as possible, all in the hope that a baby will be born with immunity, but it hasn’t happened yet, and Kira isn’t sure it ever will.
Kira is training in a medical field, she’s been working in maternity, and has already watched too many babies die. When her best friend Madison reveals that’s she’s pregnant, Kira knows that she can’t let that baby die too, and knows that she has a time limit to find a cure for RM.
Partials (half human-half robot sentient beings) were created as soldiers to battle in wars, but they got a bit sick of this, and a war came about between the partials and humans. Everyone believes that the Partials created RM as a way to wipe out the human race, but that isn’t what Kira is concerned with, she’s just interested in the fact that Partials are immune to RM.
Explaining her theories to the chief of the hospital and the head of the government gets Kira nowhere though, and so she devises a treasonous plan with her friends – to find a partial, and study him, in the hopes of developing a cure and saving Madison’s baby.
Can Kira really develop a cure for RM? Can she save Madison’s baby? And is there more to RM and the partials that the humans don’t know about?
This was a really good dystopian novel with a bit of a sci-fi twist, I just wish the pacing had been a little quicker.
I liked the storyline in this book, I thought that the world-building was done really well, and I was really excited to see what Kira could discover about the partials! There was excitement and anticipation in this book, but I did feel the pacing was a little slow. At 468 pages this book seemed to take forever to read, and even though I enjoyed it, it did seem to drag a bit.
I liked Kira, and I liked how devoted she was to curing RM. It was interesting that nobody else had even considered studying the partials after 11 years of dead babies, and when Kira eventually did get her hands on a partial, I did find it a little difficult to swallow that she was put in charge of research regarding him, even though she was only 16 and a very junior staff member at the hospital. Personally I would have expected at least a couple of people from the research team to be pulled in too, but I understand that the whole venture was being kept quiet.
I liked the interaction of Kira and her friends, and how they each helped in their own way. I really felt for Kira when she realised that her best friend’s baby would die, and how personally she was invested in discovering a cure for RM.
There wasn’t really a romance angle in this book, although Kira did have a boyfriend and there were discussions about marriage and babies, this wasn’t really a storyline, and Kira was actually quite displaced from the idea of having children herself when it was suggested that the legal age for pregnancy as part of the Hope Act would be lowered.
I really can’t imagine how dreadful it would be to live in Kira’s world, and how awful it would be for so many babies to die! I did like the positive hopeful ending that we got though, even though things weren’t really resolved.
I liked the storyline that we got from the Partials though, and how similar a situation they were facing. I would have liked to have learned more about the Partials, as I thought the idea was a really good one, and I’m hoping that there will be more information about them in the next instalment!
There was also a revelation towards the end of the book that I hadn’t seen coming, which I hope will also be built upon in the next book.
Overall; A great YA dystopian, if a little slow-paced.
8 out of 10.