Book Review of Fragments (Partials #2) by Dan Wells

Posted April 5, 2013 by Kara in Kara / 14 Comments

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Pages: 564
Genre: Young AdultDystopian
Source: I received an ARC from Annabelle at Sparkles and Lightning
Series: Partials Sequence #2

Description from GoodreadsKira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence–it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity’s time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means–and even more important, a reason–for our survival.

I hate writing book reviews for sequels. Like, hate, HATE doing it. For one, you have to be really careful what you say because spoilers, so that eliminates like 50% of your discussion material. And then less than half of the people who normally read your reviews are going to read a book two review because they haven’t read the first book yet. Such is the case with Fragments. If you haven’t read Partials, see you next review, but you should probably read it anyway, because it is AWESOME. 

I maybe liked Fragments just a little bit less, and the reasons for that are simple. Pacing and characterization issues. AGAIN. It was the same as with the first book, and I officially think it is a thing with this author. The infodumping is cleverly disguised in dialogue and you wouldn’t notice it unless you were honestly looking for it because he makes it flow really well, but it’s there. And it bogs down the action a lot. 

That’s not to say that it’s bad though, just different. It’s not paced quickly like most YA novels are, and as such, has an enormous amount of crossover potential. That is also due to the incredibly epic world-building and some pretty in-depth scientific ideas that I think might bore certain readers. And if it’s not your thing, that completely makes sense. For a sci-fi lover like me though, this book is sort of the holy grail of everything I love about post-apocalyptic fiction. And if you had a lot of questions at the end of Partials, a lot of them will be answered in this latest installment.

But we run into characterization issues again. And you know, it’s kind of annoying because I think the characters in this novel have an enormous amount of potential, and their personalities are overlooked to focus on the plot. What ever happened to the well-balanced novel? Kira is awesome, but I still feel like I don’t even know her that well. And that goes double for the others. We are introduced to a few new characters in this novel, and those are written a little bit better, but this story element could still use quite a bit of work.

When it’s all said and done though, this is still a great sequel to a series that I am very invested in. There are a few flaws here and there, but the story makes up for it and so does the atmosphere. There are places in the novel where I got lost in the ages and really felt like I was there in the story. 

Though if it’s been a long time since you read Partials, and your memory stinks like mine, you might have a hard time remembering the details. But as I read, they started to come back. But that’s one other really positive thing. No obvious rehashing of what happened in the last book. Because I hate that.

So if you are still reading and you’ve thought about giving this series a chance, here is where I tell you to do it. If you are a big dystopian reader like myself, I think you’ll like it. I recommend it to fans of Julianna Baggott’s Pure series, fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner series, and books of the like. It’s definitely worth investing valuable reading time in. And though this one ends on kind of an anti-climactic note, book three is sure to be fantastic.

4/5 Dragons

Buy Fragments from Amazon

14 responses to “Book Review of Fragments (Partials #2) by Dan Wells

  1. Amy

    Great review Kara, and I did indeed read your whole review even though I have not read Partials yet. I do have the book though and need to get to it. I like that there is no rehashing of the previous book. That drives me so crazy!! It’s too bad that the characterization could have been better, but I’m glad that you still really enjoyed it.

    • It drives me nuts too. The characters will grow on you, I think, it just takes time. Time that some readers would net be willing to invest. I get why his writing style doesn’t work for everyone.

  2. I agree–there are still a lot of things that bog this book down (although some improvements from the first book, too), but I still enjoyed this. I just would have enjoyed it MORE if he could get over the infodumping! And wandering, so much wandering, hah. I’m glad you liked it overall, though, Kara!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • Agreed! I love all the information that we gleaned from this second novel, I just wish it had been more effectively introduced to the plot. Agreed about the wandering, but I actually don’t mind wandering in books. I’m weird, I think. πŸ˜€

  3. Ugh! I suck at reading sequels. I usually have to go back and read the first one. I have been trying this new thing where I wait until the whole trilogy or series is out and THEN read it. But I usually have to jump in sooner than I want because of the hype and because most of them get turned into movies.

    Great review!

    • That’s a great idea. If I didn’t have so many ARCs to read, that is exactly what I would do. But half the ARCs I get are firsts in a series so I can’t. But when I can, that’s the right way to do it. And I’m also a fan of reading straight through a series. But that’s nearly impossible as a book blogger too. BAH! πŸ˜€

  4. Reading your intro on reviewing sequels I found myself nodding in agreement, they are a pain to write for all the reasons you listed, but we’ve gotta do it, right?

    And I despised Partials so I will not be reading this, but I’m glad I read your review because you cemented my decision, if he keeps writing the same way, then I know the rest of the series is not for me.

  5. I totally know what you mean about writing reviews for sequels. I hate em. Sometimes, I even go as far as to consider not writing one for it at all. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I didn’t really like Partials that much. The science-y jargon was too much and I found myself just nodding along and skimming it until something happened. Too bad about the characterisation because like you said, there was some really great material to work with. I probably will still read this. I’m just in no great hurry. Thanks for the review, Kara.

  6. I really love this series, and think it’s better than the Maze Runner series (which I also adore). I do have issues with the sequel, mostly just that it is overlong and could have lost about 100 pages or so easily with no real sacrifice in plot (and as you point out, characterization seems to be something of an afterthought anyway, so no loss there). But I do love the world, and where we end up in the story in the final pages. I’m dying to read book three! Great review πŸ™‚

    • HAH! Great minds think alike! And I agree. This could have been shorter. It was wordy in places and not much happened in certain scenes and they could have been cut.

      I LOVE the world-building. Agreed. Thank you!

  7. I really liked Partials, but because of the issues you mentioned, Kara, I didn’t LOVE it. I am thinking I may have to hope my library has (or can get) both of these, because I read Partials when it was first available on NetGalley – so it’s been FOREVER. I’m thinking I’ll probably have a similar experience as you did, but still enjoy Fragments!

    • Same. I actually didn’t have an issue getting back into the story and I usually do. But with this one, once I started reading, it all came back to me. And it had been over a year since I read Partials. Weird.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge