Thursday, 7 March 2013

Review ~ Fragments ~ Dan Wells

Title: Fragments

Author: Dan Wells

Published: 29th March 2013

By: HarperCollinsUK

Source: netgalley

First line: “Raise a glass” said Hector “to the best officer in new America.”

Last line:  Ariel watched the child and trembled.

Fave line: “I’m the last human being on the planet.”

I’m a huge fan of dystopian series and fell in love with Partials because it had a depth to it that few YA dystopian novels do.  Dan Wells write books that you have to read at a certain pace.  You can’t rush through the text as you can with so many series because there’s so much information in each line you know that if you rush it you’re gonna lose the plot (quite literally!).

The same is certainly true for Fragments. When we left Kira at the end of Partials she was going in search of the trust on the recommendation of Nandita.  She’s also struggling of who she is, something she hasn’t been able to ascertain so far and she’s looking for answers.  She wants to find out what role the Trust, Paragen and the Partials have to play in the cure to the disease that plagues humans and she has to go on one hell of a journey to do it.  We also have the viewpoint of Marcus in this book.  Marcus was I thought a bit of a wallflower in Partials but I think he really comes into his own in the sequel. When Dr Morgan’s Partials raid East Meadow Marcus becomes a part of the newly formed unit that through various spoilery methods works to protect East Meadow and the humans that reside there.

At 562 pages this is one hell of a read! There are a range of themes in here that make you pause for thought.  As is the case with many of the political organisations that emerge in dystopian series there are unexpected twists and turns and not everyone is as legitimate as they seem.  Those that claim to be acting for the greater good are often using hideous practices to achieve their goals and through the course of the book the splits between the factions create greater in-fighting and unexpected coalitions.  Experimentation on living subjects and slavery are also topics that rear their ugly head in this instalment. Add to that the biological disasters that threaten the remaining inhabitants of the planet and you’ve got a pretty intense read to get your head around.
The only downside here for me was that the book felt slightly too long in places.  I felt there were certain stages of the story that perhaps didn’t need to be as protracted as they were.  In particular the journey that Kira, Sam, Afa and Heron make across the country seemed to go on for too long and I did knock half a mark off for that reason alone.

The personalities of the main protagonists seem to have evolved from the first instalment. As I stated earlier Marcus really seems to come into his own.  Kira at times seems to be so determined it seems as though she loses sight of the bigger picture whilst trying to fulfil her own needs and Samm seemed to be a weaker character in this book as he spent his time following Kira around like a lap dog. Heron is the real force of nature in Fragments, especially as continues to fight her own corner and thinks nothing of questioning Kira at every opportunity. That said this sequel also has it’s light hearted moments.  I loved Afa, the reclusive eccentric who genuinely believes himself to be the last human on the planet and whilst there is very little in the way of romance in this book there are a few touching moments between Kira and Samm which have to lead somewhere in book three. We see the return of all the familiar characters from Partials, true identities are revealed and the ending? Well, it certainly sets the scene for an explosive finale!

3.5/5      I can’t imagine the last book in this series being anything other than amazing.  Can’t wait to get my hands on it!


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