Author: Dan Wells
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, young adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kira 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.
If you thought Partials was intense, just wait until you get to Fragments. Fragments has everything that Partials had - a bunch of diverse characters with mixed morals and motives, some politics, looming revolution, lots of science, lots of action, and lots of secrets - except twice as much of everything! It may sound like it's all over the place, but there are two very tightly written main story-lines that follow Kira on her search for the truth about her identity and Marcus as he deals with developments back in Manhattan.
All the characters from the previous book have grown leaps and bounds in this one. I loved the introduction of Heron as a main character. She is smart and independent, and won't take no for an answer. She answers to no one, but she's good to have around when her interests coincide with yours. I also really liked Samm's growth in this book. He really begins to question how much of him is genetic and how much is simply being conditioned to believe that he is a certain type of person. Both Samm and Kira debate so much about what it means to be human or Partial, and how that fits in with who they are. The whole nature-vs-nurture debate is one that fascinates me because I really can't pick a side. Marcus is as funny as ever, and although he won't admit it (least of all to himself), he has become quite a courageous leader.
We learn a lot more about the Trust in this book, and Kira's unwitting connections with it. There are lies and red herrings, answers that only raise more questions, and contradictory information, but there is also some truth. The stakes get much higher in this book as you finally understand what the Trust really did and what pushed them to do it. The future looks bleak to say the least, and as Kira learns the hard way, sometimes the right thing to do isn't easy. It's one thing to do something you now is right even if it's difficult; it's another thing entirely if you don't even know that your ultimate goal is justified. Are you a bad person if you kill a few people to save many? How do you decide which lives are worth more? Is sacrificing someone else ever justified? These are questions that are raised and debated by all the characters, and frankly I really can't pick a side. Everyone has similar hopes for the future, but no one agrees on the best way to get there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - not only was it an adrenaline-fueled story that had me turning pages like crazy, it also made me think about a lot of ethical issues. It made me laugh at times, and made me want to throw up at others. I am really looking forward to the next book!