Author: Dan Wells
Who’s it for? Teens, older teens.
What’s it about? Humanity went to war. But they didn’t fight the war themselves, no, they created the Partials who eventually turned on their creators. The war was brutal and the end was brought about by a virus that killed off 99.9% of the population.
It’s been eleven years since that day and the survivors are stuck in an endless cycle of death – the RM virus is still active and kills off all newborn babies within three to four days of them being born. Kira is desperate to cure the virus once and for all, but little does she realise the consequences of her research…
What’s good about it? The premise is fascinating. It’s a very detailed world. It’s very easy to imagine their lives and Kira is a good lead; driven and brave. There’s a great level of tension in this and some heart pounding action that keeps you gripped.
The Hope Act is disturbing though – a law that forces women to get pregnant by a certain age and then keep getting pregnant. It’s something the characters do discuss at length amongst themselves, but it’s fascinating to see how such a brutal act is justified.
For a story that has such a focus on women getting pregnant there was almost a dearth of romance. I quite liked that Kira and Marcus’s relationship took a backseat to everything going on – it wasn’t ignored, but it wasn’t the most important thing and I found that refreshing.
What’s bad about it? The pace flops in the middle. It doesn’t slow to a complete crawl, but it does flag. Also while I found the whole idea of the Hope Act to be horrendous and evil, I still can’t help but wonder if such a thing would actually continue. Would any government that asks women to get repeatedly pregnant, even though each time their babies die, be a government for long? Surely after eleven years people would stop.
There is something in the plot, that if you guess it, makes the ending fall a little flat. I guessed it in chapter six. If you don’t guess it, it’s a good reveal.
The verdict? This is a good, detailed story with some great characters. There’s a lot to like, but it is a shade too long. However, aside from a few niggles, it is worth a read – the world building is great! If you’re looking for a dystopian romance you might not enjoy this one, but if you’re tired of stories where the lead is only really fighting to keep their other half intact, you might enjoy one where she’s trying to save the human race from extinction.