I really liked Kira; she’s intelligent, feisty, and loyal. Reminded me a lot of Katniss to be honest. I liked her refusal to accept the status quo and the compassion and love she clearly had for her friends. The secondary characters had enough substance to be noticeable from the beginning and happily were fleshed out as the story went along. They all had distinct personalities and their points of view were understandable from Haru (whom I hated at times) desperate to save his girlfriend and her baby to Xochi who was desperate to be free and young and experience her childhood without being oppressed. The only relationship I didn’t buy was Kira and her boyfriend Marcus. It was tepid at best, I didn’t feel any real passion and I couldn’t care enough to root for them as a couple.
As much as I liked the characters it was the politics I was most interested in. The world post RM is brutal and unkind. In a world with no children, only adults of varying age, The Hope Act is terrifying to even contemplate and throughout the books we clearly see how power breeds corruption. The more stringent the laws, the louder the rumblings from “The Voice” the rebel faction keen to wrest control back from the Senate. As the plot develops we see just how far the survivors are willing to hold onto power and it personally gave me chills.
Be warned, there is a LOT of science in this book. If you’re a fan of Michael Crichton you’ll love it but it does get a bit heavy handed and overwhelming at times as Kira seeks answers to the RM conundrum. Part Two is not for reading when tired, distracted or under caffeinated. You will be scratching your head a lot if you are. In saying that it is incredibly interesting and kudos to Wells for making the effort to create a believable plot. So many dystopian novels will allude to an ecological/biological virus/war/disaster (delete as appropriate) but offer vague and lazy explanations why. Wells creates a world you can envision from the get-go. I’m certain Battlestar Galactica fans would love this book. The Partials remind me very much of the Cylons and I felt the same emotional pull towards them. Humanity despite coming out on the losing side doesn’t deserve a lot of sympathy in this book. As we get to know Samm, a Partial Kira captures to understand their involvement in RM, we learn more about their shady origins and humanities chilling treatment of their “children”.
The scientific info dump in the middle is replaced by some pretty exciting action scenes as the pace picks up towards the end. The tension builds nicely as Kira and her gang attempt to uncover the missing links to their past and the ultimate reveal- I did not see coming but it set the plot for book two up quite nicely. Despite the explosive revelations, it seems like the story is wrapped up in a bow until the final page when there’s a cliff-hanger that is pretty awesome had me reaching for Fragments immediately.
Despite the weighty plot at times, this was definitely one of the most interesting dystopian books I’ve read since the publication of Hunger Games and Divergent. It’s been a long wait but I found a winner!