Monday, March 3, 2014

Partials: Post-apocalyptic YA
Partials, Dan Wells
  • This post-apocalyptic story isn't afraid to get a little sci fi.  And I dig that.
  • I imagine the setting city to resemble NYC in I Am Legend.
  • The dialogue is current.
  • The story is interesting (it got more so just before half-way)... 
  • ...and the writing is...also "interesting."  I found that one minute the writing is strong and clear, the next it is weird or weak (e.g. using the word "literally" twice within a page -- a word to be used sparingly, at the best of times).  I think the word "kudzu" is in the novel at least 25 times.  You'd notice too.  The word's "kudzu."
  • I didn't predict everything.
  • There's a little sensuality, nothing too risque.
  • Violence is more often alluded to than described in detail.
  • Coarse language is tightly controlled, with minimal swearing (maybe two "questionably-sired children" in the latter half?)
  • Characters = I don't love 'em, but I don't dislike them either.  They are fairly smart and they have some dimensions to their motives, but I don't feel the love; the real affection that would spurn a google-frenzy resulting in me poring over fanart etc.  That's Karou...and Zuze.  
  • Obviously, I liked it enough to read number two...
Fragments, Dan Wells
  • I didn't realise how desperate I was for a fresh perspective on the Partial world until I got one.  
  • The heroine's initial love interest, Marcus, offers plenty of humour of the Psych (TV series) variety (semi-funny). Dialogue offered by other characters in the latter half is strong, and funnier.
  • I respect the long-term planning of the narrative.  
  • By Chapter 8, I felt sure book 2 was going to be better...instead of a search for a cure it is a mystery!  I love mystery!  
  • Buuuut...then there was a lot of travelling, in the book.  I don't enjoy road trips in books.  Especially slow, long ones.
  • It's a great read for people who love Survivalist stuff (not me, so much).
  • But there was strong dialogue in this section.
  • And then...then the final fifth, I had this, "Oh, all is forgiven!" moment -- because the close was so strong (albeit a cliffhanger).  Weeks later, I realise I's not all forgiven, I still remember the road trip with a wince of resentment.  But I did like the closing. I will read the next book (Ruins). 
  • Overall? I felt like the wasteland odyssey could've been tightened up, but overall, good; Wells poses some excellent moral questions.
Isolation, Dan Wells
This short story reads like a "special feature" for fans of the other books, but tells a nice, well-constructed story in its own right.  It's clever, and the moral questions remain.
While we're on one of these shorties: is anyone else finding these little "novellas" released (mainly for publicity) a little frustrating?  I mean, I want to read them, but I also feel conned and gypped.  /sigh

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