The World in a post-apocalyptic future – Long Island is the last haven of mankind after a catastrophe eleven years ago. In the past, the United States created genetically improved semi-humans, the “Partials“ to fight for them in the Isolation war. Five years after winning the war, those supersoldiers turned on their creators and released RM, a lethal airborne virus, that wiped out all but about 40 000 humans within a few hours.

The North American survivors who are immune to the virus took refuge on Long Island. Without any contact to possible survivors on other continents they came to believe that they were alone on this planet. After a while the Partials retreated for unknown reasons but mankind still seems to be doomed to become extinct because in the past eleven years the virus caused all newborns to die within a few days after birth.

Now, the youngest human being on the planet is fourteen years old and there seems to be only one solution to save the human race: “The Hope Act“, a law, demanding that all women 18 years or older have to become pregnant as often as possible, hoping that some day science could find a way to find a cure against the virus. When rumors spread that the mandatory age for getting pregnant will be lowered to the age of 16, the remaining survivors are pushed to the brink of a civil war.

The female protagonist of the book, Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, learns that one of her friends is pregnant. She sees, that the problems with the newborns can’t be solved by a science that is only testing the same old things over and over again and tries to find a new way because she can’t stand to witness all those babies dying, anymore. With the help of some friends she sets off on an illegal and highly dangerous journey into enemy territory. Can she be the key to help mankind survive or is she in contrary the spark to set a new war loose?

Partials is a great dystopia, not just for YA audience but also for adult readers. It is full of all aspects a fascinating thriller needs: an interesting plot, complex characters, an inscrutable governmental machinery and a lot of action and suspense with all those fights and street battles. Granted, in some parts the teenagers‘ abilities in medical and military areas aren’t totally credible and Kira’s med talk is sometimes a bit over-the-top, but I really enjoyed the book. I can hardly wait till the next installment of this new series. By the way, those who are looking for a strong romance angle might be disappointed, but who knows what the author has in mind for Kira’s future ;-)?

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