Partials - Dan Wells
I've got to admit, I originally read this because my Kindle had run out of charge and it was the only interesting thing on my husband's Kobo. But once I started, I was hooked. Wells paints out a dystopian world where a deadly virus is killing babies within moments of their birth, effectively eradicating humanity as more of the aging population dies. Their solution - keep lowering the age where their youngsters are forced to start procreating, focusing on having as many children as possible in the hope at least a few will survive. But it's not working.
Partials follows the attempts of teenage medical student Kira, desperate to find a cure - not only so that she won't have to join the ranks of baby-makers but to save the child of her newly pregnant best friend. A captured Partial - part of a genetically engineered army designed to end a terrible war, only to turn on their creators - may be the answer they need. Of course, none of it goes to plan.
The dystopian world is well drawn out but bated with unanswered questions - this is the first of a trilogy. The Partials are fascinating, with a quirky method of non-verbal communication which sounds quite primitive but certainly gives them a huge advantage over humans. Kira is strong, capable, and not the normal whiny teen that I've found in a lot of YA titles. Her companions are rounded out characters, and there's even some romance in there. And there's an excellent twist toward the end. Despite being YA, this is something that should equally appeal to adults and fans of dystopia.
Author site: Dan Wells