Fragments by Dan Wells


Title: Fragments
Author: Dan Wells
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads:

Author Dan Wells is back with the sequel to the sci-fi blockbuster Partials, which Pittacus Lore called a “thrilling sci-fi adrenaline rush, with one of the most compelling and frightening visions of Earth’s future I’ve seen yet.”

After discovering the cure for RM, Kira Walker sets off on a terrifying journey into the ruins of postapocalyptic America and the darkest desires of her heart in order to uncover the means—and a reason—for humanity’s survival.

Dan Wells extends his richly imagined, gritty world and introduces new memorable characters in this second installment in the Partials Sequence.

It’s been a long time since I entered Kira Walkers world and when I picked up Fragments I was worried that I had forgotten all the important stuff from Partials. Dan Wells immediately entranced me back into this world and I felt like I had just finished Partials.
This is a mammoth book, almost 600 pages, with a lot of stuff going on, but never once did I feel like I was being bogged down or that something wasn’t needed. Wells showcases several different characters all embroiled in different areas of the war. I found this a really great addition to the story because through these different storylines, Wells is able to show the reader that wars are not straightforward and simple. This seems like such a simple concept, but the reader has to take into consideration that there are not many other authors who go to lengths to show the depth of the war or the toll that it takes on both sides.
Instead of “This is a war between good vs. evil” Wells shows us that each side, human and Partial, has been splintered, fragmented, into separate factions. There are Partials who want to see the humans dead or who don’t care one way or another about their lives, there are those who want to experiment on them to find a cure for the expiration date, and then there are those who feel immense guilt for the decimation of the human race and don’t want to see them killed any further.
The humans are the same way. There was an incredible moment in here, among many, where the human commander has to work together with the Partials he has long thought of as the enemy in order to survive. I loved it because in the face of extinction this is what would need to happen. People would need to put aside their differences for survival.
Kira’s journey was so different than the other stories in the book because she was on a completely different path. She fights for survival in a way totally different from her friends in East Meadow or the other Partials. She travels on a journey that almost reminds me of Martha walking the Earth in Doctor Who. This is Kira’s role in saving humanity. From behind the scenes. She has set forth with Samm and Heron and a new character, Afa, on a perilous journey across the United States to find the cure for RM and the expiration date.
I love Lord of the Rings and Fragments reminded me of it. Kira and Samm are Frodo and Sam, traveling across the world to save it. Behind the scenes. They aren’t on the front lines, but they are equally if not more important in saving the world than those on the front line (Marcus, Ariel, Woolf/Aragon, Gandolf, Legolas, Gimli, etc.) If Kira and Samm fail there is no future for anyone no matter what. If Marcus or Woolf were to fail the humans and Partials wouldn’t be annihilated over night, many of them would die, but there would still be people for Kira and Samm to save.
Besides the parallels to Tolkien and the realism of the war I also really liked how Wells was able to manage the multiple characters. This was a large book and while the cast of characters wasn’t that large the multiple perspectives and storylines had an opportunity to become too much. Wells was able to handle each of them with ease (although I wonder how much effort it took for him to write it just so) and navigated what could have been tricky waters with ease.
I mentioned this before with my Partials review, but Dan Wells puts all the haters in the world who say that men cannot write female characters to shame. Not only does he pull it off, but also he makes it so that the fact that he is writing a female character shouldn’t even come into play. This isn’t something that I should have to comment on, but from comments that I’ve seen online and at events I did want to point it out.
I am not a gooey romantic. I never have been and probably never will be. One of the things that I LOVE about this series is the slow build towards the romantic element. I despise books where the main character seems to fall hopelessly in love with a guy she just met only minutes after meeting him. There is awkwardness to these characters that I love. Kira doesn’t know how to talk to Samm and he doesn’t know how to talk to her. I know I can relate to this much more than the love at first sight books that seem to have taken over YA and I believe that other readers will as well.
This book (and series) is a definite read! 5 stars to an incredible journey. Loved the ride and can’t wait to continue it with Ruins


2015 Wishlist

There are more books coming out next year than I can possibly remember. Two books are my standout books. I haven’t pre-ordered a book since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was 2003 and my parents had ordered me the UK version of the book. I waited all day for this book watched as the delivery struck drove by all day and never came to my house. Finally around 7pm a frantic delivery boy pulled up in front of our house and dropped it off. I ran to the front door, tore open the box, and was met with a letter stating they couldn’t get the UK version to me on time so here’s the American version for free to tide you over.
Needless to say, I have some special memories of the last time I pre-ordered a book. Eleven years later and these are the two books I am going to pre-order:

1) The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Everything that I’ve heard about this says it’s better than the Incarnate Trilogy. This is kind of hard for me to understand because I LOVE the Incarnate trilogy and I cannot imagine falling in love with anyone as much as I did with Ana and Sam. How can Meadows top her debut series? I have no idea. But everyone that has gotten to read it so far says that it blows Incarnate out of the water.
This also makes me really nervous because the last time I was this excited for a book, I put it so highly on a pedestal that even if the book was amazing it would never have lived up to what I wanted it to be. I was not disappointed with Infinite though and considering I normally despise final books because they never live up to expectations that is saying something. Every book that Meadows writes just keeps getting better and better and I cannot imagine what she has in store for us with The Orphan Queen!

2) Rook by Sharon Cameron

My love of Sharon Cameron is no surprised. I’ve had the honor of helping her with the blog tours for her other two books and from what I’ve heard about this book she is going to continue to enchant me. Rook is a world without Katharine and Lane, a fact that makes me sad because we can seriously never get enough Lane! The tagline is amazing, “What will be has already been…” Holy crap! Isn’t that amazing! I know that there is a kick-butt girl in this and there are swords and prisoners and just all around amazingness!
The Dark Unwinding and A Spark Unseen were such great books and I have a feeling that Rook will take Cameron to the next level.

Both of these authors are already stars in my eyes and superstars they will become!

Netflix Has Sucked Me In!


It’s been a long while since I’ve had any time to read. This semester is by far my most difficult that I’ve ever had. I graduate in August 2015 (but I get to walk in May! yay!) and so this is my final year. I don’t really know if that has anything to do with it, but I have definitely had moments of feeling overwhelmed and like I am failing at everything.
The thing about reading for me is that unless I am invested in something and really in love with a book it is painful for me to finish it. At this point in my life (aka with school) I just don’t have the time to sit down and read a book that doesn’t suck me in. Instead I’ve taken to watching television. I never used to watch as much TV as I do now and it’s all because of Netflix. If I’m having a bad day I can sit down and watch entire seasons of shows until I feel less stressed out. To be completely honest that is probably where all my reading time is going.
There are some fantastic shows on there. I’ve watched all of the Grey’s Anatomy episodes, it’s how I got into Doctor Who, I was able to rewatch all the Call the Midwife seasons, Netflix introduced me to Sherlock (really that was Shalena grabbing my Netflix remote). I watched How I Met Your Mother on there. I loved the show The 4400 when I was younger and was so upset when it was canceled. I was able to watch the show on Netflix and now I can pinpoint the exact moment where viewers were probably lost.
Right now I am watching Once Upon a Time. For some reason I get in my head that I will boycott some shows. Why? I have no idea. Once Upon a Time was one of those shows. I never watched it even though the rest of my family did. Two weeks ago I sat down and watched the first episode. I’m now in the middle of season two and I can say I think this show is genius!
I love how it effortlessly blends all of these fairytale characters together, how they stick with what their traditional background was but then they also twist it. I love how the show is set up between the “now” in the real world and the “then” in the fairytale world. If anyone is on the fence about this show and has Netflix then I would definitely take to watching it.
I really did sit down that first time and think, “I’ll probably quit after twenty minutes” and then a few hours later I had watched an embarrassing amount of episodes and was hooked from that moment. If anyone loves fairytales and loves twisty stories then check this show out!
As for the blog, I can’t guarantee when another post will come. School, my internship, and my job are kind of overwhelming at the moment. I can pretty much guarantee you will probably have to wait awhile for another book review, but I will try my hardest and get other types of posts, like this one, up so you all know I’m alive…and that my brain is still intact from the insane amount of TV I am watching.
Also important to note that I am not taking any requests at the moment and if I am sent one I will not respond. I will post when I am taking requests again.
Till next time!

Review: The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

 

Title: The Good Sister

Author: Jamie Kain

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

 

 

From: Goodreads

 

The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there

 

Set in three different points of views, The Good Sister is certainly an interesting read. This is the story of a family torn apart by several factors over the course of three young girls lives. There are so many things that have gone wrong in these girl’s lives that it’s impossible for me to pinpoint just one, but it feels like the author wants us to think that the shift happened when Sarah was diagnosed with cancer.

What I liked:Normally I am not one for narrators changing within the story, but Kain does an exceptional job with this. Each of the girls had such a different voice that I was able to tell without having to look at the name who was narrating each chapter. I also liked that there was a little bit of unreliability. We get to discover that some of the girls are holding back dangerous secrets. It’s interesting to see this unfold and have them revealed.

What I Didn’t Like:There was a lot of stuff happening in this book and yet somehow it was so slow. It took me about a month to finish this book because the pacing was so slow. The opening was really nice and the ending was really nice, but the middle chunk of the book just lagged behind and was very boring. There were a lot of secrets that were revealed at the end of the book and I feel like those mysteries could have been expanded. If there was a mystery element to this book before the last few chapters I think it could have been a lot better.
There was a lot of stuff. There were just a lot of things happening and I totally understand that this was because there were three different narrations, but…sometimes it didn’t work for me. There were a lot of things that got the girls to where they were, living on and leaving the commune, Sarah’s cancer, parents’ divorce, and there was the bit about the aunt. The biggest cause that Kain seems to stick with in deciding how the family got to the way it was is Sarah’s cancer. Asha became the match for Sarah and so Rachel was pushed out of the way and the stress was too much for the parents and so they split. I just don’t find this enough of a reason and the sad thing is that sometimes families just fall apart for no reason at all, but I feel like there was a lot of time spent on blaming it on Sarah and the cancer.
Sarah and Brandon…together. I do not understand her obsession with being with him. Almost from the start she wonders what it would have been like if they were together. I don’t understand this at all. Besides making me rethink what I know about Sarah, as told to me by Asha and Rachel and even Sarah herself, this doesn’t really fit very well into the story.
Krishna. Where did he go? I mentioned that she has a large cast of characters and for the most part it’s okay…but this was one of the occasions where I feel like she forgot what was happening with her own characters.