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Isolation (Partials) [Kindle Edition]

Dan Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: CDN$ 2.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
This price was set by the publisher

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Product Description

Product Description

Two decades before the events of Partials, the world was locked in a different battle for survival: a global war for the last remaining oil reserves on the planet. It was for the Isolation War that the American government contracted the ParaGen Corporation to manufacture the Partials—our last hope in reclaiming energy independence from China. And it was on these fields of battle that the seeds of humanity's eventual destruction were sown.

Isolation takes us back to the front lines of this war, a time when mankind's ambition far outstripped its foresight. Heron, a newly trained Partial soldier who specializes in infiltration, is sent on a mission deep behind enemy lines. What she discovers there has far-reaching implications—not only for the Isolation War, but for Partials and humans alike long after this war is over.

A powerful take of our world on the brink, Isolation gives readers a glimpse into the history from which Partials was born—as well as clues to where the Partials Sequence is heading next.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 679 KB
  • Print Length: 75 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Aug. 28 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome June 11 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This Novella was really good and really insight full to the series as a whole. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about dystopian societies and the human race in general.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting YA book Jan. 4 2014
By tvnut
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really liked the characters in this book. A well written and exciting story.
I am really looking forward to the third book in the trilogy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some background story July 31 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is just a short story to show how the partials were trained and why they turned on the humans. After reading this, I can't say that I blame them. I would hate humans too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why Does The Chinese Dialogue Sound Like Poor Subtitiles? Dec 14 2012
By Lilian @ A Novel Toybox - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Isolation is a prequel novella in Dan Well's Partials series. Although it is technically a prequel and can be read alone, I still recommend reading it after the first book, Partials, because there is a bit of jargon, but more importantly, it's clearly a supplement to the series and it's just not very strong story by itself. The story is from the point of view of Heron, an assassin Partial created to infiltrate Chinese headquarters.

I admit I might be a bit biased since this novella is set in China, and me being Chinese is especially keen to how my culture is depicted, especially when they are supposed to be the "enemy." Which brings me to this:

Why Do All The Chinese People Have Awkward Dialogue That Sounds Like Poor Movie Subtitles?
I am not sure if this is intentional to emphasize the foreign nature of Chinese, but I couldn't help catching that all Chinese dialogue sounded forced, unfitting for the rough, ruthless, army men I imagined the characters to be.
For example, in one scene the Chinese general says, "A decisive blow...could destroy them utterly...Then we must flee in the Rotors."
Even I don't even use "utterly" or "flee" in colloquial language.

The Chinese names were also inaccurately romanized. There are no "Do" or "Po" sounds. But then maybe I'm asking for too much. All the Chinese names were ridiculous that I almost burst out laughing.

Chinese Men Are Also Stereotypical Misogynists
I have no idea why this story is set in 2060, yet it seems like China has moved backwards in gender equality. I admit that in rural China, males are valued more than females, but in Isolation, the Chinese men detest women.
Blast all devils to hell, and devil women to the deepest part of it.

Yes, the Chinese also call their enemies "devils," which seems to portray them as superstitious fools more than using the term as a derogatory term. Never mind that their dialogue sounds like something from a bad video game trying desperately to sound epic. *sigh*

To be fair, the Americans don't sound like great people either. Basically, the purpose of the Isolation War is unveiled, which turns out to just be greedy people who want to wage war for resources. China holds these precious resources, but have turned themselves into North Korea, where they've isolated themselves from international trade. And Americans, being power-hungry, have to wreck havoc until they get what they want.

The Perspective of a Partial:
The main attraction of this novella is to give readers background information about Partials, how they are formed, and the way they think. These herons are built to be soldiers, cold, unfeeling creatures built to follow orders. Heron isn't a hero because she wants to, but because she is following orders...and because she is angry. So Partials don't give a damn about anyone, or even their own and will do destructive things out of anger--which makes me question why would her creators take away empathy but leave "anger." I fear that Dan Wells has defaulted back to the sociopaths he has written many times before. *points to John Cleaver*

In the end we have a novel filled to the brim with a bunch of unlikable people and a messy plot that's supposed to be action-packed and filled with brilliant military strategy, but left me confused half the time. Perhaps if it was a movie, it would've worked better--I could imagine Heron as Anne Hathaway's Cat Woman from Dark Knight Rises (especially the scene where she pretends to be helpless.) But while I appreciated the action and the backstory, I couldn't relate to any of the characters to be invested in the story. The stereotypical portrayal of Chinese and Americans left me wincing till the end. As a fan of Partials, I am disappointed. Even 75 pages felt too long.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thetas are all powerful Aug. 31 2012
By Kelli - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story explains how partials were utilized in the Isolation War. It provides valuable information about how they were used and why they were created. It also provides an explanation of how the partials would be able to revolt against their human makers.

While this was a short story, it was well written. It was on point and succinct. The characters were well explained. It clearly fulfills the description provided by the author.

We already knew that the partials were used to wage war, and they had somehow subverted their programming. I was kind of disappointed there was no subversion required. Humans had created an espionage or theta model that was not required to take commands from humans. (Stupid human trick of the day). Then I learned that the theta's commands would override human commands to partial soldiers. (Stupid human trick of the week). We add smart free thinking, trained to kill, trained to strategize to humans treating them as slaves and discarding them like trash, and we get really angry machines revolting against human makers. (Stupid human trick of the year).

And I give this a 3 because I don't find it believable that anyone is this dumb.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Yet Substantial Dec 27 2012
By Hannibal0020 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In all of my years of reading fiction, Dan Wells's Partials was one of the very few books that was able to take me by surprise with its absolute brilliance. It was a book that did everything right; it was an incredibly entertaining novel filled to the brim with exciting high-stakes action, memorable characters, and a plot that was just as entertaining to read as it was to contemplate its higher issues of transhumanism and survival via ends that justify the means. It was brilliant all around and I'm clamoring for the sequel to arrive. Fortunately it seems Wells has heard my pleas, for he's given his fans a short-story in the form of Isolation, a novella which explores the dark days of the Isolation War and the creation of the Partials before their inevitable conflict with humanity and its near extinction. Isolation may be on the short side, but it's definitely substantial in all the most important areas.

The most immediate strong point I noticed about Isolation was Wells's emphasis on the character Heron, a figure which fans will recall from a few scenes in Partials. The character was certainly underutilized in the previous book yet even with her minor appearance she left a strong impression, hence giving her the spotlight was a good call. As the protagonist of the story, she not only represents her own ideals and upbringing but also the entirety of the Partial consensus. The trials she faces, the enemies she's forced to overcome, and her inherent expendability are all covered in great detail which really helps flesh out her character for her larger role in the upcoming Fragments. But most importantly, it succeeds in providing an alternate perspective on the events and the world at large than the ones seen through the eyes of a human being. The Partials were certainly demonized as monsters by their victims in Partials, yet after reading Isolation that slander couldn't be further from the truth.

Despite its short length Isolation is actually comprised of two juxtaposed stories that create one cohesive narrative that flips between the two every chapter. The first takes place during the United States' invasion of China with the Partial army doing the grunt work. Through the eyes of Heron, she must follow the orders of her superiors in order to effectively sabotage the Chinese war machine while maintaining her facade as a Chinese assistant to their most illustrious generals. The second story follows Heron from her artificial birth and her eventual training. This story highlights how the individual Partial archetypes were utilized during the war, as well as Heron's personal experiences and arduous training regiments.

Yet what Isolation does the best is illustrate a gradual distain for humanity from the Partial perspective. From their blatant disregard for the Partials as mere expendable tools of war, to their superiors' inhumane and outright cowardly tactics on the battlefield, the reader is given a complete understanding of the Partial point of view which only reinforces the series' impressive morally ambiguous tone. In Partials, no one was inherently wrong in their approach, nor did they believe they were unjust or doing the wrong thing. Their actions were merely driven by the importance of survival; Isolation merely feeds into these key undertones and helps reinforce them, serving as an optimal jumping on point for new fans or an insightful introspective for older ones who've already completed the first book. In the end, the Partials' genocide of humanity was unjustified, but their hatred and eventual rebellion certainly were.

Any fan of Partials should definitely give Isolation a try. Its emphasis on Heron was a great move, for it provides keen insight into the Partial train of thought and their harsh upbringing as weapons of war. Though it's the consensus the reader reaches with the Partials regarding their burning hatred for mankind that makes it so substantial and truly adds to the Partial Sequence's storyline. With such a great entry I'm even more excited to see Kira and Samm return in Fragments, along with Heron at their side, wherever that may take them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good but short July 15 2013
By Kara Nord - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great insight but it was short and gives no reason as to how it is connected to th other books.
4.0 out of 5 stars I definitely suggest this short for any fan of the Partials series! Nov. 11 2012
By Smash Attack Ash - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Heron's story was super interesting. We get background on why and how the Partials were created. I really enjoyed experiencing a Partial's "birth" from their perspective, as well as the social, emotional and physical developmental processes. It was pretty fascinating and well-written. Heron had issues with being "different" from her counterparts because she was a special Partial, who would be sent on a special mission. However, she was developed with no empathy and that becomes a huge factor in her later espionage mission.

The book switched between these `first' moments for Heron to her actual mission, which was pretty intense. The entire time we are with her during this mission, her group is under attack. She is only seconds ahead of the Partial army's next move, desperately trying to prepare for them to infiltrate due to her espionage setup. We get to see Heron in serious action, and she has to make some heavy decisions. For a Partial, this scenario is all too interesting and eerie.

All in all, I truly enjoyed the journey into the mind of a Partial, especially one of Heron's caliber. Her situation, decisions and physical capabilities were truly incredible to experience! I definitely suggest this short for any fan of the Partials series!
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