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Isolation (Partials) by [Wells, Dan]
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Isolation (Partials) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 75 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #162,482 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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By Rose TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 64 reviews
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed with plenty of moral conundrums Sept. 8 2012
By Bookphile - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Partials and have been eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, so when I saw that there would be a novella that would provide some more background about the Isolation War, I was all over it. If you haven't read Partials yet, you could conceivably read this one first, as it deals with events that take place before the timeline in Partials. However, I'd recommend reading Partials before this novella, as the character this novella focuses on plays a small role in Partials, and reading this novella gave me a whole new appreciation for her. Some spoilers to follow.

First off, I think Dan Wells is frankly awesome at creating female characters. I loved Kira in Partials, and I loved most of the secondary women as well. They are fully-formed people with minds of their own, and they make their own decisions in life. I really, really wish more authors would create such great female characters.

Heron is certainly no exception. In fact, after reading this novella, I think Heron has become one of my favorite characters in the series. She is awesome. Wells really knows how to do an ominous character, to write one in such a way that their motivations are easily understandable and believable. Told in alternating chapters, the novella switches back and forth between Heron's creation and initial training, and the role she plays in the Isolation War.

This book poses a lot of very interesting questions. Heron does bad things, but does the blame lie with her? There are a lot of ethical questions swirling around in this novella, and none of them are easy to answer. I think Wells does a great job of pointing out the dangers in using technologies of war that remove actual human beings further and further from the front lines. True, human lives are saved in this book, but at what cost to humanity's sense of morality? By the time the novella ended, I found myself wondering if I could really blame Heron for her actions in Partials. I certainly am not excusing the atrocities she commits, but this novella really makes it a lot easier to see what led her to act as she does.

The other strong point about this novella's contribution to the series is that it gives the reader a much better sense of the world. I thought Wells did a really good job of world building in Partials, but this book provides background that helps really flesh out the setting. It was interesting to learn what had driven the creation of the Partials in the first place, as well as to realize what had led to their act of rebellion. With this novella, Wells answers the questions about what's going on in the rest of the world, giving the localized struggle in Partials a broader context.

I was completely immersed in this story the whole time I read it. It's very fast-paced and packs a lot of interesting detail without the narrative ever getting bogged down. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series now more than ever, thanks to this novella.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fans and non-fans of Partials will enjoy Isolation Oct. 21 2012
By Ryan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of all the Novella / Novelette size stories I have read recently, Isolation is one of the better ones. Isolation is a prequel of sorts to Partials, centred around the actions of Theta-class Partial Heron (who we met at the end of Partials). Set during the Isolation War, we get alternating chapters between the infiltration of / battle with the Chinese army, and birth / training of new Partials.

The birth / training scenes provide some fascinating background knowledge and eventually insight into how the Partials tick, while infiltration / battle scenes shows how the Isolation War planted the seeds of self worth within the Partials - the realisation that they should be treated better than just tools in a human war for resources.

Heron is probably the best developed character in the Partials Sequence so far, and like all of Wells' best developed characters, it probably has something to do with her non-standard brain. John Cleaver is sociopathic, Michael Shipman is schizophrenic, and Heron has been designed without an empathy module (which I guess makes her the Partial version of a sociopath). Wells just has a way of giving these characters strong conflict arcs with "normal" humanity, getting them to realise they aren't normal, forcing them to try and be normal, and then watching what happens as they try to come to terms with not being normal and accept who they are.

Fans of Partials will love Isolation. For people who were luke-warm on Partials but really enjoy Wells' other work (like me), I think you will enjoy this story much more than Partials. For those who haven't read Partials... I think things are pretty well explained and there aren't too many little in-jokes so there is a good chance you will enjoy it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Partials Short Dec 28 2012
By OpheliasOwn - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In Dan Wells' Partials, the war raging between humans and Partials (humanoid machines) isn't much of a war at all considering the humans are barely surviving and their inability to reproduce leaves them with a bleak end. But did you ever wonder how the world came to be in the grip of the Partials?

Heron is a newly created Partial soldier; her specialty is espionage. Built to be a spy, Heron was created without an empathy chip. What they didn't think to include was a "lack of self-preservation" chip. In the course of Heron's training and her big job, she realizes the humans who created her think of her as nothing more than a machine. While they may have created her, Heron is more than just nuts and bolts. And her decisions won't always make her creators happy.

I really enjoyed seeing the world from the Partials' side of things, especially because in the first full-length novel, it was clear there was more to this dystopia that was created. And the worst part of this is how easy it is to imagine these humans doing such horrible things with and to the Partials. This short story isn't vital to the continuation of the story, but it is certainly central to the theme of the series. You will want to check this one out if you plan to continue with Wells' series!
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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