When the only alternative is extinction, an awful lot of horrors become acceptable.
War, Blood, Death. This is dystopia.
Ruins achieved everything Allegiant and Mockingjay failed to deliver as trilogy enders. THIS is how you end a series. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Partials Sequence is one of the most underrated recent YA science-fiction and dystopian series today. Dan Wells is a great story teller and an excellent world-builder, and he never disappointed me throughout the three books (four, if you count the Isolation novelette).
Before I started the first chapter of this book, I already had a bag of theories inside my pocket. Fragments left enough clues and cookie crumbs for any smart reader to figure things out on their own and I was pleased when majority of my theories were validated. The story started off slower than Fragments, but it wasn’t boring. The chapters switched through various point of views from our characters, and usually I don’t like this but here it worked perfectly. I got enough to get to know the secondary characters better and saw how much they’ve developed, but not too much that I wanted to skip over them and return to Kira. All of them were equally interesting and relevant to the plot, none of them were dispensable. In fact, my only complaint is I wish there were more Samm chapters.
I love how the book tackled real issues that can actually occur if ever something like this really happens. Dan Wells posed relevant questions that will make the readers wonder and ask themselves the same things. As I read Kira struggle through very difficult choices, I found myself questioning my own ethics (that scene with Kira deciding whether or not to turn the knob was beautifully written and embodied all the important questions and the most crucial personal choice she had to make in the entire series). How far will you go? Morality, what is right and wrong? Does the end justify the means? Survival or humanity? How strong is your will to live? Somehow, when I imagined the Partials scenario really happening and I thought about how our race would most likely react and deal with it, the answer scared me.
Survival is all we have. If we end we end, but if we live a second day there’s always a chance, no matter how slim, that we can find a way to live a third, and a fourth, and a hundredth and a thousandth. Maybe the world kills us and maybe it doesn’t, but if we give up, it’s the same as killing ourselves.
There were no major plot twists in this book (at least, none that I haven’t thought of yet), which actually surprised me since Fragments made my jaw drop in more than one occasion with its revelations. By the middle of the book, I knew there were only two ways in which the story could end: in an expectable but satisfying resolution or in a shocking but epic devastation. Not being sadistic or anything but I kind of hoped for the latter, you know, just to be different. Of course, it ended up with the predictable finish but I wasn’t at all disappointed because after being witness to every damned thing that has happened, you cannot hope for anything else. You see, what I love most about this series is that you understand the reason why everything is happening. You understand why the Partials and Humans hate each other, you get why they harbour so much rage and loathing… why they have the war. When both sides believe they’re fighting for the right reasons, it’s gonna be a hell of a task to stop them. You can’t really blame them. Both sides were equally guilty and they were all victims, it doesn’t matter who killed more. Death is death. By the third half of the book, both parties have lost and suffered so much that even I thought maybe dying was the only option left for all of them. See, that’s the reality of war. Nobody really wins.
Three claps for this series and for Dan Wells’ excellent execution.
I’ll end this with probably my favorite exchange of words in the entire book:
“If my life had no meaning, there was no reason not to end it.”
“So you ended it?”
“So I gave it meaning.”