I often wonder about the end of the world… mainly because I often spend time plotting how to end the world. That being said, it often seems that the world doesn’t really need any assistance with destroying itself, it’s doing just fine on its own. The question becomes; if an evil-wizard-bent-on-world-domination doesn’t finally do humanity in, what will?
If you look at current trends it seems the most likely causes are: depleted natural resources, disease or technology. Yes, technology. No, this is not a jab about how twitter is ruining society but a nod to the increase in production of weapons that can destroy lives with a button faster than you can say “Avada Kedavra”.
The one positive (?) for humanity is that those weapons still require a human element. But what if humans themselves became the weapons? That’s the question presented in the upcoming book Partials by Dan Wells. A story in which humans, tired of that whole “having to fight in war” thing, create a brand of super soldier that’s half human, half robot to win their wars for them. Sounds great until, like most humans, these “Partials” get sulky about other people telling them what to do and decide to take power themselves.
The result? A deadly disease that kills all but about 30,000 humans. The disease also affects infants meaning there has not been a child that has survived in over a decade. The key to the future of humanity, and finding a cure, might be in the very thing that was created to destroy it.
Partials is an excellent book, filled with the kind of twists and turns that would make a Triwizard Tournament maze jealous. Wells is able to paint a picture of an apocalyptic world with almost troubling ease. His characters are engaging but, more importantly, they are real. While you read it is impossible not to start to question “What what I do if…”. The fate of humanity hangs on finding a cure from humanity’s greatest enemy. But as in real life, just when you think you have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ figured out, things change, “evil” might not be what it seems….
Partials by Dan Wells will be released February 28, 2012. You know, if the world doesn’t end before then…