Ruins by Dan Wells

Ruins

“It’s exactly like that,” said Marcus. “Nobody has a  . . . destiny. I mean, nobody has some kind of inescapable path for their life. This mud was made from clay, and that clay could have been anything at all until somebody made it into a mug. People aren’t mugs, we’re clay. Living, breathing, thinking, feeling clay, and we can shape ourselves into anything we want, and we keep shaping ourselves all our lives, getting better and better at whatever we want to be, and when we want to be something else we just smooth out the clay and start over. Your lack of ‘purpose’ is the single best thing about you, because it means you can be whatever you want.”

Ruins is the finishing touch in the Partials series and completes the story of Kira, Samm, Marcus and a world that is being ripped apart by prejudice and animosity. Despite traveling across the country, the cure only becomes clear to Kira when she willingly returns to the torture of Dr. Morgan’s lab. While Marcus and the remaining humans of East Meadows struggle to flee the oncoming threat of a nuclear storm, Samm and Heron remain in the colony where the truth first became clear to Kira; Partials allow human babies to survive and humans interaction eliminates the expiration date that will soon kill every last Partial in the country. The true challenge now is not discovering a cure but convincing both warring sides to forget the reasons they have killed each other for years and forgive the enemy for the sake of survival.

Wells touches on themes that must be prevalent in teens’ minds (and even adults, as they wonder about the future of the world their children will grow up in). As much as history and war has pitted Partials and humans against one another, ultimately they must co-exist to ensure the survival of both species. Applying that to our world is just as simple and certainly as necessary. Despite our different religions, economies, beliefs and goals, losing one branch of our global population would significantly affect all others in a truly damaging manner. Humanity, as a whole, is diverse and while these differences mark us as belonging to one group or another, civilization would suffer if one façade was completely wiped away. Turn on the TV or browse a website and you’ll see humans fighting and resisting one another. Wells world is the same and he does not paint it with a sparkly brush- he exposes war, fleeing fugitives and ethnic revenge as the destructive forces they can be. With teens becoming more and more aware of the uprisings in our societies, Wells does them justice by writing a book that reflects our world in a very authentic way but maintains the necessary distance to keep it from becoming an overly depressing read.

I enjoyed how Wells made heroes, small or large, out of so many of his characters and showed that mundane acts could be courageous when done for the well being of others. Kira and Samm are the most obvious but others rose to the occasion is unanticipated ways; Heron and her encounter with the Blood Man, Green and his refusal to give up, Ariel leading the ones she loves into the unknown for the sake of the new generation carried in their group.

The story also took turns that I didn’t expect. The entire under current story line of the “Blood Man” infused the story with some good ole’ mystery and kept you guessing right to the very end on how important his role may or may not be, and how it would come to fruition. It can certainly be pegged as a fast-paced story with major plot changes and events that keep you on your toes and wondering to what level Wells might elevate the story to next.

Wells does a great job of ending his series by tying up all the loose ends and completing the journies of his characters to satisfaction. Science, biology and evolution remain the focal points right to the very end and he never sways from touching on the destruction or triumphs they can foster.

Devon – a1000booklife

Other books by Dan Wells: Partials (2013) and Fragments (2013)

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