Book Review: Ruins (Partials #3) by Dan Wells

Posted 04/23/2014 by alicemarvels in Science Fiction
RUINS by Dan Wells Review




Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Page Count: 464


satisfying resolution to Partials v. humans conflict; realistic ending to love triangle; thought-provoking themes in the series


too many characters; plot meanders

A satisfying conclusion to the Partials sequence.

Ruins, the final book in the Partials series, brings us to the conclusion of a long and epic battle between Partials and humans, and I believe it’s a satisfying finale for readers who have been invested in the post-apocalyptic struggle that began in Partials. Kira’s nuclear crew is still going strong—Samm and Heron are sorting through the Denver settlement’s issues with its captive Partials, while Marcus, Xochi, Nandita, Isolde, Ariel and Madison are trying to survive on Long Island after the latest Partial invasion, a task complicated by Delarosa’s plans to nuke the Partials into oblivion. Finding the cure for humanity’s extinction by RM and Partial expiration is second to war on a lot of the higher ups’ minds on both sides, but luckily Kira and her friends can think beyond the near future and their decades-long grudge match.

While not perfect, Ruins is definitely a stronger book than its predecessor, Fragments. I was disappointed in book two for being too sprawling in scope, with unnecessary mini-missions that dragged the pace and made the book overlong. Ruins did meander a bit as well, juggling perhaps one too many storylines and character perspectives to keep the story tight and engaging, but it delivered a riveting final showdown. Some characters’ motivations baffled me, especially Dr. Morgan and Armin, who were at one time intelligent, thoughtful scientists, but I suppose they served their purpose in the story. One character standout in all three books is Heron. While her motivations are shielded from readers for much of the series, she reveals herself in this installment to be one of the most interesting, complexly drawn Partials, and she seems destined to be a fan favorite.

I was impressed with the way the love triangle (if you can even classify it that way, it was relatively angst free and born of circumstance, not hormones) between Samm, Kira and Marcus was resolved. I think in a world like this you’d be rather pragmatic, even about love and heartbreak, and I appreciate that Wells didn’t milk those relationships for silly drama against the backdrop of a much more grave conflict.

Ruins is a fitting end to a rather thought-provoking series, and I’m glad I read it. If you enjoy contemplating sci-fi themes of creation, what it means to be human, personal liberty vs. collective safety and mutually assured destruction/survival, you’ll want to make time for this trilogy.

Read an excerpt here.


Watch the trailer:



    I really should check out book 1


    Highly enjoyed the first book & the second one is sitting on my shelf (gah, I’m terrible about finishing series these days). Even though there were a lot of characters and the plot meandered a bit, at least it was a satisfactory conclusion to a creative series.


    I am glad overall you were happy with the way this one ended. I read the prequel a while back and wasn’t sure if this would be the read for me or not but your review has me wanting to give the first book a try and find out.


    I have heard a lot about this, but never completely drawn to the series. Sorry to hear about meandering plot and having too many characters


    I typically struggle when there are a number of different characters and plot threads we have to follow, but I’m glad even though this one did meander a bit, it improved upon the last book and wrapped the series up well. Also glad the love triangle is one with minimal angst:) Fantastic review!!!


    Thanks! I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on the third book. Great review! Can’t wait!


    I bought this on release day and have I cracked it open yet? No. *hangs head* I skimmed your review, I am a little nervous but your overall rating gives me hope.


    I’m glad to hear you were satisfied overall with the ending, especially when book two didn’t live up to your expectations. I haven’t started this series yet though but I think I may give them a shot someday. 🙂


    I was just looking into an audiobook for book two today for this series. I need to get caught up. A bit disappointed that it didn’t stay as strong, but still I want to see how it ends.


    I agree that Fragments was a bit disappointing and all over the place, but I still have high expectations from this book and I’m glad you thought it was a better one. I bought the audio just the other day and now I just need to finish my current read and jump right in.
    Excellent review! I can’t wait to compare notes. 🙂


    I have the first two books on my pile and I still haven’t read them! I’m a little nervous about the meandering factor — that is one of my least favorite plots — but perhaps that’s just the third book.
    Great review! Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics


    I’m kind of peeved. I was so looking forward to this, even bought it soon after its release … but I haven’t been in the mood to read it. Ugh. I want to know what happens, but I know if I push myself it’ll just make me mad at the book.


    So glad to hear that this was a satisfying conclusion to the series! These days I’m reluctant to even start a series until I know that it ends on a good note because I have been burned and left disappointed by series ender’s one too many times. I will now officially bump this series up my tbr (although it’s too bad to hear that the second book wasn’t particularly great). Thanks for this review – very helpful!


    I know it gets tough juggling different storylines, so I’m glad this was somewhat enjoyable. I liked PARTIALS, but I didn’t love it. I’ll have to pick this up one day but it isn’t a priority. Great review!


    I have heard mixed things for this series. While the whole idea sounds really good I’m really not in the book for love triangle right now. I’m glad that Ruins was better read than Fragments and that you’ve enjoyed it overall. Great review, Lauren 🙂


    I’m glad to hear this was a better books than Fragments. It does always seem that middle books of trilogies are the weakest. I haven’t actually read Partials yet, but I have a copy, so I look forward to starting it now that all the books are out. Lovely review as always! 🙂


    Ugh. 100% agree about Fragments. I really glad to hear that book 3 picks up a bit.


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