The backstory of Dan Wells’ biopunk epic is that America genetically engineers a bunch of semi-human “Partials” as supersoldiers — tough, unfeeling, regenerating killing machines. Who turn around and overthrow civilization. At the same time, a plague, called the RM virus, causes the surviving humans to suffer systematic reproductive failure… all human babies die, within days of birth.
Kira is a medical intern in the surviving human outpost of 36,000 people on Long Island. She struggles emotionally with the plague to begin with, but it becomes very real and urgent for her when her friend gets pregnant. Fortunately, Kira has a plan… since the Partials seem immune to the plague, why not capture one of them and study it?
When the proper channels turn down her proposal, Kira and several friends cross into Manhattan and capture a Partial. This puts Kira on a collision course with the human Senate, which may be manipulating her for their own ends, as well as Mkele, the mysterious and ruthless head of the humans’ intelligence service, and the Partial itself, who had its own high-stakes mission when Kira and her friends snared it.
This is cerebral stuff in today’s YA market: lots of science, a modest amount of kissing, and really terrific.