Thursday, June 27, 2013
Review: Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy tintera
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders. ~ Goodreads
Source: Finished copy provided for free by publisher (Harper Collins Teen) at BEA 2013
I'm a total sucker for characters that are void of all human emotion and become lean mean killing machines, yet they aren't quite as cold and callus as they believe themselves to be. There is still a curiosity or yearning for that human connection. I could read or watch that theme play out over and over and it will never get old for me. So Reboot was on my must get list for BEA this year. Dead girl reanimated after 178 minutes – now the “deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas”. I’m in!
Even though Reboot is an entirely different story, I couldn't help getting a Divergent vibe from it. Reboot isn't nearly as complex with the world building as the Divergent series (& that might be a good thing – it never gets too bogged down in that regard) but Wren/178 reminded me of Tris - always doing what needs to be done for the survival of those she cares about. She can do her job and kill on a dime but also has great compassion for her friends and a willingness to defy the odds.
There isn't anything particularly original about Reboot if you read a lot of dystopian novels. The world is in chaos, government conspiracies etc but Wren is so likable a character that I couldn't' help but be drawn into her story as she tries to come to terms with reality vs. what she was told and trained for all her (un)dead life. There are also enough twists and parallels to our current society that it still felt fresh.
The romance in this book is sweet but a tad awkward at times. It's never really explained why her new recruit, Callum is drawn to Wren so quickly but this is NOT a case of insta-love so don't worry about that. Their relationship does provide a nice contrast for the unfeeling Wren and the eternally optimistic Callum as well as setting up several moral and ethical debates that didn’t have clear cut answers.
Final thoughts: Solid debut for this new sci-fi/post-apocalyptic series. Wren is an incredible and complex heroine. The romance was a tad awkward but refreshingly different than the typical insta-love/hot alpha guy/heroine in need of rescue dynamic. I’m hoping for more fleshing out of their relationship in the next installment. Good action sequences and twists but there seemed to be two books in one when it came to the plot. I would have preferred the second half of this book to have been expanded and given more page time in book #2 but I still really enjoyed Reboot. I’ll be eagerly anticipating book #2.
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Buy the book! Reboot