Reboot

By Amy Tintera
Published on May 7th 2013
Published by HarperTeen
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
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.
Reboot takes place in a dystopian world where almost all of the United States has been destroyed and everyone who is left has settled in cities in Texas.  People who die -- either from a plague-like disease, or murder, or natural causes, it doesn't seem to matter -- often Reboot after death.  They're not zombie-like, though: they're stronger, faster, almost invincible, and are generally seen almost as super soldiers as they will follow orders with no question.

Wren, our main character, is one of the most feared Reboots: the longer you take to Reboot after you first die, the better you are as a Reboot.  Wren took 178 minutes to come back, the longest out of any Reboots at her facility.  She has the best track record, and her trainees are always the best.  So of course she takes a chance on Callum, who isn't exactly the type of newbie she usually takes on.  She sees him as a challenge -- no one else can make the low-numbered Reboots into good fighters, but maybe she can.

We follow Wren as she trains Callum and tries to make him less human and more like her -- dangerous, efficient, deadly. In between all of that, Wren tries to deal with other suspicious issues going on in the Reboot compound, as well as her feelings for Callum, which surprise her as she's always held herself so far apart from the other Reboots.  They don't like her, she doesn't like them, and she's been a Reboot for so long that she never had any sort of relationship before dying.

Overall, I liked this book.  I liked that Wren and Callum's relationship wasn't an instalove situation and instead it was allowed to grow as they got closer and Wren tried to examine her feelings for him.  There was a lot of action and the fight/battle scenes were all written very well.  There's a pretty robust cast of supporting characters, both humans from HARC and Reboots, who you get pretty invested in over the course of the story.  Wren has some pretty great character growth over the course of the story as she begins to question everything she'd ever been told by HARC.

There were a few things that I wish were better.  The romance aspect sometimes seemed at odds with the very dark, gritty world of the Reboots -- it felt a little fluffy for me and didn't always mesh with the tone of the rest of the book.  Also, Wren and the other higher-numbered Reboots are so often described as having no feelings and really just being soulless machines.  But Wren definitely has feelings: she might be conditioned to kill without question, but being that the whole story is told in first person from her perspective, we definitely get to see her thoughts and feelings the whole time, and she's got a lot of them.  Also, the way Callum was written, I kept picturing him as a much younger teenager, as he just came off as very innocent -- kind of the anti-bad boy, really, which was a refreshing change of pace from that trope, but also confusing for a little while.

Reboot sets things up very well for a sequel, although things ended well enough that it stands on its own.  I would definitely want to check out the next book in the series!  There is a lot of violence (shooting, fights, etc.), talk about drug use, some sexual content, and making out.  Due to the violence, I'd probably recommend this for older readers.

7 comments:

  1. This has been on my tbr list for months. The premise sounds fantastic!! Sounds like it was a great read. I can't wait to read it myself :)

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    1. It was really interesting! I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I love the premise of this! I'll probably be annoyed with the random fluffyish love aspect, but other than that it sounds like a winner. :)

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    1. Overall, the other creepy/dystopian aspects helped to even out the love story -- it was pretty much a winner once I accepted that there was a big romance plot. Hope you enjoy it when you read it!

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  3. I actually really loved the romance-it's tough girl/sweet guy and I absolutely swooned. I know it wasn't the most popular aspect for everyone and I understand that but it really worked for me.

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    1. It was definitely one of the better romance stories that I've read recently -- Callum was a great character who really helped Wren grow! I think once I was like "oh hey love story" I felt better about it. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. This one has been sitting on my shelf for a while. It's great that it's not "insta-love" because those books tend to annoy me.

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