by Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot #1
Published: 07 May 2013
HarperTeen, Hardcover, 365 pages
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.
I have no idea why, but when it saw that phrase on the cover, I never thought of zombies. Neither did I think of the walking dead when it was stated multiple times that Reboots came back from the dead, revived by the KDH virus. From the start, Reboots were more like super-humans to me rather than zombies. I mean, they are hygienic and don’t have organs dropping out of holes in their bodies, so duh, not zombies.
Now that I’ve established how pro-Reboot I am, it would be pretty obvious that I utterly despised the way HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation) treated Reboots, as if they are lesser beings. Nonetheless, Amy Tintera gave me a wonderful time hating on the villains in this book.
Two of my favourite aspects of Reboot was the brutality depicted and the unconventional romance. The goriness and violence constantly present in Wren’s life as a perfect soldier was so real and captivating in a terrifying sort of way. As for the romance, it was surprisingly adorable for a relationship set in a dystopian novel.
To me, it felt like the typical roles of a fun girl & brooding guy had been swapped in the case of Wren and Callum. Wren was all unemotional and seemingly cold in the beginning while Callum was just completely endearing. I wouldn’t say their relationship is for everyone but I definitely loved it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Callum’s a feminine & wimpy guy. After all, he did do something totally unexpected for a number 22 when Wren got hurt in a particular scene. Unsurprisingly, I was swooning so much while reading it. Did I mention the pace of the romance was perfect? There was zero insta-love (YAY). Zilch. Nada.
However, I did wish the world building in Reboot was better developed. More details on exactly how the world had changed would’ve been much appreciated. Though the fact that the story was told in first person slightly justified the hazy world-building. Reboots don’t remember much from before they died so I guess Wren herself would also have limited information on worldly issues.
Action packed, thrilling and exciting, I really enjoyed Reboot. However, it needed that little extra spark to push it from a good book, to a great book. I would recommend this to dystopia lovers but it probably won’t be a good read to those newly inducted into the world of YA dystopia. Lastly, just remember that Reboots are not zombies because some of us get really defensive about that. :)