Series: Reboot #1
Published by: HarperTeen on May 7, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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 was a bit nervous about Reboot at first. Well, first I was excited. Then reviews started trickling in, talking about how it was a new take on zombies, and then I got nervous. I’m not usually a big fan of zombie books… But I’m pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Reboot, zombies and all! The zombie aspect wasn’t my absolute favourite part of the book, but it was subtle enough and different enough to maintain my interest.
The world building was about half good and half ‘meh’. We didn’t get the clearest picture of how things came to be (where the virus came from, exactly what happened when Reboots started showing up, how the HARC came into power, etc.). However, I think Amy Tintera did a great job building up the current state of the world. I could clearly picture the humans’ fear of Reboots, and the state of the slums vs. the rich parts of the city, etc.
Wren has a really interesting progression throughout the book. I don’t know if she was supposed to start out 100% unemotional—because she wasn’t—but she did start out with mostly no emotions. But as the book progressed and as she spent more time with Callum, her emotions slowly poured out. But the neat thing was, I think they were there all along, they just needed a little coaxing. Now, I didn’t realize this in the moment—only after I finished the book and was reflecting, but I kind of preferred the “before” version of Wren more. I liked her scary, kickass, “I’ll kill anyone and I don’t care” attitude. She was quite menacing and I kind of enjoyed that almost robotic, ruthless killing machine attitude. But as her emotions started pouring in, they started to cloud her judgement, make her think twice, etc. It made me miss the old Wren a little bit.
You shouldn’t let the fact that you’re a badass go to waste.
As alluded to in the synopsis, there is a romance in Reboot and it kind of lines up with Wren’s newfound emotions. The more the romance grew, the more emotions Wren displayed. I enjoyed the romance, but I think there will definitely be some people who will enjoy the book less because of it. The romance isn’t really a side plot, instead, I’d say it’s the thing that drives most of the plot and the character development. Callum’s presence is the main thing that trigger’s Wren’s emotional development, and her feelings for him are what cause her to take the actions she does. If that doesn’t bother you, then you might enjoy the romance! It’s sweet, slow-developing, and tender. There are plenty of romantic moments, and plenty of awkward “first love” moments as well.
I think the end of Reboot was by far the best part of the book. Things really intensified, leaving us with an extremely satisfying ending. There is a big, monumental event, which seriously had me whooping and cheering, and everything gets completely resolved. There’s absolutely no cliffhanger. I can certainly see where the rest of the series is headed, but I love that everything got so neatly wrapped up. It made Reboot feel like a complete and contained book, which is what it should be.