Series: Reboot #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on May 7, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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'5 years ago, I died. 178 minutes later, I woke up.'
In this post-apocalyptic thriller a deadly virus mutation sees teenagers raised from the dead and trained to be vicious soldiers until Wren, the deadliest Reboot, joins forces with Callum, the most innocent, to try to overthrow the organisation that has corrupted their world.
Lacking the revolutionary struggles of the constrained society in Divergent, and the badassery and depth of character development of June in Legend, I found Reboot by Amy Tintera to be lackluster in comparison. It’s already been optioned for a movie by Fox and is receiving rave reviews everywhere, but unfortunately, I couldn’t see the appeal.
The concept of Rebooted humans who wake up minutes after their death stronger, faster, and with healing abilities, is appealing and unique. Those who wake up sooner after their death are more attuned to their human emotions than those who woke up later. Wren, who woke up 178 minutes after her death, is the perfect soldier. She takes on board a new student, Callum (or number 22) who is closer to human than most. He’s weak, emotional, and is going to be a problem…at least when it comes to HARC, who trains the Reboots to extract or assassinate humans.
What I didn’t like about Reboot:
Inconsistent main character – Because Wren was rebooted so long after her death, she’s cold, emotionless, basically lacking human emotion. When she meets Callum, she is attracted to him physically, but sees him as weak as he is governed by his emotions. Instead of falling in love with Callum’s human traits, she pretty much mimics him towards the end – giggling, laughing and kissing – not the emotionless soldier we believed she was.
I hadn’t meant to break his leg. It was a good learning experience, one he would have needed eventually anyway, but it had been an unfortunate side effect of him not moving as quickly as I’d told him to. (Wren, Page 63)
Unappealing love interest – While Wren is the perfect soldier, Callum is weak, can’t bring himself to harm or kill humans, won’t follow orders, and is always crying in the book. I’m pretty sure he ends up being a liability for Wren. As a result, the chemistry seems forced between the two as we’re lead to believe this non-complimentary couple has feelings for each other.
Weak world building – Reboot reminds me of the show Dark Angel, where humans are barcoded and trained to be perfect soldiers. However, in the book, we don’t know how or why people are rebooting and the book doesn’t go into detail about the world around these rebooted humans. Instead of fleshing it out, the plot became wholly focused on the romance.
Abrupt ending with no satisfactory resolution – A huge chunk of the book focuses on Callum and Wren’s escape. There’s lots of action, but everything is a bit too easily overcome. I would have liked a build up to what happens at the end, but I was surprised when I reached the end of the book.
What I enjoyed about Reboot:
The Aussie paperback book – I got lots of enjoyment out of the paperback book, especially with it’s rubbery feel of the cover. I also think the Aussie cover is so much better than the plain, understated US version below. The black borders printed inside the book was quite distracting at times, but I did appreciate the unique detail that went into it. The eye was kind of creepy though.
For someone who reads a lot of dystopia, I can safely say that Reboot was not a stand out. Based on other reviews, it looks like I’m in the minority though. I also found it funny how people shelved this under the ‘Zombies’ category on Goodreads, due to some scenes in the book where the Rebooted people take a bite out of the humans.
I received a copy of Reboot as a Readplus reviewer in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 2 out of 5
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