Reboot by Amy Tintera Review: Humans reboot as perfect soldiers

September 25, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Books, Reviews

Reboot by Amy Tintera Review: Humans reboot as perfect soldiersReboot by Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on May 7, 2013
Source: Publisher
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.









Overall thoughts

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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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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42 responses to “Reboot by Amy Tintera Review: Humans reboot as perfect soldiers

  1. I skipped reading your review of this when it went up, since I had it to review and I like not to be influenced. But all of your points are the same ones I'm making in my review! When I finished Reboot, I went right to Goodreads, hoping I wasn't the only one who didn't like it…

    Hate all these cool ideas that have such poor execution.
    Leeanna @ recently posted…Owl Post: Writing What Scares You #NaNoMy Profile

    • Haha I do the same whenever I dislike a book to see what others thought, but glad you were able to relate too Leeanna. I'll look forward to your review, just frustrating when it happens hey?

  2. I agree with all your points. I was so excited about this one because Wren seemed like such a strong protagonist. What I got was someone who shouldn't be able to have feelings, yet weak and sloppy Callum brought that out in her. At one point around the middle, it turned into a lovefest which was where I lost interest., but I'll give Tintera credit it was a cool idea. Great review 🙂

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

  3. Great review!

    I liked this book more than you did but I agree that something was there that didn't make it a great book. It kinda lost my attention during the middle bit of Callum and Wren running, but the ending actually made curious enough to make me want to read the sequel.
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake!My Profile

    • That's great, just shows that these reviews are opinion and one's trash can be another's treasure lol. Callum was so real compared to Wren, but all the crying kind of grated after a while. Not sure what was going on with that ending!

  4. Oh, man. That premise sounded wicked! But reading your review … eh. I think I'll stay away from this one. A few things I can't stand are character inconsistencies and a yawn-fest romance. Plus it's a shame when an author creates an amazing new world and then doesn't go to the trouble of building it :/

    Sorry this one was disappointing for you!

    – Allie @ Little Birdie Books
    Allie @ Little Birdi recently posted…Review: The Distance Between Us {Kasie West}My Profile

  5. I'm reading it currently and those are my exact thoughts! I'm not buying into Wren and 22's romance at all – it feels so forced and has no spark. Only a third of the way in and nothing much has happened and I don't understand a lot of what has happened so I'm not impressed so far at all. Great review as always, hit the nail right on the head!

    • Yay, glad to hear that you are thinking the exact same thing. I just got so frustrated because Wren and the romance was just not making sense to me. Thanks Joy, I can't wait for your review too!

  6. The eye is definitely creepy! Lol. "Non-complimentary couple" does not sound hopeful in the romance department. 🙁 So glad you mentioned Dark Angel, I miss that show so much! And the world building was amazing… Sigh. Cool review honey, very helpful. I'm thinking I can give this one a miss.
    Annie recently posted…Book Review: Frigid by J LynnMy Profile

  7. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! This is still on my TBR, but I don't think I'll read it anytime soon. You make some valid points there – all the 'negatives' you listed are things that I dislike. But the Aussie edition IS amazing. I love it!

    Great review!
    Celine recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #8My Profile

    • I know, not sure why the US cover is so different, I read something about different markets and different publishers commissioning the covers? Anyway, yeah there just wasn't enough to make it stand out unfortunately.

  8. Oh, that sucks! I've actually heard a lot of bad reviews on this one saying that it just didn't live up to the premise. I guess I'll just keep pushing this down the TBR for now 😉

    Great review, Jeann! 🙂

    • Yeah, and that really shouldn't be the case if we are going but what the author is telling us about people rebooting later not retaining as many human emotions….oh wells. Thanks for visiting Ikao!

  9. Ooh dude that paperback book is awesome! I heard this wasn't the best read though it sounds like it fell flat in a lot of areas. I get why she made Wren the way she is but it's very hard to connect to a character like that and that usually always makes the book meh for me. Plus the romance sounds very… not well matched >.< Hope your next read is better!!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie BerryMy Profile

    • Yeah, if she was cold and emotionless I would understand or even if there was some reference to meeting the new person slowly making her return to being humanlike. But there was none of that. Thanks Marianne!

      • Also, from what you mentioned in your review, I'm pretty sure the romance seemed a bit forced. It just seems to me like this was just too over-hyped. I would still read it because of the concept, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be my favorite.
        Marianne @ Boricuan recently posted…My Perfect Boyfriend (9)My Profile