June 14, 2013
REVIEW: Reboot (Reboot #1)
Published May 7, 2013
Format: e-book - obtained from NetGalley
Genre: YA dystopian
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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'm really digging these books about anti-zombies. I mean, REALLY digging them. Some authors have chosen to address the cool paranormal hook of reanimation, but not into something gross that loves to eat flesh and shuffle about moaning and wailing. Into something more... humanized. And, I want to hug and kiss those authors, because it's taking something that's interesting to me and making it more palatable, especially when it comes to forming some sort of romantic attachment.
So, yeah - I want to hug and kiss Amy Tintera.
In Reboot's version of future America, a disease has decimated the population so that the entirety of it fits into only the state of Texas. This disease either KILLS you kills you, or kills you then reanimates you, or "reboots" you. The longer you stay dead, the stronger you are when you wake up. And the less of your humanity you retain, too.
Wren was dead 178 minutes - an extremely long time - before she rebooted. She's the strongest, coldest and scariest reboot on staff. And she gets herself assigned to train newbie, Callum, a mere 22. As she trains him to kill, he trains her to get in touch with her humanity again, which she thought had been lost for good. And, her awkward growing affection toward him causes her to do things she never thought she'd do.
There's really two things going on in Reboot. First is Wren's growing discomfort with HARC and how they treat the Reboots. This all starts when she starts seeing strange behavior exhibited in her only friend and roommate, Ever. Ever is as close to a real zombie that you see in Reboot, and it's scary. Her downward spiral at the hands of HARC causes Wren to have real feelings for the first time in awhile. The gradual build-up of the mystery surrounding the strange behavior of the under-60s was perfectly paced. And, it made me feel so bad for these people who have no control over who they are.
The second thing going on is Wren's reawakening of herself. Much of this stems from her involvement with Callum, who asks questions that no reboot has ever asked before - questions that start with "why," "where," and "how." I loved seeing Wren's self-realization at Callum's hands. Callum is almost child-like in his handling of her, and his innocence is endearing and sweet. He is truly on the other end of the spectrum from the cold and calculating Wren.
And, what's interesting is that, through the course of the book, they meet somewhere in the middle. Callum is not able to escape completely unscathed from his experience as a Reboot. His experiences at the HARC headquarters tarnish his innocence some and leave him a little scarred and not nearly as happy-go-lucky as he was when he arrived. Conversely, Callum's influence on Wren's life melts away some of her coldness and reminds her about what it was like to once feel... well, anything, really.
I was so happy that Reboot did not end in an epic cliffhanger. All the elements were there for Tintera to do that to us, but she chose not to. Yet another reason for some serious snuggles. It ended in the perfect place - with many loose ends tied up, but a perfect lead-in to the next book. Which, I will now be waiting for with bated breath.