Goodreads / Barnes and NobleGoodreads Summary: 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.
Genre: Dystopia, romance
How I Got It: Library
First Line: "They always screamed."
Favorite Quote: "He was willing to die because he refused to take a life. Me, I contemplated shooting everyone."
I was completely psyched to read this when I first heard about it. The summary sounded stunning, and the cover was oddly interesting, given the fact that there's not actually much going on in the picture. For the most part, I think I got exactly what I expected from the novel as a whole, so I have no idea why I'm not more excited about it. This is definitely one of those it's-not-you-it's-me cases that I hate running into. Reboot is by no means a bad book - it's quite the opposite, actually. I think this review could have things I liked and disliked in equal parts. In the end, it's left me feeling just okay.
I really admire the way that Tintera wrote Wren's character. It can't be easy to write someone who is supposed to be extremely detached emotionally, and yet still make her human enough for readers to emphasize with her situation. I actually loved how badass she was in the beginning, carrying out her missions with a cold heart. She shot first, asked questions later. But I also really liked seeing her soften over time as she realized that she actually did have her own opinions, that she could have human emotions, and there were some other people she cared for. I felt like her personality was well balanced on both sides, and by the end of Reboot, I saw some serious character growth, and honestly that is one of the best things I like to see in novels, especially dystopia. Above all else, this was my favorite aspect of this book, and what made it a noticeable debut.
I did not like Callum at first. His personality wasn't one that I could easily connect with. He was just a touch too bubbly for my taste - but then, I have the nasty habit of preferring shady bad boys over the good ones these days (not bad as in evil, of course, just troubled and broody). There was nothing wrong with him, it was just a matter of personal opinion. I still don't find him exactly swoon-worthy, but I think I did grow fond of him over time. I appreciated his determination to stick to his principles and not murder anyone for HARC, even if they killed him for disobeying their direct orders. And I liked how he seemed to bring out a lot of emotion in Wren. The romance does take up a somewhat surprising amount of Reboot, and though it wasn't my favorite, it was still sweet and thankfully developed well. I am so sick of insta-love right now that I think I would have immediately set Reboot aside for another day.
I also felt like the plotting was done pretty well. The whole idea of Rebooting was pretty cool, and I loved the idea of certain people handling it differently depending on how long they were dead. So this novel definitely gets points for being original. I loved the subplot of the under-sixties being injected with the crazy shot. By the end of it, I felt like everything wrapped up pretty nicely and I wasn't left with a whole lot of questions, just the obvious one of what would happen to the characters next. The HARC organization was pretty sinister, though I did get that flat-villain vibe a little. Mostly because it's the whole thing that's bad and there's no real central bad guy. Okay, maybe Officer Mayor counts, but he's simply not around enough or explained well enough as a character for me to feel much fear of him at all. I seem to be having this problem a lot in dystopia - I want there to be one or two people I can really focus on as antagonists, and I want them as round characters.
Reboot is definitely action-packed throughout. Wren and Callum always seem to be getting into some kind of trouble with guards or humans and pretty much everybody else. And while this was exciting for the most part, eventually it started to feel a little like a formula - there's trouble, they fight, they get away. I didn't have that much difficulty putting it down in the middle, because no matter what kind of danger the main characters were in, I was always pretty sure they were going to make it out okay, because that's just always what happened. The end especially felt like this. Everything went a little too smoothly, like there was never a real climax in the plot, because it felt like every other thing that had already taken place. The end is probably my biggest complaint towards Reboot.
So even though I wouldn't say Reboot is an incredible debut, I still found it very enjoyable and would recommend picking it up if the description intrigues you. As I always mentioned, I found the last chapter pretty satisfying, so I'm not positive if I will continue on with this series. If the sequel summary sounds cool, I'll probably put it on hold at the library.
Books in this series:
Once Upon A Prologue
What Danielle Did Next
A Beautiful Madness