Friday, 28 June 2013

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

I recently finished reading Reboot by Amy Tintera, and I have to say it’s one of the books on my Debut Author Challenge list that I’ve enjoyed the most so far.  The concept of people “rebooting” after they’ve died is unique and stands out in a long list of dystopian novels. Basically, the longer a person stays dead, the less human he or she will be upon rebooting. I won’t give away the explanation for why this happens, but I will say that I found it interesting.

I thought it was clever how the author emphasized her characters’ status by incorporating the length of time it took for them to reboot into their names. This essentially puts the Reboots on a scale of how human they are now.  The protagonist is known as the notorious Wren 178, because it took her body one hundred and seventy-eight minutes to come back to life. She holds the record for the longest reboot time, and her supposed lack of emotion, coupled with her training, makes her a ruthless killer for HARC, the organization that uses the Reboots as a sort of special police force. Despite Wren’s reputation as a cold-blooded killer and her detachment, I still found her to be a relatable character. I think it’s the fact that she sees herself as less than human that gives her a certain vulnerability. Plus, the author gave Wren one very specific insecurity that made me sympathize with her.

Of course, the author throws Wren for a loop when she encounters Callum twenty-two, a Reboot who was dead for so short a time he’s practically still human. I loved Callum’s character. His friendly demeanor stands out amongst the other Reboots, and he’s a great contrast for Wren. It’s amusing to see him disarm the famous 178 with nothing more than a simple smile. Wren is normally able to maintain control of any situation, but doesn’t know what to do with Callum. She usually only trains Reboots with a higher number but takes Callum on as a challenge. While Callum isn’t the most adept Reboot, he doesn’t feel like a bumbling idiot, neither does Wren come across as invincible. To her credit, the author didn’t overdo this aspect of the story.

I think one of the biggest strengths of Reboot is Wren’s character development. I’m sure it doesn’t spoil anything to say she begins to discover she’s more human than she thought.  When you learn Wren’s backstory, you have to wonder if she’s detached because she’s a Reboot or because of the raw deal life dealt her beforehand. Amy Tintera did a good job of creating that question. The real conflict in the story begins when Wren starts to question her training, and therefore her identity as a Reboot.


Overall, I found the plot of Reboot engaging, and it held my interest through the entire book. I cared what happened to the characters, and for me that’s the key to a good story. There was also a nice balance between the action and the main relationship. And if you’re a fan of books with a dose of romance, you won’t be disappointed. From what I understand, there will be a sequel, but Reboot has a definite ending and could stand on its own. That being said, I would enjoy reading more about these characters and their situation, and I’m looking forward to Amy Tintera’s next book.

8 comments:

  1. Well, I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed this one. I've been wondering about it for a while, and I'd really like to read it. Lately, I've been craving contemporary so it might be a bit before I get to it, but I'll definitely make sure I do. Plus, as you know, I have a soft spot for Callums. :D

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    1. This was one of the titles I was most eagerly anticipating, so I was really glad it delivered. I thought of your story as soon as I saw there was a character named Callum. :)

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  2. So, I've heard of this one, but wasn't really interested in it. The cover doesn't do much for me, and the blurb left me thinking it was just another dystopian. Lately I've needed a break from that genre. BUT. Your review has totally changed my mind! The less/more human concept is really interesting, and I'm definitely intrigued by what you said about Callum. Thanks for the fantastic review, Erin. :-)

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    1. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, Katy. I'll warn you it's fairly violent and it's definitely dystopian although the premise was one I had yet to see in this genre. As for Callum, he was my favourite character, and it was the relationship between him and Wren that won me over. I've been a bit worn out with dystopians too lately, but because I liked the two main characters in REBOOT that made a difference to me.

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  3. Thanks for the review. This sounds like something I would enjoy. I love dystopian but I have been a bit burnt out on some of them too. This one sounds original enough to try:)

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    1. Hope you enjoy it! I felt like there was a little more emphasis on the main characters than the dystopian world itself, which I found appealing. :)

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  4. I totally agree with your review, Erin - I enjoyed this DAC quite a bit, too!

    I loved the concept and thought Tintera did a great job developing her characters. Many are saying it's too similar to DIVERGENT, and while I think it "feels" somewhat the same, it's not at all (if that makes sense?).

    I've heard there's going to be a sequel as well and will definitely put it on my TBR list when it's announced!

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    1. Your explanation makes sense to me. I can see drawing a comparison between the settings. DIVERGENT takes place in an enclosed version of Chicago while REBOOT is set in an isolated version of Texas, so maybe that accounts for the similar feel? But like you said, it's also really different than DIVERGENT. I never even would have thought to compare the two to be honest. The character dynamic is kind of flipped seeing as Wren is the tough one and while Callum is sweet, he's certainly no Four! I'm looking forward to the sequel as well! :)

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