Review Blog

Nov 04 2013

Reboot by Amy Tintera

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN 978743315507.
Subtitled, '5 years ago, I died, 178 minutes later, I woke up,' here we are immersed in a post killer virus world where a proportion of fatalities come back to life physically superior and immediately self-healing. Fearful humans have managed to subjugate them and use them as enforcers for HARC, keeping the populace under control. Reboots are barcoded and referred to by the number of minutes it took them to reboot, the longer the time, the less human emotion experienced, the better they can be trained. At 178 Wren is one of the highest and best, when she chooses to train cute, sensitive newbie Callum, just a 22 and bursting with emotions, romance blossoms and this supposedly emotionless killing machine blushes and stumbles like an infatuated teenager.  
I had some trouble accepting the main character's obvious emotional traits; insecurity, embarrassment, friendship and sexual attraction after having been assured that she had none and if you accept that she has a choice about expressing emotion how does that explain all the killing? I found the narration fairly flat and lacking in a sense of place, the self interested motivation for joining the rebels unsatisfying, and the ending too easily achieved. However this will appeal to the middle school Vampire/Zombie romance readers; even if you are bullet riddled and dead there is a Mr Right out there for you!
Sue Speck

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