Review Blog

Sep 16 2013

Reboot by Amy Tintera

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Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743315507.
(Ages: 13+) 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 a new student under her wing, 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.
Wren, as a main character, was inconsistent. Because she 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.
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. The chemistry seems forced between the two and we're lead to believe this non-complimentary couple is good for each other.
The world building was also poor. We don't know how or why people are rebooting and the book doesn't go into detail about the nature of the environment they are living in. Instead of fleshing it out, the plot became wholly focused on the romance.
Reboot is action packed with a great concept, but overall, I think there are much better dystopians out there.
Jeann Wong

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