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.
When Wren Connolly was shot three times as a child she died, but then she came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. Reboots are the result of a deadly virus that allows some to come back stronger than they were before. All Reboots are hard to kill, but their strength and emotional state depends on how long they were dead before they rose again. No one else's Reboot number even comes close to Wren, and she is considered the most inhuman of them all. She follows order without question, and no one matches her for strength. But when the new crew of Reboots show up with a 22 among them, Wren can't help being intrigued by his very human emotions. Even though she knows it's hopeless, she agrees to take him on as her trainee. Problem is that his human emotions do not make him a very good soldier. He doesn't follow directions nor orders, and Wren knows that if she can't get him in line, he'll be eliminated and she'll be the one to have to carry out that order. Never before has she thought to disobey an order, but Callum 22 may just be her downfall.
I absolutely loved Wren's character. She starts off so closed off from everyone else, in fact they all see her as completely inhumane, without emotion. Almost an empty shell as it were. But the reader gets to see that while she is rather a rather calculating person, there's a whole lot more to her than just her cold exterior. Even so, in the early parts of the book, I couldn't exactly call her an emotional person. But of course that all changed once Callum came along and intrigued her. He was just so human, something she had previously thought she despised, but there was just something about Callum that drew her to him. In fact, his arrival opened her eyes to the closeness she already had with her roommate Ever. The two of them were like two very different sisters, but the bonds were as strong just the same. In a sense, Callum helped her to find her humanity again, and I love him (and her) all the more for it. That being said, I do think she will always have an advantage over others, as while she may have been softening some, there will always be that practical calculating part of her, which serves her well in both her and Callum's survival.
I absolutely loved the world behind REBOOT. Amy Tintera does a fantastic job with her world building. From the reboots themselves, to state of the human world surrounding them, and even the control and oppression HARC held over the Reboots felt so real, that I had no problem slipping right into the world. Of course that latter had to be real, because if the Reboots had not of been cowed by their handlers, it would have only taken a few banded together to bring down the guards in just one shot. They are really that much stronger, faster, and less vulnerable than humans. As far as the human world goes, the result of disease and poverty were staggering. I mean something as simple as having meat for dinner is something most of us take for granted. Yet, Callum who came from a rich neighborhood didn't even know what it was. And that doesn't even touch what the slums were like. I literally shuddered at the descriptions of the conditions the people were in, that's just how real it all felt.
Fear, oppression, power, strength, weakness, emotion, romance, loyalty, hatred, all very powerful words, ones that you wouldn't expect to find together. And yet all of these emotions and elements play such an important role in REBOOT. I am incredibly impressed at Amy Tintera's skill in crafting such an impressive story with so many different elements. The world building is stellar, the characterization is incredible, and the pacing is excellent, making REBOOT a must read for any sci-fi/dystopian YA fans. I know I'll be anxiously awaiting the next installment to see what happens next!
(Recieved a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)