Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot, #1
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 352
Rating: 3.5 stars

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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.
Incredibly interesting, fast-paced, and original--at least when concerning the plot and elements of the plot--and with alluring relationship dynamics and compelling action sequences, Amy Tintera's debut novel, Reboot, is one to undoubtedly remain standing amongst other well-written debuts releasing this year. Whether or not Reboot will completely stand out amongst those debuts or outshine them altogether is somewhat equivocal, given the fact that there are some aspects of Reboot--most notably the romance--that have been done better in young adult and are a bit too similar to a vast majority of young adult novels on the market, but as a whole, I feel that the quick and ultimately captivating way in which Reboot is written will appeal to readers looking for a fun and fast read bearing a semblance of depth--something unfortunately uncommon in many young adult novels I describe as 'fun' lately.

I'll get right to it--Reboot's biggest fault, in my opinion, was the romance, and the large role it took concerning the progression of the plot, and really just the large role it took in general. Using romance as a driving point for character development and plot progression is not something I dislike--in fact it may be one of my favorite ways of developing characters and plots.

If done well, that is. In the very first pages of Reboot, we're thrown into an action sequence between Wren, a Reboot, and one of her targets. From then on, we're told, and shown, having the novel told from her point of view, that she is cold and ruthless and tough, and for that duration, I loved Wren's character. But soon after she is introduced to the love interest, Callum--who, keep in mind, I think is both a fantastic character and love interest--all those adjectives I've used to describe Wren gradually became less and less extreme.

On one hand, I found the character development of Wren from the beginning of the novel to the end to be overall impressive, with her gaining shreds of her humanity since meeting Callum, but on the other hand, I found her character development to be implausible at best, and maybe even a bit lazy. Let's say that point A in Wren's character development is in the beginning chapters--where she is, as I've described her before in this review, cold, ruthless, and tough--and that point B in Wren's character development is in the chapters after she's met Callum, and also just chapters after point A--where she is significantly less cold, ruthless, and tough, but more importantly, helplessly lovesick.

If the development of Wren's character from the person--or Reboot--she was in the opening chapters (point A) to the person (again, or Reboot) she was just mere chapters later (point B) was more of a gradual development, then it'd likely be something I'd be spending my time praising right now, but due to rapid and implausible way in which Wren's character was developed from a bad person to a better person, my enjoyment in the story notably decreased, considering the fact that the romance between Wren and Callum was the driving point for most of the happenings in the novel, and despite how much I enjoyed their chemistry and Callum himself, I just couldn't buy their relationship because it happened so spontaneously, and almost without reason.

However, with that issue, and also one concerning info-dumping with the world-building in the early chapters aside, I found Reboot to be a thoroughly fun, entertaining, and worthwhile read. As I've mentioned before in this review, the action sequences are spectacular and plenty, the pacing is practically flawless, and the perspective on humanity presented to us is surprisingly powerful. As well as that, despite my rant above concerning the development of Wren's character, I did like her character very much, and I liked Callum's character even more. It's certainly not without its faults, but in the end, Reboot was an incredibly fun read, and I am eager to read more of the Reboot trilogy.


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