The Living Dead Kicks Ass: Reboot by Amy TinteraThursday, May 16, 2013
by Amy Tintera
Genre: Young Adult dystopian
Publication date: May 7th 2013
Source: finished copy from publisher
Author's website | GoodReads
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).This isn't your ordinary zombie book. Reboot introduces us to a world where some people, people whose bodies can adapt to the mutation given by an epidemic disease, rise from the dead and become stronger, faster, and less prone to human emotion. A government agency called HARC uses these living dead called the reboots to fight as soldiers and perform brutal tasks with no questions asked.
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.
Wren rebooted after 178 minutes, making her the deadliest and most highly feared Reboot. The humans that patrol the HARC base are terrified of her and the lower reboots know to stay away. The only people who treated her like a person were Leb, one of the few humans at HARC who treated reboots with respect, and Ever, her 'under sixty' roommate and the closest Wren had to a friend. Wren was okay with the reputation of being a monster who enjoyed killing and found some truth in it until Callum came along. Callum is a 22 and one of the weakest reboots in the base. Wren usually chooses to train the reboot with the highest number, but something about Callum and his unabashed humane self intrigues her and chooses him to be her trainee, surprising the other reboots, the humans, and Wren herself.
Being Callum's trainer changes Wren and she starts to feel the human emotions she thought she would never feel again. She starts to break the rules she has followed for the past five years, and allows herself to show compassion towards others. These emotions make Wren start to wonder when she gets called to do private missions and Ever and the other under sixties start to act strange and less sane. When Callum refuses to kill a human during one of their field missions, the president of HARC orders her to get rid of him but she silently refuses to kill Callum and enlists Leb to help her and Callum escape to a place where reboots get to live free from HARC's influence.
Amy Tintera's writing as Wren echoed the voice of a true reboot: strong, assured, confident, and calculating. But it also had just the right amount of bits of emotion that sprawled across the pages, showing us the humane side of Wren that was bursting at the seams.Wren was convinced that she was the heartless and bloodthirst creature that everyone thought her to be and it was true during the first parts of the book but as the story gradually progresses, you'll see Wren finally coming into terms with why she enjoyed killing and why she kept her emotions bottled up. Callum was incredibly cute and very very human. It was hard to believe that he was a reboot. With that playful smile of his and that curious glint in his eyes, he was just what Wren needed in her life. Callum was an overactive ball of sunshine; always looking at the bright side of things and never backing down whenever Wren dismissed his playful advances.
Reboot was an incredible fast-paced and adrenaline filled book with kickass and endearing characters and unbelievable twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The action scenes were vividly set out for the reader and the romance was cute and sweet. Reboot lived up to the expectations of it's cleverly unique plot that plays with what being human truly means. It perfectly laid out the framework for a series that i'm sure will be more than amazing, showing us glimpses of Wren's tragic past that i'm sure will slowly be uncovered in the succeeding books, and leaving us with questions that are dying to be answered. My only complaint about the book is that it unnecessarily rushed through some major events during the last part of the book. Filled with just the right amount of humor and innocent romance that balances out the gore and harsh realities, Reboot is one of the best young adult debut novels of the year.
THE NUB AND GIST: 4 STARS