Reboot by Amy Tintera

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Title : Reboot
Author : Amy Tintera
Genre : Dystopian
Published Date : May 7th 2013
Publisher : HarperCollins
Pages : 352

Source : Publisher, in exchange for a fair and honest review
Rating : ✿✿

From 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).


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.


Review

I actually had a high expectations when I read the blurb of this book, because it sounded really unique and seemed to offered us something new in dystopian world. Truth is, the basic concept was amazing. The execution, however, not really. Read on and see why I rated this 2 out of 5. My first two stars rating ever

"We’re totally going to crash, aren’t we?"
—Callum

Reboot told us about the apocalyptic future, where mankind was infected by virus who could bring us back from dead, this time stronger, faster, and heartless. Shunned by the society, the people who had been Rebooted—or infected by the virus, dead, and brought back from death—had nowhere to go beside HARC, the organization who used Reboot as an undefeated army against lawbreaker. Wren had died once, and rebooted 178 minutes later, making her the strongest Reboot ever. But when the weak newbie Callum 22 came to HARC and trained under Wren, will she be able to hold her belief, or will the seemingly worthless 22 be able to make her see what she didn't before?

From its concept, I actually pretty much in love with the main idea of this book, about a human brought back from dead as a Reboot, and the longer they died, they stronger they became. And so, I was in love with half of this book, where the plot line and the characters was still great. However, this brilliant idea felt a little bit undeveloped in this book, and no matter how great it is, it won't be something totally mind-blowing if not developed well.

The plot was well-composed and really intrigued the reader, with the beginning that would instantly hooked us into it. 
The detailed description gave us a clear views of the surrounding world as well. And the rules on this world, I found, was quite interesting and helped building the realism.

But, from the middle until the end, there were some significant changes that I found was a bit too obvious. The story-pacing became unstable—sometimes slow and then fast and slow again—and the plot became somewhat raw and seemingly undeveloped.
And when our main characters did manage to escape from the Reboot's building, one thing that really put me off was how the plot took a sudden turn and became so typically dystopian novel, running, surviving, hunting, couldn't set fire because the smokes would be noticed, etc. I get how in dystopian future, life was always about surviving, but seriously? Did it all had to be done like this again and again?

Wren, our main character, had died for 178 minutes, hence her codename One Seventy-Eight. The strongest Reboot probably ever existed, she became kind of aloof, picky, and tended to look down on people with low Reboot number. But, even when her personality sounds a little harsh, she was actually quite a nice character with a well-rounded and strong personality. She took up the rational act, and was able to survived without having to depend on another people. Sure, there are many badass heroine out there such as Katniss Everdeen or Rose Hathaway, but Wren was totally the one that I could love and root for.
But, her personality totally changed somewhere in the middle of the book, and let's just say that it was not a nice change. From an unique and badass heroine, she transformed to just another girl, forgettable, and didn't really stand out. So well yeah, she just lost my favoritism.
Callum, as our other main character, was truthfully disappointing. Joining the Reboot as a 22, he could have been practically called the weakest of all. Yet again, although Callum's weak concept could become something really interesting when developed well, it was not.
Sure, he really was weak, but then, he didn't really care whether he was weak or not. And if he didn't care, why would we? And also, it felt like he only existed to complement Wren, and he tended to fell flat and became like a side characters. 

There were also some things that I didn't really like from this book, such as when Wren became all lovey-dovey with Callum it actually kinds of irritated me. 
I mean, I really loves Wren with her badass and strong, constant personality that really stood out from the rest of the characters.
But then, she started showing emotions, which according to the narration, was kinda impossible, and therefore making it hard to believe. Not that I would love her to be heartless, but the book said so, so, what should I suppose to expect?

And when she finally got together with Callum, boom, it all went down. She turned into a clingy and all happy girl who needs to hold back her grin—when the Wren from one chapter before, maybe, never had to do that.
It was also completed with an annoying thoughts from her, like "I wanted to crawl into his lap immediately" and all that. Ugh.

And then there were some inconsistencies as well. First, it was said that the time they Rebooted, their skin was cleared, Their eyes glow, etc, and then Wren regarded Callum's hand as rough, and said that 'The scars from human life never fade.' It was just like, um hello, where's this so-called clear skin? 
Not that I demand the Reboots to have a throughout physical description and have a flawless skin or what, but hey, it was mentioned earlier, so well, where's the concept?
Also, some crucial things were also left out without any explanation, such as when all the Reboots pounded the glass of their rooms in a form of Rebellion. The authorized personnels didn't take any action, and it wasn't clear why would the rebellion started and who had sparked it.

And from reading this book, I was actually became quite confused about the whole 'emotion-less' and 'inhumane' traits of the Reboots. I get the point at first, that the longer they died, they more inhuman they became.
And yet I think Wren was just like a human. A normal human with quite an attitude, and refused to show her emotion. Refused to, not didn't have any. And that was exactly why I was confused, because the said traits and the actual character didn't really match.

"You don’t care?” he guessed. “You don’t feel guilt? Sadness?”
"No,” I said, looking at the ground. “I did at first. But now . . . no.”

This whole conversation also showed us the true characteristic of Wren, who, in fact, sounded totally human at all. It was just, she had killed a lot, and maybe she didn't feel anything now. Not that she was emotionless, like she said. 
Maybe it would make more sense if she had denied it, like she wasn't suppose to feel a thing and yet she did, making her something like a glitch or what. But no, she didn't denied it, and that's what made it even more confusing.
So yeah, that kinda sums up everything I feel was lacking from this book.

Overall, Reboot took off great but it grew and became not-really-that-great-anymore later. The premises was promising, and it was actually an enjoyable read until you reached the middle of the book. But, if you love the typical plot structure of dystopian novel consisting hunting, running, and surviving—which I'm not—try this one and who knows it might be just your cup of tea. I really want to love this one, seeing all the hype out there, but sorry, just can't.


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6 comments

  1. Ah, i'm sorry that you didn't like Reboot as much as I did :( I enjoyed reading your insight though, and I agree with some of your qualms.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  2. I got to admit that Reboot started really good and ended up not so good. But I still managed to enjoy it and even gave it 4 stars. It's sad you didn't like it :(

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  3. Very interesting points, I love how thorough and well-thought your reviews are! Always gives me a great idea of what to expect when reading :)

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  4. I liked Reboot a bit more than you did but, like you mentioned, there were quite a few things that also had me scratching my head. I liked the unique take on zombies, I just wished the storyline and characters had been better developed.

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  5. I'm not a huge dystopia fan. Alright saying I'm a fan would be a stretch. I did read this one adult dystopia book by Kate Johnson titled The UnTied Kingdom that I really loved.

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