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.
Description taken from Goodreads.
I ended up finally giving this one a real chance for the first time since it released three years ago, and it ended up being much better than I remember it being.
To be honest, part of (okay, a lot of) why I didn’t like Reboot in the first place was because I thought Callum was stupid. I hated the way he was smiling all the time, and I disliked the idea that Wren was completely changing the way she’s always done things in order to make exceptions for him.
That almost completely changed in my reread.
In fact, Wren and Callum’s interaction became my favorite part of the book. I’m still conflicted as to how to feel on Wren’s rapid change toward Callum, but for the most part, I was impressed with the way Tintera executed this idea. Like too many others, this could’ve been a fantastic premise gone wrong, but it pulled through and managed to form a story worthy of being called a science fiction thriller.
In short, if the premise intrigues you, read it. What they advertise is exactly what you’ll get, and I can’t express how refreshing it is to be able to say that.
Wren may seem cold and harsh and unfeeling sometimes, and she pulls off that role rather well. However, she also has friendships. She cares about the people around her, and she does her best to make sure her trainees make it through. Even when Callum is sulking, she forces him to confront what’s at stake and pull him back together again. I loved her personality, and I appreciated the way Tintera was able to make her softer without sacrificing her character.
Reading from Wren’s perspective, I thought that her thoughts were clear and I could understand the emotions she felt even as she grew. I came to see Callum a certain way and gradually grew to love him the way she did. I don’t remember the last time I connected with a character with that, and needless to say, it was an experience.
When you look at it from far away, the plot isn’t too complicated. It’s very character-driven, and it’s easy to see how one event leads to another. While I was reading, I didn’t want for anything. Nothing was particularly lacking. But looking back on it, I wish there was a little more substance to the plot events and a little less stretching out each scene as far as they’ll go.
However, pacing was great. The action scenes were well spread-out, and no one could say this book has no humor, heart, or brains. It has all of the above, and it was presented in a compulsively readable way.
This novel didn’t hit me in the feels in any way, but it was a fun read and I’ll be coming back to it. Overall, I would recommend it, and I’m sorry I didn’t come back to it sooner. For those of you wondering how the second book, Rebel, is, I didn’t love it quite as much as Reboot. I thought it wasn’t paced as well, and the stretching out of plot events got a little grating in the sequel. The fact that I read them right after the other says something for the series though, and I’ll definitely be checking out Tintera’s Ruined. 3.5 stars.
Series: Reboot #1