Series: Reboot #1
Published by Harper Collins on May 7th, 2013
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.
Reboot was one of those books that promised so much but unfortunately didn’t deliver.
When we first meet Wren, she’s dynamic. A zombie Buffy, she kicks ass, takes no prisoners and under no circumstances does she let anything as ridiculous as pesky human emotion get in the way of her mission. She’s a little blonde bundle of dynamite and I loved her. She’s 178, which means she was dead almost three hours before she rebooted. Humans in Wren’s brave new world are at risk of KDH, a virus that has wiped out most of the world’s population except for a “fortunate” few who experience life after death and become deadly weapons for the ruling HARC responsible for keeping the rag tag remnants of the world safe. “Safe” being the operative word, there’s a darker purpose to HARC that’s hinted at but sadly it’s not explained in any read detail. Wren could give two hoots, she knows her purpose and has no reason to deviate.
Enter Callum. A reboot so fresh he barely died. Charismatic, flirtatious, he challenges Wren in ways she never thought possible. When she agrees to train him to become as badass a soldier as her she doesn’t realise just how drastically he’ll change her life…
Reboot was a lot of fun to read. It was seriously compelling and full of intrigue particularly the first half. The world building was decent, the explanation of the KDH virus and it’s effects was a little murky and I was lost for a little while but Tintera does a good job of creating an interesting back-story that kept me guessing.
The characters of Wren, Callum and the bit players were fun to get to know and I did grow to care for them quickly. Wren’s “best friend” Ever, in particularly was a favourite and her story was one of my favourite parts of the book. As Wren slowly begins to evolve and open herself up to the long buried emotions Callum brings to the surface I thought I was in for a thrill ride but as the book hits the halfway point it all begins to fall apart.
While the action is always well paced and exciting, the story takes a tumble when the romance between Wren and Callum takes over. Now I love action and I love romance so I thought Reboot would be the perfect Summer read for me. Unfortunately the chemistry between Wren and Callum fell flat. Usually in books like these I am literally squealing at every touch, brush of the lips and nose graze but here my feelings were lukewarm. I’m not sure if it was simply because the story was written from Wren’s perspective so we were experiencing her awakening but it all felt awkward and cumbersome. Wren went from being kick ass, cold as ice and all round girl power advocate to a simpering, weak, lovesick puppy which was disheartening. The constant stopping to kiss when they should have been running from the gunshots was eye-roll inducing and I found myself pleading with Tintera to dispense with the romance and get on with the action. At this point I felt like taking my temperature because surely I was off-colour to be pleading such a case.
When the action did finally take point it was all a bit too convenient. HARC is apparently the “Big Evil” corporation that’s impenetrable but all of a sudden it’s easy to cut the power, steal shuttles and break in? The ending was a little abrupt and unsatisfying which is more likely due to the fact that once again I had read what I thought was a stand-alone book only to realise it’s a series. Sigh, my mistake so I won’t deduct points.
Overall, Reboot was fun, a quick, fresh, dynamic read with an awesome heroine (most of the time) full of action, sass and intrigue with an interesting set up for book two that I can’t help but want to check out.