Review: Reboot

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: RebootReboot by Amy Tintera
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Length: 8 hrs, 42 mins
Series: Reboot #1
Published by Harper Audio on May 7, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-stars

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—Callum Reyes—is the worst she's ever seen. As a 22, Callum is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he's always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet he's still her newbie. 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 that 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.

Reviews for Reboot have been all over the place, which basically meant I had to try it and see for myself. Ultimately, I’m sort of in the middle. Reboot‘s a lot of fun, especially in the first half, but also still fairly old hat for dystopian scenarios. I’m definitely glad to have read it, but I didn’t love it either.

Why Did I Read This Book?
As I mentioned, curiosity. Sometimes, I’m more tempted to read books that get 1 star ratings from some and 4 from others than those that get a consistent 3 stars. I just have to know for myself what book has generated such disparate responses. Seriously, I was reading reviews and adding, removing, adding, removing, adding this book on Goodreads. It was ridiculous. The audio seemed like a good choice, because action books from first perspective often translate pretty well.

What’s the Story Here?
In a post-apocalyptic world where all that remains of the US is Texas, a dystopian government has arisen in the form of HARC, a corporation that controls all of the things. Freaking corporations. Currently, if I had to guess a company that would become the dystopian overlord of us all, I would say Amazon, but maybe that’s just because they keep buying up the book world. *side-eyes* As with so many dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, there’s a disease, which causes people to reboot. Basically, they’re zombies, only they’re hot (like vampires, they’re themselves but with perfect skin and hair and bright eyes) and super strong and don’t eat people. The reboots are known by their numbers, which are how long they were dead before they rose, with the larger numbers being the strongest and least human. Wren is 178, and she does everything by the book until a 22 disrupts her regimented life.

How are the Characters?
Okay, so I really liked the first part where Wren was all queen of the reboots and stuff. Unlike some ya assassins, Wren really does kill people and she even does so in front of the reader. On top of that, she likes killing, and doesn’t even feel guilty about it. People are worthless to her, and she’d rather kill a human than look at it. Callum, the 22, is the only other well-developed character, and he’s basically the opposite of Wren. Where she’s the perfect soldier and very serious, he’s happy and doesn’t want to hurt a fly. In fact, even eating meat makes him sort of uncomfortable. I liked Callum consistently, but I loved Wren the bitchy reboot from the beginning of the book most of all.

And the Romance?
Here’s the caveat. I just was not really feeling their romance. For me, it would have been more compelling if she hadn’t been so interested in him right out of the gate. She’s all like “omg, he’s not afraid of me,” and gets interested in him so quickly, which was necessary for the plot, but didn’t really seem like Wren as established. Also, she goes from no emotions to ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. It just felt really sudden. She’s this hardcore badass until she gets to know Callum and then she’s blushing, gasping, and jumping at people’s touches. Yes, she does have feelings, and I totally get that, but, from the glimpses showed of her past, I really doubt she’s that demonstrative of a person at the best of times. I just never felt like Wren would be so lovey-dovey, even when she’s in love. Basically, all of the things that happened with the romance made me roll my eyes. However, I do love the dynamics of the relationship, and how she is the strong one and he’s the one who has to be saved. Then again, that would have been more powerful if the role reversal had been continued; she can love him and still be a cool, stern badass most of the time. When it came to the gushy stuff, she was all melty and blushing, and he was cocky and in control. I would have liked to see her more dominant and consistently-characterized all around. Oh, I will say, though, that Wren does continue to want to kill the humans, so that was good at least.

Am I Going to Continue with the Series?
Though the plot sort of let me unenthused, I do plan to continue. It’s not that I thought the plot of trying to get away from the evil corporation was bad, but it’s been done a lot, and it’s not my preferred story arc for something like this. Still, I’m engaged enough with the characters and story to want to know what happens next.

How was the Narration?
For the most part, Hvam does an awesome job with Reboot. She keeps her voice pretty measured and it really fits with Wren. Hvam’s voice is girlish enough to fit with Wren’s sort of outward appearance of sweetness but full of mettle too. She does a nice job differentiating the characters, even though she does not go all out with the voices. The one thing I did not like is that, with audio, dialog tags really stand out. This book has “I said” and “he said” all over the place, and Hvam really emphasized them, and I groaned every time it happened again.

Sum It Up with a GIF:

19 responses to “Review: Reboot”

  1. Faye M. says:

    Awesome review, Christina. I think we only agree on a few things here — the romance and Wren’s having no emotions into someone feeling all over the place. Haha. But glad you had a more pleasant experience than I did!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

  2. Glad you enjoyed it more than I did! I wasn’t a big fan of Wren and Callum’s relationship, it didn’t seem executed well enough for me to get invested in their romance. It was very hard to believe Wren could be so lovey-dovey because like you, I really liked badass Wren in the beginning so the transition was so weird to me. So I do agree with you that it would have been better if Wren was still more dominant. Great review!

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, I agree on the romance. It was a lot of the unfortunateness. I rolled my eyes any time they did anything together basically. You know, I think, with audio, it’s either a 3 or I generally DNF. They’re pleasant to listen to. For the first few chapters, this was looking like a potential 4, but nope.

  3. GillyB says:

    Yeah, I felt the same way about Wren’s emotions. They came on too quickly. I wanted her colder! She was much more fun and even funny when she was like, “What is emotions? What are a feeling?” Even though I liked the idea of her relationship with Callum, and even liked Callum. The plot’s pretty awesome, though I’ve got some world-building niggles (how do they KNOW how long the Reboots have been dead? Do all humans wear timers? Why Texas? What the heck IS HARC anyway?)

    I also felt the ending, the big climactic showdown, was rushed. It was so short. OH MY GOD I’M IN DANGER whoops no I’m not it’s done. Wren should have had more of a chance to be awesome at the end.

    Like you, though, I’ll stick with the series.

    • Christina says:

      Yes, the ending. I totally thought it was going to cut off right before they attacked the compound, because I was listening and there was one chapter left and they were still dicking around and I was like OMG Y’ALL GET MOVING.

      Those are all good questions.

  4. Amy says:

    I was back and forth with this book too. I actually thought I had it from Edelweiss, but apparently I had passed on it. Then I almost got the audio, but I didn’t want to rush to fit it in.

  5. Megan K. says:

    Reboot was a serious disappointment for me. I felt that the romance and Wren and Callum’s relationship escalated too quickly for me to be able to feel anything either – and that sucks, because the romance takes up most of the book. I expected a high-stakes thriller, but all I got was a robot falling in love with the human-robot. Eh.

    • Christina says:

      Thankfully, my expectations were pretty low since I’d seen some seriously ranty reviews. All in all, it was okay, but not a great book. Less romance would have been a boon. Or better romance. Or both.

  6. Kat Balcombe says:

    Damn you cliched romance, damn you *shakes fist*

    Although I love the fact that Wren starts as a ruthless killer – that’s quite unusual.

    I hate the He Said, She Said, but I’m in the middle of a book that seems to think it’s necessary to repeat names at the end of every line of dialogue (e.g., ‘Hello’ David said, ‘Hi there’, Lucy said, ‘wanna dance’ David said) over and over and over. Yeah, I’m kinda frustrated by it LOL.

    Anyway, back to Reboot, this is on my maybe list, I’ll still read it, but as with all dystopians lately, expectations are lowwww.

  7. Molli Moran says:

    Pretty much! I reviewed this one today, and I meant to edit my review a bit because there were some things I didn’t address as much as I wanted to, but you did a great, fair job of talking about the issues and the good with Reboot. I will continue the series, too, but it will be with lowered expectations than I went into Reboot with. *sigh*

  8. God, this sounds all over the place. I had no idea what it was about, and I hadn’t read any reviews before yours. But the idea of zombie-soldiers mixed with corporate conspiracy is kind of… weird. I won a copy of this recently, so I’ll probably read it soon. But I’m a little wary, because I’m not a fan of awkward romances taking over the plot.

  9. KM says:

    We almost read this one for book club! But I tipped the vote for Gayle Forman. lol

    I was on the fence about this one, because I’ve been in such a non-sci-fi-mood lately. “…the idea of zombie-soldiers mixed with corporate conspiracy is kind of…weird” – totally agree with Bekka. I’m still a little unsure. lol

  10. Audra says:

    Iiiiiiiiiiiinteresting. I love the cover, and the premise is kind of fun — I might grab this for a friend who loves dystopians.

  11. Bonnie R says:

    The romance totally ruined this story for me because I loved Wren at first… but then the dam broke on her emotions and they lost me. I loved the concept, it was super interesting, definitely a different type of zombie. I was left with several questions on the world-building but overall it was fun, just wish the romance wasn’t so…the way it was.

  12. I liked the first part of the book with Killing Machine Wren best, too–she is so unapologetic and matter of fact about who she is, and it’s refreshing to have a girl antihero, you know? I agree with you re: the romance, though–I liked him, but I’m not sure there was compelling enough reason for her to notice him or be so drawn to him. And yeah, there are plenty of unanswered questions, but I’m hoping they’ll be addressed down the road.

    Still, I quite liked this one, though. I’m glad to hear you’re going to be continuing, too.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  13. Lyn Kaye says:

    I bought this one a while back and I am curious as well!

  14. Bookworm1858 says:

    A lot of people didn’t like the romance but it really worked for me, falling into some of my favorite tropes.

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