I recently finished reading Reboot by Amy Tintera, and I have to say it’s one of the books on my Debut Author Challenge list that I’ve enjoyed the most so far. The concept of people “rebooting” after they’ve died is unique and stands out in a long list of dystopian novels. Basically, the longer a person stays dead, the less human he or she will be upon rebooting. I won’t give away the explanation for why this happens, but I will say that I found it interesting.
I thought it was clever how the author emphasized her characters’ status by incorporating the length of time it took for them to reboot into their names. This essentially puts the Reboots on a scale of how human they are now. The protagonist is known as the notorious Wren 178, because it took her body one hundred and seventy-eight minutes to come back to life. She holds the record for the longest reboot time, and her supposed lack of emotion, coupled with her training, makes her a ruthless killer for HARC, the organization that uses the Reboots as a sort of special police force. Despite Wren’s reputation as a cold-blooded killer and her detachment, I still found her to be a relatable character. I think it’s the fact that she sees herself as less than human that gives her a certain vulnerability. Plus, the author gave Wren one very specific insecurity that made me sympathize with her.
Of course, the author throws Wren for a loop when she encounters Callum twenty-two, a Reboot who was dead for so short a time he’s practically still human. I loved Callum’s character. His friendly demeanor stands out amongst the other Reboots, and he’s a great contrast for Wren. It’s amusing to see him disarm the famous 178 with nothing more than a simple smile. Wren is normally able to maintain control of any situation, but doesn’t know what to do with Callum. She usually only trains Reboots with a higher number but takes Callum on as a challenge. While Callum isn’t the most adept Reboot, he doesn’t feel like a bumbling idiot, neither does Wren come across as invincible. To her credit, the author didn’t overdo this aspect of the story.
I think one of the biggest strengths of Reboot is Wren’s character development. I’m sure it doesn’t spoil anything to say she begins to discover she’s more human than she thought. When you learn Wren’s backstory, you have to wonder if she’s detached because she’s a Reboot or because of the raw deal life dealt her beforehand. Amy Tintera did a good job of creating that question. The real conflict in the story begins when Wren starts to question her training, and therefore her identity as a Reboot.
Overall, I found the plot of Reboot engaging, and it held my interest through the entire book. I cared what happened to the characters, and for me that’s the key to a good story. There was also a nice balance between the action and the main relationship. And if you’re a fan of books with a dose of romance, you won’t be disappointed. From what I understand, there will be a sequel, but Reboot has a definite ending and could stand on its own. That being said, I would enjoy reading more about these characters and their situation, and I’m looking forward to Amy Tintera’s next book.