Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

The process varies. Some Reboot after 50 minutes. Some Reboot after 120 minutes. The Reboot process begins once death has seized you. The longer you are dead, the less emotional, the faster and more powerful you are.

Wren came back after being shot in the chest three times. She is the best Reboot because she was dead for 178 minutes.

Reboot


I really liked this book for the first couple of pages. Then I got confused. Then frustrated. And outright angry.

It’s always good when a book elicits an emotional response from a reader but I don’t think this is what the author wanted me to feel.

The protagonist Wren is supposed to be the best of the best. She’s been dead the longest, therefore she should be the least human. So, can someone explain to me how she fell in love with Callum in less than a week? First love is impactful but if she’s been trained by HARC for a few years now, her human emotions should nearly be obliterated. Hasn’t she been trained to be a ruthless killing machine? Isn’t she supposed to be the best trainer (i.e. breaking people’s arms to teach them a lesson)? In a book where there is a huge emphasis on how unfeeling the Reboots are, Wren’s sudden emotional change just isn’t believable. Her constant blushing at every little action Callum makes also grated on my nerves. She started to feel less like a Reboot and more like a giddy high school girl.

Wren was also extremely inconsistent. If meeting Callum was supposed to reopen her human emotions, like love, it apparently neglected to reopen compassion. At one point, Wren admits that there was an alternative to killing, but she merely acknowledges it then ignores it and goes about shooting up people once more. It’s like she can turn on her humanity when she’s with Callum then turn it off when it’s not him.

It’s not just the romance with Callum that made her inconsistent. Being Rebooted seemed to heighten her emotions instead of destroyed them. She felt fear when she saw Ever turn into a bloodthirsty creature. She worried for Ever. She felt sadness when she couldn’t save Ever. I understand that Ever was the closest thing she had to a friend, but again, it is as if HARC’s training had no effect on her.

Callum was annoying mostly because of the puppy-like interactions he had with Wren: he sought praise and approval from her. As if she was his master and not someone he had fallen in love with. He was a weak character in his contribution to the story. He practically faded to the background because of the lack of character development he exhibited. By the end of the book, he’s still the same character that he was before: naïve, optimistic and obsessed with Wren.


Reboot centers around what makes up humanity. Emotions. Love. Did this book do it in an emotionally satisfying and unique way? Not for me. The characters hindered my enjoyment of the book and made the flow of the story stumble. The love that Wren and Callum had felt like something that ‘had to happen because…duh’ and not ‘I’m more human when I let myself love’.

 

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