Sunday, July 14, 2013

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Five years ago Wren died - and woke up 178 minutes later as a Reboot.  As a Reboot Wren has only one choice, to work for the Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation (HARC) - and she is now Wren 178, the most feared Reboot of them all.  Wren is the "oldest" Reboot ever known, she was dead for so long that most people treat her as an inhuman monster, incapable of feeling emotions - in short she is the perfect tool for the HARC as they hunt down undeclared Reboots, the sick, and the rebels who threaten to undermine the HARC.  She is everything the HARC could want in a soldier, and she is content with her life and her place in the world, but the arrival of a new batch of Reboots rocks her world to the core.
As the highest ranked Reboot Wren has her pick of the new recruits, and she has always picked the highest number, the Reboot most likely to succeed in the training.  She excels at training Reboots, her trainees seem to live longer than other trainees, and they are model soldiers.  When Callum arrives it seems as though he will never make it as a Reboot, at 22 he is just too human, too close to the people they are supposed to help control and contain.  When Wren takes him on as her trainee (against her better judgment) it seems as though everything is stacked against them, and when Wren is told to bring Callum in line or terminate him, she begins to realise that all the things she has always believed about Reboots may not be true at all.
Reboot is set in the remains of the state of Texas, a series of settlements that have been ravaged by the KDH virus and the Reboot wars.  Wren is the epitome of a Reboot soldier working for the HARC, she is obedient, strong, and have no pesky emotions to get in the way of enjoying her work.  For the past five years she has trained, hunted, and retrieved her state sanctioned prey, all at the beck and call of the humans that hold her and the other Reboots with contempt, disdain, and fear.  It is a scary thought that our future could hold not only a virus that creates a creature that looks human (with a few subtle differences) but is no longer the person they used to be. 
It is difficult to pinpoint which mythology the Reboots fall under, they almost seem like zombies because of the whole walking dead and no emotions thing, but they are also quite like the vampire mythology because of the need for red meat and because when they go off the rails they crave blood and red meat.  It is safe to say that there is a new kind of mythology here, and in some ways the future world in Reboot reminded me very strongly of the future world we saw in the movie I am legend staring Will Smith.  It is not surprising in the least to know that there is already a movie in the pipeline for Reboot as it reads very much like a movie script - a little too much so for my taste, it always feels a little bit like the author is cheating their readers when something is so blatantly written for the screen.
I did enjoy Reboot, although I did find it a little predictable and there were moments when things seemed a little too easy, but it was a good bit of escapism and that was what I was looking for at the time.  Tintera has great promise for future writing as this was a strongly written debut novel that showed real attention to the little details.  There is just a smidge of romance here, and that may make it a little more appealing to teenage boys - the action is the centre of the story and what keeps the pace moving to the end.  I am not sure if there will be a sequel, it felt like a complete and contained story, but there was also an element of this possibly being the first book in a series - we will all have to wait and see.
If you like this book then try:
  • Enclave by Ann Aguire
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush
  • The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
  • Thyla by Kate Gordon
  • Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • XVI by Julia Karr
Reviewed by Brilla

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