Author: Amy Tintera
Release: May 7th 2013
Genre: Dystopia, Zombies, Paranormal, YA
#1 in the Reboot series
Sequel: Rebel (#2)
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.
I absolutely LOVED the premise of this. People dying from a special virus and then "Rebooting" as emotionless, faster, stronger zombies? A very cool, new way to approach the Genre. I had high hopes because this book has a lot of potential, but it suffered the same syndrome as Let The Sky Fall: Great and intriguing story that gets pushed into the background by romance.
First, I'll start with writing. The writing seemed a little hacked off and straight to the point, it didn't really flow that nicely or had a poetic feeling to it. It bothered me sometimes throughout the book, but I think that the way the book is written fits perfectly to the atmosphere, especially since the book is written in 1st person from Wren's POV. And, well, she is supposed to be a cold robot, more or less, and so the idea to write it so blank and detached was very well thought-out, and I guess I have to admit that. (Even though it still bothered me at times, like I said)
Additionally, Amy Tintera built a very believable world. How it came to the whole Rebooting process was explained and, again, well thought-out, why adult Reboots were wrong in the head was also pointed out (or, well, speculated on) and it made the world feel more real. I loved how she set her world up and I think she did really great on that one.
Now, the characters: Wren Connolly, our heroine, was an extreme BAMF. She was totally capable of standing up for herself, verbally as well as physically. I liked her. I loved how indifferent and distant she was, and yet the author managed not to make her seem like a flat, 2D character, which was really impressive. Wren was what a zombie should be, and it made the novel more realistic, because she didn't twist zombies into softies (like someone did with sparkling vampires, e.g.). At first, anyways. I'll come back to that later. Then, we have our male lead, Callum Reyes, and let me just tell you, throughout the whole novel I couldn't help thinking his name sounded like Gollum. And because of that, I just couldn't really take him seriously. Add to that that he didn't behave like a zombie should at all, and he was dead to me (pun intended). I mean, yeah, sure, he was only dead for 22 minutes and so he is basically human and not a zombie — still. It bothered the hell out of me that he was constantly grinning and hitting on the most powerful zombie and not being serious about anything at all. I want ruthless killer zombies, so give me ruthless killer zombies! This boy was not a boy. He was constantly crying and being flung around the gym. I know he's supposed to be weak. But geez, aren't guys supposed to be hurt in their egos when they're being defeated by a short girl all the freaking time? I just had such major issues with him.
We then have two more important fellow female Reboots: One, Wren's kind-of best friend, Ever, which I really liked at first and later grew to dislike as well, and Adina. I loved Adina. She was extremely cool and kick-ass as well, especially seeing as she is such a low number. Seriously, if Callum had even been a little more like Addie, he would have been a way better character. Adina was great where Callum should have been great and wasn't.
And finally, let's move on to the romance aspect. I didn't realize there would be romance in this book when I first picked it up. So when I read the blurb and read something about a "Twenty-two" who was a guy, I already knew: A love interest. How sweet. I really don't have a problem with romance, there were books where I really hoped there would be romance because I really really wanted there to be a couple I can ship. This wasn't one of those books, because I had my doubts. And my fears became reality: The romance was too mushy. Too important. Too fast-paced. Wren was supposed to have basically no human emotions at all. Yet she knows Callum a few days and already she is blushing, feeling flutters in her stomach, laughing and smiling. When before, she hadn't done any of those things for five years. Yes. Okay. Uh-huh. Then, she's losing all her badassery as well because of the stupid guy. There is one scene where they are on an assignment and two of their Reboot friends have already been killed and she just stands around, being useless and whiny about it. Where has the brutal, relentless killer zombie gone that she was before she met Callum? Where? She only ever came back at the end, and only because Callum was in a bad condition. So, again, Callum was her only motivation. It was ridiculous. It wasn't sweet. It wasn't cute. This is not a zombie novel. This is two teenagers pretending to be vicious, undead beasts but really aren't and giggling at how well they think they pull it off.
In conclusion, you can definitely say I was disappointed so much by this, big time. It was even worse than with Let The Sky Fall, let me tell you. I still enjoyed it, though, it was very fast paced, there was action after action and rest was few and far between, so it did keep me entertained. There was a hint of comedy in there that I liked as well and the characters weren't too bad. But still. Just so much wasted potential... I guess I will read the sequel, just because I want to know what happens next. However, this book just really irritates me a lot. Argh.