Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Reboot (Reboot, #1)


Reboot (Reboot, #1)Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot, #1
Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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.

Long live Amy Tintera! That was the thought that was going through my head as I was reading the last few sentences of her debut. While by no means perfect, Reboot is an absolute delight. Why? There are several reasons, really, the most important (in my opinion) being that it brings a breath of originality into an oversaturated genre.

The idea of Reboots’ value being measured by the number of minutes it took them to revive was truly fascinating. The longer they’re dead, the less emotional they become afterwards, and when you’re a soldier, less emotions means less danger of breaking. Wren is a legend among Reboots because it took her 178 minutes to revive. Other Reboots and especially humans see her as a machine. When Callum shows up, he is her exact opposite, physically weak and emotional after being only 22 minutes dead. Most of his humanity is preserved. Somehow, he gets under her skin and when the time comes to eliminate him, Wren can’t let that happen.

The worldbuilding is quite possibly what Tintera does best. A part of it seems to be inspired by favelas, and the author makes it very easy to visualize. The amount of mistrust between humans and reboots is suffocating, and combined with the poverty and fear of disease, it’s almost overwhelming.

It’s true that once you take the time to process it, Reboot loses some of its shine, but not nearly enough to make that initial delight fade completely. The complete emotional shutdown Wren experienced when she rebooted could have been used better. She got over it too quickly when she met Callum, and since it was supposed to be a consequence of being dead for so long (in other words, brain damage), it seemed a bit unrealistic that a cute boy would cure her in a matter of days.

If worldbuilding was this books strong point, the romance was its weakness. The change in Wren happened far too quickly and their connection smelled too strongly of instalove. In the first few chapters, she was portrayed as someone who feels absolutely nothing: no fear, no remorse, no pain, and certainly no love. But it took no more than two smiles from Callum to completely change her behavior. It’s true that some of her coldness remained, but the change was still too pronounced.

Nevertheless, Reboot is a debut worthy of the hype. The pacing is excellent – Tintera doesn’t allow her readers to get bored even for a second. This story has so much potential and I think I have every reason to be optimistic about the second installment.



29 comments:

  1. I really like the sound of this! I could probable excuse the romance for great world building. Great review, Maja, I will have to go look this one up myself! :)

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  2. Hooray hooray! I'm so happy to see that you enjoyed this. The premise is what originally drew me into requesting this egalley. It seriously sounds amazing! I'm glad Tintera was able to pull of the world building really well. However, Wren's change in character makes me wary. Her supposed robotic-like nature fades so quickly? Hmm, now I know to have my mind ready for possible character and romance disappointment. Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Maja! :)

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  3. I have to laugh and sigh and roll my eyes when all it takes is a boy's smile and the heroine is in love!

    But, I really do like the idea of how they slowly become less human and I have added this to my list!

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  4. Sounds very intriging, at least premise wise and maybe even worth getting through the insta-love bit!

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  5. I love the blurb and your review, Maja! What a wonderful premise, I want this one ASAP, 7th May feels like an age to wait :D

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  6. This one was SO DIFFERENT! Very creepy, how they used the Reboots as sort of bloodhounds to track and kill people. I completely agree about the worldbuilding! *shudder* And, even though I wasn't a huge fan of the romance, it didn't distract me from the story too much (yeah, a bit insta-lovey, though. *sigh*).

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  7. I couldn't agree with you more on this review, I think mine goes up next week! I absolutely LOVED this read. It was just...I don't, fun to read!
    Well thought out review!!

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  8. Well, Maja, this sounds like a really good book. I love books that take new aspects of the genre and add new stuff, too. This seems like it did just that. I love the idea of the Reboots and their emotions blank.I am definitely going to read this!
    GREAT review, as always
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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  9. YEAH! I was so hoping you would enjoy this one Maja, I absolutely adored it. The change in Wren, while I agree happened quickly given her previous emotionless status, didn't bother me. I liked that she warmed up to him, it gave me something to latch on to with her so I could get involved in the story. Plus, I'm just a sucker for romance dammit. I can't help it! I cannot wait for more of this world. Gorgeous review my friend!

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  10. Loved the world building and originality as well, def agree it brings something new to the table, and while not perfect, a great debut and read.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  11. The romance was a huge problem for me and pretty much overshadowed anything that I could have liked in this book, which sucks, since I was really looking forward to this one. Lovely review, Maja. :)

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  12. Finally! It seems like I might enjoy a HT review title. They have all been very iffy lately.
    I like the sound of the world building and the originality. But, I'll agree that I'm not at all liking the sound of the romance. I'm hoping that doesn't make me enjoy the book less.
    Anyways, fabulous review, Maja! :)

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  13. Wow, a debut worth of the hype? Excellent world building? SOLD. I've been disregarding this book since the cover never appealed to me and I wasn't ready to put myself in the line of fire for another dystopian, but I'm really looking forward to checking this out now, despite the minor flaws. Fantastic review, Maja! :D

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  14. I was thinking this book sounded really good until I got to the part about the romance. Insta love grrr, I can't stand it. So, I'm undecided on this one again. Lovely review hun :)

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  15. Oh this sounds good. I don't like insta-love, but I can deal if the rest is good. Love the way this sounds and am so curious about the robot/human aspect. I have been wanting a good sci-fi. Might have to check this one out. Great review and thanks for putting this one on my radar!

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  16. The romance doesn't bother me as long as the world building and story are solid. So happy to hear this pans out. I am in a bit of a rut and I have this for review. I want to read it sooner than later!

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  17. Yay! Reboot is one of my more anticipated debuts this year, and I'm glad to read that it has your stamp of approval, Maja! The insta-love may end up bothering me, but, like you, I'm hoping that I can look past that to appreciate the world-building and truly inventive concepts that Tintera has given her first book. Lovely review! I cannot wait to read this!

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  18. You have me much more excited to read this one now! I have a copy of it but wasn't really feeling the urge to pick it up. Now I will happily give it a go! (You know, when I can fit it in ;)
    Wonderful review!

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  19. Well crap! You wouldn't believe how many times my mouse hovered over the download button for this. I ended up not getting it, though. Now I wouldn't have time to fit it in. Guess I made the wrong choice. AGAIN.

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  20. You got to be kidding me! I've got this book as well but after reading some really negative reviews I gave up on it! Shame. Now I don't have time to read it. Maybe I'll one day cause from your review it sounds really great! :)

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  21. The romance actually worked for me, though I do agree that Wren's change was a little rapid. I thought Callum was adorable though. I didn't take much to convince me after he was introduced. ;) This book started off better than it ended for me - I lost some interest towards the middle and second half, though the ending has me eager to pick up the next book. Lovely review, Maja!

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  22. I have to say that premise sounded so familiar I was going to pass but your review changed my mind.

    It also sounds like a book I might read for fun rather than review. Sometimes dissecting it ruins the reading experience.

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  23. Ooh, bummer about the quite too fast change in Wren and with the romance! But I'm glad the world building makes up for it. The premise sounds very interesting and intriguing and since you enjoyed it I'm definitely looking forward to it no! Brilliant review, Maja! :)

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  24. This is just sitting on my kindle but if the pace is good I'll definitely pick it up ASAP! Great review Maja :)

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  25. I've seen a couple of negative reviews for this, but I trust your opinion, Maja. This sounds like an original concept, and an action packed read. Both are things that I like. Unfortunate about the romance, though. Although, sometimes I don't mind insta-love. Wonderful review. :)

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  26. I really really want to read this book. Overwhelming world building! count me in. Thanks for the cool review.

    -Dannielle

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  27. Glad to hear this one worked for you! The premise is so intriguing, and I'm glad to hear that the world building played through. Disappointed that the strength in this area balances a weakness in the romance though--I wish I could find a book that was all the things! Not rushing out to buy this one, but certainly keeping an eye on the series.

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  28. I saw this one and was worried about the instalove. Will have to think about it.

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  29. I am reading this one right now. I'm completely blown away by the premise and the worldbuilding, and while I have minor issues with the story (and totally agree with you on the romance not being that impressive), I'm pretty sure this is going to be lasting book love when I'm done. :-) Finally, one of my 2013 mega hyped debuts isn't a total disappointment! Amazing review, SO glad to hear you loved it too.

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