Reboot: review

May 8, 2013 2013, 3 star books, sci fi or futuristic, tonya, undead 68 ★★★

Reboot: reviewReboot by Amy Tintera
Published by Harper Collins on May 7, 2013
Genres: science fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonIndieboundBarnes & NobleGoodreads
In this fast-paced dystopian thrill ride, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesLegend, and Divergent, a seventeen-year-old girl returns from death as a Reboot and is trained as an elite crime-fighting soldier . . . until she is given an order she refuses to obey.

Wren Connolly died five years ago, only to Reboot after 178 minutes. Now she is one of the deadliest Reboots around . . . unlike her newest trainee, Callum 22, who is practically still human. As Wren tries to teach Callum how to be a soldier, his hopeful smile works its way past her defenses. Unfortunately, Callum’s big heart also makes him a liability, and Wren is ordered to eliminate him. To save Callum, Wren will have to risk it all.

Wren’s captivating voice and unlikely romance with Callum will keep readers glued to the page in Amy Tintera’s high-stakes alternate reality.
As most of you probably know, Wendy is our resident zombie / horror lover, while I’m more likely to be found cowering under the blankets because I saw thirty seconds of a horror movie trailer. Three hours ago.

So when I read the summary for Reboot by Amy Tintera, I thought, “sentient zombies? I can totally handle that.”

And I was half right. It wasn’t scary at all, but I don’t think my initial assessment was all that accurate. Reboots aren’t zombie-like in the least. Well. At least, not normally.

When the KDH virus swept through the population, people began dropping like flies. Except… they didn’t stay dead. Their bodies rebooted (heh, get it?) after death, coming back stronger, faster, healthier–a more perfect version of their previous selves. And, naturally, the government used this to their advantage, rounding up all the Reboots and training them to be super soldiers, keeping the peace and the boundary lines, to keep the virus from infecting the larger population.

Wren is the strongest Reboot in her facility, having been dead a whopping 178 minutes before rebooting. Though she’s the smallest, she’s faster, stronger, and more ruthless than any of the others. And colder, too. Being dead so long means she feels less. Or so she thinks, until she is given a new recruit to train–Callum, a lowly 22, who has no skill and even less taste for the violence that is now his job, and the only reason he’s allowed to live.

When Callum’s life is threatened, Wren must choose between the safety of the only life she can remember, and the possibility of a better life beyond the walls of the HARC facility.

(Taking a page from Wendy’s review style book…)

What I liked:

It was a fun, fast-paced read. I liked that the smallest girl was the strongest, and the most respected–if feared. I liked that Wren was decisive and assertive, but still soft and vulnerable enough to feel human and relatable. The new twist on the post-apocalyptic genre was great, and the foreshadowing of greater zombie-esque things to come definitely has me intrigued.

Also, that cover is fricking fantastic.

Things I Wished Were Better:

I wished for more set up, and less romance in this one. (This is very out of character for me, heh.) While I liked Callum, his quippy personality quickly became over the top and out of place, and his constant fumbling was very annoying. In some scenes, it felt as though his only purpose was to show how strong and capable Wren was in comparison.

I never entirely understood his and Wren’s attraction to one another. It came out of nowhere, and they seemed to act on it in the oddest of moments. Perhaps immediately following a firefight, and while still recovering from third degree burns isn’t the best time for a make out, eh kids? Ah, hormones…

All in all, a good start to what I hope is a very interesting series.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher. This review also appears on GoodReads.

Get a second opinion: Wendy’s review

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68 Responses to “Reboot: review”

  1. Michelle

    This wasn’t even on my radar before, but it sounds really interesting. I’m glad it’s not too scary because I’m a total wuss when it comes to that sort of stuff :) Great review, Tonya!

  2. Lauren @ Love is not a triangle

    Wren sounds like a pretty kickass heroine. I like that she sounds so alien and hardcore. I’m not a fan of scary zombie books, so I’m glad that this one doesn’t go that route. I’m sad that the romance was somewhat disappointing, because I dig a strong romance. I don’t mind insta-attraction, but it sounds like this borders on unbelievable. But I’ve consistently heard good things overall about this one. I want to read it, but will probably wait until more of the series is out to do so.

    • tonya

      I’m definitely in the minority with my opinions about the romance, so you may find you enjoy it more than I do!

  3. KikiD

    I have heard mostly positive reviews on this. The romance sounds the biggest problem( like most ya books, it seems). But the concept of it sounds fun to read about! Plus, it feels like I haven’t read a real good fast-paced book for a long while. I’m glad you (mostly) found it a fun read.

  4. Reina

    hmm debating if I want to read this book. Not sure if I will since it seems to fall into the mediocre category of YA books. And actually I’m not too fond of the cover.

    • tonya

      Well, if it’s my review swaying you, read Wendy’s for another opinion (linked at the bottom of the post). She enjoyed Reboot much more than I did, and I’m in the vast minority with my opinion. You may find you love it!

  5. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    I used to love horror as a teen but it’s funny that since I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more scared of that stuff. lol Moreso the movies because I do love a good horror novel, as long as it isn’t too much. I was a little put off of this one at first because I don’t really like zombies, but since they sound less zombieish, I think I can handle it. And you are the 2nd person I’ve seen say they wish there was less romance. That actually makes me even more curious. lol I’ll definitely be checking this one out. :)

    • tonya

      I’m the same way! As a kid I read Dean Koontz and Stephen King, and Christopher Pike almost exclusively, and now I dive for the covers if I even see a horror movie trailer. I don’t know what happened to me.

  6. Sunny Duvall

    I heard from another blogger that they surprisingly wished there was less romance too! I understand about that and whenever I feel that way, it shocks me :) Hormones. Awesome, haha. I wish they wouldn’t have it come from nowhere. Love the cover too and the review!

    • tonya

      I was definitely surprised when I found myself sighing at the love scenes. DEFINITELY not the usual case for me, haha.

  7. sadcat

    I have not heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting!! I might give it a try :-)

  8. Kritika

    I’d never heard of this book before this blog post, but I might give it a try. The way you described Wren as the smallest but the most feared/the strongest has me intrigued. The cover IS fantastic!

  9. jennie

    This idea of the undead is rather interesting, and I’d almost read the book just for the amazing cover.

    • tonya

      Right? That cover is amazing. I’m so glad it doesn’t have a girl’s face and/or prom dress plastered on it. it is the perfect cover for the book.

  10. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    I loved this book and I am NOT a fan of the undead in any way, shape or form. Count me among those who liked the dynamic between Callum and Wren. I did not see their relationship as insta-love — she feels sorry for him, then sort of protective of him, and then, slowly, she lets him get closer.

    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • tonya

      I didn’t really see it as Instalove either, more that I just didn’t really understand why either of them liked each other–and that liking happened awfully fast for Callum, when Wren was so cold in the beginning.

      More, it was just the dynamic between them (and his personality especially) that didn’t work for me. It just never felt like it meshed with the setting. I’d love to see characters like this in a world with lower stakes.

  11. Molli Moran

    Totally agreed, Tonya! I kept side-eyeing Wren and Callum like, “really guys? You’re stopping NOW to kiss?!” *shakes head*

    I also wasn’t a fan of the world-building, or lack-thereof at times. I wished for a little more from this one, but I guess I DID like it, some.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    • tonya

      I feel exactly the same. I *think* I liked it despite the issues I had with it, but maybe it’s just the concept I like so much. Either way, I’ll give book two another shot to wow me.

    • tonya

      HAHAHHAA. Oh man. That never even occurred to me. The Reboots DO become more attractive after they reanimate. Hmmm… ;)

  12. Pabkins

    By came out of nowehere do you mean insta love? I can totally hear you about sometimes not understanding why characters fall in love

    • tonya

      No, I don’t think it really falls into the category of instalove. Maybe insta-attraction. Callum latched onto Wren from the second he saw her, even though she was unresponsive and cold. It just didn’t jibe for me.

  13. Charlie

    As someone who’s not a big fan of zombies, this one appeals to since it’s not really that zomebie-ish. It actually sounds pretty cool. Good to have a badass heroine, too.

    Great review, Tonya!

    Charlie @ Letter Trails

    • tonya

      I agree! It’s a good compromise for those of us interested in the concept of zombies, but not really strong enough to deal with the horror show that comes along with them.

      Wren is extremely badass. I hope you enjoy!

  14. Janita @ Book, Interrupted

    Still excited to read this :) I like how in this case, the girl is the strong badass one, even if she’s short (like me!) and the guy is the helpess damsel. Very refreshing!

  15. Janita @ Book, Interrupted

    Still excited to read this :) I like how in this case, the girl is the strong badass one, even if she’s short (like me!) and the guy is the helpess damsel. Very refreshing!

    • tonya

      I actually loved that Wren was so short. It was very relatable to me. ;)

      Short girl high* five!

      *in this case, high is relative.

    • tonya

      I hope you read Wendy’s review linked at the bottom of my review as a counterbalance to mine. She enjoyed Reboot much more than I did, and I seem to be in the minority with my opinion about the romance. You may find you like it much more than you expect!

  16. K.

    Great review, Tonya. I’m not a fan of zombie books myself so this version probably suits me. But then again the concerns you have are huge pet peeves of mine…

    • tonya

      Thanks, K! I think I may be in the minority with my opinion (and for the record, I’m not much into zombies, either), so perhaps it’s worth a try? It is a very interesting concept, and I’m probably on board for book two.

  17. Sam

    Oh brilliant review, Tonya! You and I felt similarly about this one. I liked the romance to begin with (even though I did think it was a little fast-paced), but I do agree that the book could have benefited from less of it.

    • tonya

      Thanks, Sam! I’m glad someone else sees my point, I was feeling like the lone wolf over here. ;) I thought Wren and Callum were very cute, but their dynamic didn’t really jive with the setting for me. I’d have loved to read this kind of romance in a contemporary, or something with less stakes.

  18. Jasprit

    Hah I totally forgot the first time that Wren and Callum decided to have a make out session. I enjoyed Reboot immensely too, but would have preferred less detail on the romance. But I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series will have to offer. Wonderful review Tonya!

    • tonya

      Thanks! Despite my feelings about the romance, I really did enjoy the concept. I’m definitely looking forward to what happens next.

  19. Kim (YA Asylum)

    It always bothers me a lot of when the attraction between the two characters doesn’t make sense. Instalove — ugh. But the concept still seems interesting. The reviews have been mixed on this one, which always kind of makes me want to read it more.

    • tonya

      I agree! I love a mixed bag. Too many fawning reviews and I shy away from the hype, too few and I feel like it isn’t worth my time. I’m very fickle. ;)

      I don’t think Reboot is entirely guilty of Instalove, I just didn’t particularly understand the attraction once it occurred, heh.

  20. ang

    I’m really interested in this idea of sentient zombies, but I wonder if – as someone who is a bit of a purist about them – I could handle it. As an example, I found the ending of Warm Bodies to be entirely too fluffy, but I loved the ideas in the book so, as a general rule, I liked it. I fear that may be the case here.

    That said?

    I’m totally intrigued. ;)

    • tonya

      Well, I think Wendy is in the same boat with you (and for the record I felt the same way about Warm Bodies, even as a Zombie virgin), but I think my assumption of sentient zombies is a little off. They aren’t zombie like at all, except for the fact they die, and come back to life.

      I think you may be surprised with how much you like the concept (which I think is really cool), but I’ll be interested in your thoughts on that rest of it. ;)

  21. Gina @ My Precious

    Great review. You bring out a lot of good points, I too felt like I could have enjoyed a little less romance and a lot more set up. Despite feeling this way I do feel like this book did set a fairly strong foundation for a great new series. I personally liked the underdog mentality of Callum #22 and wanted to really root for him to not only to succeed, but also to persevere.

    • tonya

      It did set a great foundation, and I’m looking forward to the second in the series. I liked Callum, and I definitely rooted for him throughout the book, but I guess I just wanted him to be serious FOR ONCE, you know? Haha.

  22. Alexa Y.

    I’m actually pretty excited about this book! It really has a unique element in the idea of a Reboot actually existing, and I’m itching to get to know Wren.

    • tonya

      It is a really cool twist on the zombie lore, and combines a couple different genres. I think you’ll probably really enjoy it!

  23. tonya

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t read This Lullaby, is that by Sarah Dessen? I think I would enjoy that kind of romantic dynamic more in a contemporary YA setting, where the stakes are less life/death.

  24. Bookworm1858

    See I really loved the romance for this one-Jen Ryland/YA Romantics compared it to Remy/Dexter in This Lullaby (one of my favorite books!) and I think that is so true.

  25. Airship Librarian

    Ahhh, the universe is giving me a sign! This is the third blog that I follow to review this book in the last two days. I think I need to read it.

    I’ll probably agree with you about the romance, because I tend to prefer less romance in books. But still, the premise looks interesting and I really want to read it now. Besides, there was a sign! Two or three witnesses…

    • tonya

      All signs point to: you heading to your preferred retailer for a new, fun read. Don’t let the universe down!

  26. Keertana

    I’ve seen mostly positive reviews for this, but with amazing zombie novels like The 5th Wave out, I think I’ll be skipping this one. Not to mention I’m totally the type to hide under my covers after horror movie trailers too! ;)

    • tonya

      I can’t wait to read The 5th Wave. Did you see Wendy raving about it? I’ve been dying for it since I read the preview a few weeks ago.

      I hope once you’re done with 5th Wave, you might come back to Reboot. I seem to be in the minority with my lackluster review, so don’t let me sway you! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Hey Keertana–just a quick note that The 5th Wave has aliens, not zombies! A lot of people seem to think there are zombies, I’m not sure why.

    • K.

      Ugh, I just wrote zombie in my comment. And then I read this. Fine, aliens!

    • tonya

      I’m glad you enjoyed this one! It was definitely a fun read for me, but I hope for more world building in the sequel.

  27. Nicole Mainardi

    I have a review copy of this book too and it sounds really interesting. But yeah I always think it’s funny when the main character and the love interest are recovering from intense pain and that’s when they decide to make out lol. Like you said, hormones. Great review! :)

    • tonya

      Thanks, Nicole! I am always for a swoony make out, but sometimes the timing makes me giggle.

  28. Wendy Darling

    I really liked this one. :)

    I agree with you about the romance, though. I liked the dynamic between Callum and Wren, and how it sort of reverses traditional gender roles, but I did think her attraction to him was pretty quick and wasn’t entirely explained. And it’s true that if you start dissecting it, there are probably some elements that could have used a bit more bulk. But it worked overall for me because I liked the characterizations and enjoyed the read! Will be so interesting to see how people respond to it.

    And yeah, that cover is awesome.

    • tonya

      I’m so glad you linked to your review! I didn’t think you had one up, or I would have done it as well.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, we actually try to do that whenever the three of us have other reviews posted elsewhere, but it’s been awhile since we’ve read overlapping books on the day the official review is posted for the blog!

      And hah, I like how I’m the resident zombie lover. :P

  29. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Totally agree about the romance. While I liked Callum, I just didn’t see the love connection there. Really interesting world!

    • tonya

      It was, so interesting! I just wish more time had been spent beefing up the world building, rather than on the romance.

  30. starryeyedjen

    I was a bit iffy about picking this one up. I thought it was more sci-fi and less zombie. Sounds like I was right, but not in the way that I expected. Still, so many have enjoyed this book, so I’ll still probably give it a try. I just like my zombies a little more tattered and more “Braaaaaiiinnnnsss!” And less conscious of what they’re doing. We’ll see, though. :)

    • tonya

      I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the direction it heads in, in that case. Signs definitely point to the more traditional zombie lore coming into play.