Reboot, Book 1
Author: Amy Tintera
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Duration: 8 hrs, 42 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Source: Publisher for review
Description from Goodreads:
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—Callum Reyes—is the worst she's ever seen. As a 22, Callum is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he's always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet he's still her newbie. 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 that 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.
Why Did I Read This Book?
As I mentioned, curiosity. Sometimes, I'm more tempted to read books that get 1 star ratings from some and 4 from others than those that get a consistent 3 stars. I just have to know for myself what book has generated such disparate responses. Seriously, I was reading reviews and adding, removing, adding, removing, adding this book on Goodreads. It was ridiculous. The audio seemed like a good choice, because action books from first perspective often translate pretty well.
What's the Story Here?
In a post-apocalyptic world where all that remains of the US is Texas, a dystopian government has arisen in the form of HARC, a corporation that controls all of the things. Freaking corporations. Currently, if I had to guess a company that would become the dystopian overlord of us all, I would say Amazon, but maybe that's just because they keep buying up the book world. *side-eyes* As with so many dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, there's a disease, which causes people to reboot. Basically, they're zombies, only they're hot (like vampires, they're themselves but with perfect skin and hair and bright eyes) and super strong and don't eat people. The reboots are known by their numbers, which are how long they were dead before they rose, with the larger numbers being the strongest and least human. Wren is 178, and she does everything by the book until a 22 disrupts her regimented life.
How are the Characters?
Okay, so I really liked the first part where Wren was all queen of the reboots and stuff. Unlike some ya assassins, Wren really does kill people and she even does so in front of the reader. On top of that, she likes killing, and doesn't even feel guilty about it. People are worthless to her, and she'd rather kill a human than look at it. Callum, the 22, is the only other well-developed character, and he's basically the opposite of Wren. Where she's the perfect soldier and very serious, he's happy and doesn't want to hurt a fly. In fact, even eating meat makes him sort of uncomfortable. I liked Callum consistently, but I loved Wren the bitchy reboot from the beginning of the book most of all.
And the Romance?
Here's the caveat. I just was not really feeling their romance. For me, it would have been more compelling if she hadn't been so interested in him right out of the gate. She's all like "omg, he's not afraid of me," and gets interested in him so quickly, which was necessary for the plot, but didn't really seem like Wren as established. Also, she goes from no emotions to ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. It just felt really sudden. She's this hardcore badass until she gets to know Callum and then she's blushing, gasping, and jumping at people's touches. Yes, she does have feelings, and I totally get that, but, from the glimpses showed of her past, I really doubt she's that demonstrative of a person at the best of times. I just never felt like Wren would be so lovey-dovey, even when she's in love. Basically, all of the things that happened with the romance made me roll my eyes. However, I do love the dynamics of the relationship, and how she is the strong one and he's the one who has to be saved. Then again, that would have been more powerful if the role reversal had been continued; she can love him and still be a cool, stern badass most of the time. When it came to the gushy stuff, she was all melty and blushing, and he was cocky and in control. I would have liked to see her more dominant and consistently-characterized all around. Oh, I will say, though, that Wren does continue to want to kill the humans, so that was good at least.
Am I Going to Continue with the Series?
Though the plot sort of let me unenthused, I do plan to continue. It's not that I thought the plot of trying to get away from the evil corporation was bad, but it's been done a lot, and it's not my preferred story arc for something like this. Still, I'm engaged enough with the characters and story to want to know what happens next.
How was the Narration?
For the most part, Hvam does an awesome job with Reboot. She keeps her voice pretty measured and it really fits with Wren. Hvam's voice is girlish enough to fit with Wren's sort of outward appearance of sweetness but full of mettle too. She does a nice job differentiating the characters, even though she does not go all out with the voices. The one thing I did not like is that, with audio, dialog tags really stand out. This book has "I said" and "he said" all over the place, and Hvam really emphasized them, and I groaned every time it happened again.
Sum It Up with a GIF: