Series: Reboot # 1
Published by HarperTeen on May 7, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
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.
Wren, known as 178 in reference to the number of minutes she was dead before coming back to life, is a legend among both her fellow Reboots and the humans who imprison her. Her 178 minutes surpass her fellow Reboots, and she is tougher, stronger, and more fearless as a result. She engenders a certain level of respect from humans and has never given them any reason to mistrust or doubt her…yet. Referring to the Reboots by their numbers, not their names, emphasizes the fact that they are not human. They are mere instruments of murder in this dystopian society where humans value them for their services but are perfectly willing to kill the Reboots when they’ve outlived their usefulness.
The Reboots have an interesting little society with a pecking order based on their numbers. The highest, like Wren, have a bit more freedom than the others. The lowest are usually just biding their time until they are permanently killed. There are cliques just like with any other group of (living) teenagers. The lower-numbered ones enjoy a bit of emotion and social interaction, while Wren and her ilk have nearly forgotten how to express any emotion.
The action is incredible: non-stop and intense. There is also a lot of violence in Reboot, and little Wren is a killing machine. If you’ve got a weak stomach, you might not like reading about the horrible injuries Reboots inflict upon each other in the name of training. I’m a bit of a sicko, so I don’t mind reading about – COVER YOUR EYES, SCAREDY CATS – broken bones sticking out of skin, and the injured forced to push them back into place. .
Reboot asks us to examine what it means to be human. Wren and Callum show us that love and tolerance are key ingredients. Callum sparks emotions in Wren that she’d suppressed for years. His still-lingering humanity helps Wren to get her own back, and while her transition seemed somewhat abrupt at times, I couldn’t help falling in love with Wren and Callum. And guess what, peeps, the movie rights for Reboot have been sold!
Note – I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review.