The Reboot Duology
by Amy Tintera
Reboot (5 stars) was one of the best YA books I’ve ever read. And not necessarily because it was flawless, but because the elements that worked well really stole the show.
It starts out with a great concept – humans who are “rebooted” after dying (from a virus) and given a number to indicate how long they were dead. The bigger the number, the less humanity the individual retains. Wren is a 178 and every bit the cold, calculating soldier she supposed to be (or so it would seem). She never questions authority and always does what she was supposed to do. Then in walks my favorite dynamic of the story – Callum, a 22 who is relatable and endearingly human, challenging everything about Wren’s paradigm. The interplay between the two is easily the magic of the series, especially at the beginning were they’re still learning how to relate to one another. I loved every moment.
Tintera is a good writer who builds characters and relationships really well and writes with great pacing and clarity. But her work does have a couple of issues – world building and accuracy among the most prominent. It was mostly just a few little things here and there that made me pause and think “Hmmm… I’m not so sure that’s consistent with the laws of physics.” Or something to that effect, but I would always decide to just roll with it. For the most part, I was enjoying all of the things she did brilliantly enough that the shortcomings didn’t bother me.
Rebel, the second book in the duology, maintained momentum from the first but I admit it lost a little of the magic that made Reboot so amazing. That said, I’d still give it a solid 3 stars (I liked it) rating and appreciated as a series-ender.
Overall, this duology is great for dystopian/post-apocalyptic fans, and I’d even hand it to someone who likes zombie stories (even though it doesn’t dive very deep into that genre). If you still have a Hunger Games hangover, this might be the book for you.
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