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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Reboot

Time to review a book I have received for my birthday. It's a book that I've stumbled across multiple times in a bookstore, but always in Dutch and I prefer reading in English. So when it was my birthday, I finally asked for this book and received it. Thanks again! I absolutely enjoyed it: Reboot by Amy Tintera.

 Somewhere in the future, there's a life after death for most of us. We awake after we die, we're stronger, faster, we heal while we blink... that last part is true when you're a high number. Wren, 178, is in control. She's fast, heals and doesn't blink when someone shoots her and she doesn't feel. Once you awake, and the higher your number, your lack of emotions increases and you can kill for the ones that protect you. All is going great until Callum, 22, arrives in HARC and he wants her as his trainer. His low number only indicates one thing: emotions and Wren is not someone who likes that at all. When training does not succeed, she's asked to eliminate him. But something about 22 makes 178 doubt. The odds will not be in her favor if she declines...

First of all, the fact that you can wake up again after you die and the minutes between dying and living becomes your number, sounds awfully intriguing. I'm already wondering what number I'd be and what that'd mean.

As you already could have read in the synopsis of the book, Wren is a very high number. She's one of the over 120's with her 178 minutes. The higher the number the faster, stronger and less emotions. Everyone around the area has heard about the all too famous 178 who loves to chase people and then kill them as her order. They're scared of her. Wren never really cared about that and she always comes off really tough and controlled. I really loved to see that in a female character. Her steadiness really made her an intriguing character and her fighting skills might've been terrifying but I was so jealous. 

Wren has been in HARC for 5 years, she doesn't remember things from the past and she just does what the bosses tell her to do: kill or get killed. Her emotions are gone and that also made her, in some way, a very vulnerable character, something I had not expected to see. People are so scared of her and even though she doesn't totally get why, that'll change soon enough when the newbies arrive.

Callum is one of the under 60's with his very low number: 22. He isn't as strong or fast, he won't heal fast and he will scream when he gets shot. Above that the lower the number, the less of a chance his emotions are gone. The first day he's in Callum's already tortured by the Reboots who've been in HARC for a very long time. It isn't until he sees Wren that he feels he might make it after all. After challenging her, Wren also chooses to train him with all the consequences of it. What really struck me with Callum was the fact that he was hopeful, even though his number is one of the very lowest. And he's also still very cheerful even though he's a reboot. At the beginning I did not know what to make of Callum, he was very eccentric, very happy and always smiling and secretly flirting with Wren. Callum is also a very gentle person who's very devoted to Wren and would never heart anyone, even if his own life dependent on it.  

This was such a huge contrast between the two and also a huge contrast between this book and all other books I have read. Sure the females are in most books also very strong, but here we saw the male being very dependent on the female and also their emotional balance seemed rather new to me in comparison to all other books. The fact that Callum was such a low number and therefore more emotional, also really changed Wren in small ways and made her turn with the wind and have an inner fight with herself: feel or don't feel. 

Although their bond began to grow at some point in the book, the author started to step up her game and also started to speed everything between these two up which was such a downside in my opinion. In the beginning we could witness it grow slowly but surely and see how feeling things, friendship and all, affected Wren since she's not used to feeling emotional as such a high number. Luckily, the author recovered that later on which I'm really thankful for. However it did make sure that Wren was already super into the emotional things and that her inner fight suddenly stopped, too rushed in my opinion!

As for the plot, I really enjoyed the story. It all begins very foreign and mysterious: what are reboots and why do they have a number? Why are they part of HARC and not normal society.


It's very clear in the beginning that there's such a big hierarchy inside HARC and what Reboots mean to them: a weapon. HARC provides safety, food, shelter for the reboots and the reboots save humanity by clearing out the threats as they're made for those. They're the subjects and they have to listen. If they don't, dead will be upon them once again. Although this hierarchy won't be that obvious all the time, it's there in a very subtle way which I absolutely enjoyed in this series. It kept the characters in tow and the reader saw a reality of a dystopian future.

As already mentioned, the newbies will get trained and that means we'll also see a lot of action. I have to say that I was more thrilled in the beginning of the book than the middle section because in the beginning the focus really was on training, surviving and eliminating which I really found interesting to see in this world, very thrilling and very intriguing. 

Wren really gets influenced by HARC's sayings and Callum's ability to think for himself and think emotionally, this gives her the ability to start thinking for herself as well. And that makes her end up with rebelling inside of herself and making drastic decisions that will then end with something I thought we wouldn't see until later on in the book, or even in the next book. I have to say that it was very surprising, thrilling and also very enjoyable (what I mean is something for you to find out) but as I said before it's then that everything started to get rushed between Wren and Callum and also where the action really felt less suspenseful than inside of HARC.

Now Wren really needs to find out if HARC was really lying to her about all the "good" things they do for the Reboots and how many "good" things she's doing to return the favor. HARC won't make it any easier for her as they're constantly watching her. When her roommate starts to act differently just as all under sixties are behaving very weirdly, Wren is also going to transform into a person to really think for herself. The fact that something is up with the under sixties is something I hope we'll find out more about in the second book. We only touched the surface of what's going on with them and how it affects everyone but I hope to see more of it soon. The only remark towards the changes with the under sixties is that I didn't find it build up well enough, especially with Callum, nevertheless I'm still very curious to the next book!

It's safe to say that I was very intrigued by the story and its characters. A whole new world about these creatures, the Reboots, opened in front of me and I was very into the whole fighting thing. Above that the main character really has an inner fight between what's right and what might have been lies. The book did not solve all of that immediately which only makes me very curious to the next book.
Although I really loved the bond between Wren and Callum, at some point in the book, their bond was a bit too sped up and therefore disappointing, but the author did recover from that later on. Also the mystery around Callum and what's going on with under-sixties wasn't build up too well in my opinion, but also makes me very curious to the next book as I want to find out a lot more. Other than that, I really enjoyed this world and can't wait to found out what will happen now and who the real enemy is.

"5 years ago, I died. 178 minutes later, I woke up."

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