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Reboot

Reboot - Amy Tintera Review goes live on Book Brats on May 1st, 2013. Quotes are taken from the ARC edition and may change by the final printing.There are books where the hype succeeds and the book is just as amazing as you’ve heard – and then some. And then there are books where the hype just doesn’t work and you’re left sad and shaking on the floor, wondering where things went wrong in your relationship. REBOOT was one of my most anticipated 2013 titles. Let’s just remember, though, that I have a very bad track record with picking debuts that appeal to me and then actually liking them.When I finished REBOOT by Amy Tintera, closing my Kindle and turning it off, I stared at the wall and wondered, “Where did our relationship go wrong?”A SUCCESSOR TO DIVERGENTREBOOT has more in common with DIVERGENT than I expected going into it. The similarities are obvious – for one, it’s being released the week where Divergent 3 might have been released if it hadn’t been pushed back to fall (if I remember correctly, and my memory is shoddy). It is basically DIVERGENT if the members of Dauntless were zombies who could kick butt and take names. The writing is similar, as well, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your tastes.REBOOT has several critical flaws which ruined the experience for me. Firstly, it favored romance as an explanation over the mythology of the world and the world building. There were plot holes and contrivances thanks to the romance. Secondly, it was extremely violent, to the point where it seemed to romanticize violence and killing for the sake of maintaining a character that had already begun to falter the moment her love interest appeared.Following Wren 178, a Reboot who was dead 178 minutes before she reanimated as a deadly, inhuman soldier, REBOOT is about an elite team of once-dead teenage soldiers in a world decimated by a zombifying virus called KDH controlled by a quasi-government police force tasked with rounding up criminals and KDH-afflicted people. When Callum 22 (he died for 22 minutes) shows up, though, she is curious, and Callum making mooning eyes at her doesn’t help.It seems to be a prevailing theme in “dystopian” fiction these days where romance is the main aspect, followed by the actual dystopian elements. And when the dystopian elements mostly seemed to be another virus, a government military force that rises to contain it, and scientists that are inherently evil, I don’t know how much of a fan I can be. REBOOT never passes the ordinary on this account.LOVE SAVES ALLAs I said, REBOOT is a romance at heart. Luckily it isn’t a love triangle. Wren is the deadliest Reboot in all of New Texas until Callum shows up, and suddenly she becomes a limp noodle. Wren suddenly starts showing all the emotions that she claims are impossible, all the while maintaining that she is still cold and unflinching. Except this can’t be rationalized by her romance, nor does she ever rationalize it. In the mythos of the world, the reader is led to believe it is impossible.Even in situations where they’re about to die, what do Wren and Callum do? Make out. Because that’s totally the sensible thing to do when there are guns pointed at you. And the romance I didn’t buy – Wren, cold and inhuman, and Callum, sweet and naïve (potentially a little dumb). It was not a match made in heaven, more like a match made in, “You’re strange and I like that.”It was true that all Reboots were attractive, in a way. After death, when the virus took hold and the body rebooted, the skin cleared and the body sharpened, the eyes glowed. It was like pretty with a hint of deranged.So it was kind of like pretty zombies in a sense, but really, all Reboots are attractive? What if you were given the ugliest teenager alive? Would they suddenly be hot? Just wondering.GUNS ARE AWESOMEI love a good action-adventure movie, but there comes a point where I think that guns are being glorified. No, I don’t think that teens and kids become homicidal maniacs based on the media. But I do think that there is such thing as the glorification of violence. When I read REBOOT, I felt like this happened when Wren talked about hating humans, wanting to kill guards, wanting to kill people who have surrendered because humans couldn’t be trusted. And does she kill humans? Yeah, and several weren’t really up to much.Giving humans a chance was a dumb idea.Another big issue I had with the first 25% of the book was extreme info-dumping. Wren would wax poetic at random times about the architecture of the building, the origins of the KDH virus, how Rebooting actually worked), and so on. And Wren also has a nifty gift for inferring correctly with no information given. It got annoying after awhile.The prose was alright in REBOOT – there is nothing flashy about it, nothing too exciting. The pacing was pretty damn good, though, which saves REBOOT from a dreaded one star review. Tintera does an awesome job of action and plotting, leading the story on a meandering path of twists and turns (some of which are predictable) to an inevitable conclusion that I saw from the synopsis.Also, for people who have read the book – I have a question. If multiple people Reboot at a certain time, how do they differentiate between Reboots if the guards call them by their numbers? Just something I noticed.VERDICT: I really wanted to love this one, but ultimately, it fell flat with me. With nothing truly to set it apart besides a heavy emphasis on love saving the day, REBOOT is an ultimately forgettable entry into the bloated dystopian market. Skip this one.