September 15, 2013

I can blatantly say that dystopian YA is by far my most favorited genre of all. I don't bother read the early reviews, because chance of me liking it is mostly favorable (not that it would subjectify my opinions). Now, back to the book. Reboot is Amy Tintera's debut and surprisingly, it receives many thumbs up from critics worldwide. I was eager to read it and fortunately found a copy listed as "new released" (newly released here in Indonesia, the original paperback was widely released in April 2013 in US country). Honestly, judging from the cover, I'd never thought that this book would turn out to be a zombie-like story; I thought it was some kind of Justin Timberlake's "In Time" sci-fi things mixed with dystopian world and an itty bitty romance. Though the synopsis clearly indicates something super about these 'rising deads', I've never quite gotten the tricks because Tintera is cloaking it so well; good job on delivering such an intriguing and more importantly, original, materials. So, how was it?

Wren Connolly was just 12-year-old when she got shot, three times, in a chest. But then, 178 minutes later, she woke up, revived by some virus known as KDH, making her turned into a Reboot; a superhuman with impeccable healing skill and faster & stronger moves, but then again, the longer someone was under, the less human he/she is, and in this case, Wren's number (178) was considered deadly (because you're not human anymore after you reach 220). Now, five years later, Wren is a feared super-soldier under the management of HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation); an organization run by government which job is to provide a safer place for human with the help of children Reboot who will exterminate any threats & criminals in sight. Wren has been the best trainer to all the newbies Reboot out there, well, not until she challenged herself to take on apprentice of Callum Reyes, a 22 with more humanly sides projected which Wren finds very disturbing. One thing Wren doesn't suspect is that Callum's performance doesn't really meet a good Reboot's requirement, that she is told to eliminate Callum. And that's not the only thing Wren has to face as she grows fond of him, because there's more going on in HARC that she doesn't know a thing about ....

First thing to say is that Reboot is an absolute page-turner! It is fast-paced with thrilling action-packed storylines, elevated by the gory & violent events presented in most portions of the book. The story itself is genuine and intriguing; very creative and the concepts work well. The tension is steady, with the careful emotional rises throughout the entire timelines. The ending is satisfying; it doesn't offer a cliffhanger but it offers enough to make us guess and guess (because the untitled sequel will come out in May 6, 2014). 

Tintera does offer background stories in the first quarter, but then it's not enough; it is detailed but without further explanations, making the readers to throw unanswered questions throughout the entire reads. For example, what makes HARC in charge of everything? Why would human be so terrified of Reboot and why do Reboot throw so much hatred towards them? What caused the separation between slums and the rich (Rico VS Rosa)? Why does KDH virus only affect kids, not adults? And so much more. I know Tintera places us in Wren's shoes; we know that she only remembers few about her life before rebooting, but that doesn't mean we are to be placed only in present moment. I need more backgrounds here. Another thing, Tintera's ability to describe the surrounding is bad; I was having a hard time picturing the HARC headquarters, Rico, Rosa, and many other places. It would be nicer if she elaborated juicier little details more. 

I gotta say the characters presented here, especially Wren and Callum, are intriguing. Even the villain (HARC) is wonderfully executed. But then again, I felt no emotional connection whatsoever to them. The side characters like Leb and Ever are underdeveloped; they are interesting and it'll elevate this book more if Tintera puts them in much bigger portions. Wren is a true female-heroine here; she's a badass yet there's this softness in her that she quickly recollects piece by piece. As for Callum, he's a sweetbaby, but I don't like him; he appears week, annoying and too emotional, but individual-characteristics aside, he's a good match for Wren. But there's the problem; I don't like the romance here. The romance is more on kissing rather than emotionally engaged events. It is out of the place, making it a huge distraction in the middle half, not offering much of real connection to the story. I also dislike the fact that Wren's changes are presented so abruptly it appears to be less believable than it actually is.

Finally said, I love this book. It's a fun and thrilling read. Definitely recommended.

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