- Release Date: May 7th, 2013
- Pages: 365
- Genre: Dystopian/Thriller
- Publisher: HarperTeen
I’ve been in a bit of a fictional hangover. Which is to say I binged watched Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra series and was searching for a book to fill this void. I wanted adventure, world-building and action girls so I immediately started browsing YA dystopians. I settled on Reboot after getting a rec from a regular reader.
Wren Connolly is a Reboot. A person who has died of the KDHD virus but rises from the dead as a faster and stronger creature. The longer a Reboot is dead before rising, the stronger they are. Having been dead for a record-breaking 178 minutes, Wren is the best Reboot there is.
Reboots aren’t free, they are the red shirt henchmen army of HARC, the mega-corporation/government entity that ended the war (you know how there is always a War), and keeps people “safe”. Wren has no issues following HARC and their shady orders, some of which have included killing. She makes no excuses about it and this attitude makes her a bit of an anti-hero, which I liked.
As a character, Wren knows she is the best and she never expects to fail. Her cocky attitude and status as a 178 was very reminiscent of Korra in Legend of Korra. Wren has a pretty dark past, that’s based more on reality than I expected from a dystopian.
The story told in Reboot is from a perspective we don’t typically see in YA dystopians. I feel like this story could have easily been a Divergent-esque “girl in new environment storyline”, but instead Wren is the experienced character and it doesn’t feel like we are being introduced to everything. The naive ingenue storyline was handed over to our male protagonist, Callum Reyes.
Callum is a new Reboot, he was only dead for 22 minutes before rising making him more human than cold hard Reboot. As he and Wren begin to train together the usual YA dystopian tropes began to fall into place; evil-corporation-is-extra-evil, secret rebels, secret safe house, class divide. But I liked the characters enough to want to see how this played out.
The world-building in this book was a little rocky at times. It seemed like the book was breaking and over-explaining its rules. The big one being the explanation behind why only teen Reboots are kept and adults are killed. The explanation didn’t work for me, the adults just go “crazy.”
The audiobook is narrated and directed by Khristine Hvam who I liked in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I’d never heard Hvam do first person before and I picked up on some key differences in her performance. She has to not only find the character’s voice but carry it for every sentence as opposed to third person where there can be use more storytelling inflection.
Reboot is a clever send-up of zombie mythology. While this novel did dive into some cliche territory this was exactly what I was looking for at the time; an action-packed book with an unapologetic main character.