Hardcover, 1st Edition, 365 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by HarperTeen
If you are at all familiar with my reading tastes, you will know that I do not like dystopian fiction at all. I find it depressing and my life is difficult enough without me seeking out depressing things. However, the premise of Reboot is interesting enough that it hooked me in and like a fish reeled me in. I got it from the library and processed to read it through and here’s what it is all about.
In the word Reboot is set in, people die and then come back (hence the name). The amount of time they take to come back usually varies and the longer it takes a person to come back, the stronger the person is upon waking to their undead life. Here I will pause to add that just because the people coming back from the dead are not vampires, undead though they may be. They exhibit all normal human aptitudes, well, okay, not really, they’re the sleeker, more dangerous version of humans. The longer they take to come back, the lesser emotions they have. So our protagonist, Wren, took 178 minutes to come back which makes her deadly in terms of strength and killing ability. It also makes her coldest and least humanlike because she’s no longer in touch with her emotions. Or so we’re told. This is interesting because a computer taking 178 minutes to reboot would be thrown out cuz no one got the patience to wait that long.
Anyway, she is paired up with a boy who took only 30 or so minutes to come back which means he’s practically human and is much more sensitive and in touch with his feelings than our resident (alleged) ice block. Or rather, she chooses to train him into becoming a killer because he makes her feel the feels and she’s like, whoaaa, I feel something. Kinda like Legolas after he and Ghimli have that drinking competition and he feels the little tingle in his fingers.
As usual, there is a patriarchal Enemy who is controlling, domineering and all things nasty. There are rebels, the humans who are actually presented in a much more favourable light than is usual to dystopian novels involving paranormal creatures. Oh and there is a race against time as the love interest is turning into some kind of insane people-eating being after being injected with something by the Enemy. It’s all wonderful stuff like.
The book isn’t back per se and I quite enjoyed some parts of it. What mattered most to me was that Tintera doesn’t go into details of what it is that’s making people wake up after they’ve died. There’s talk about evolution and hints about a virus but the machinations remain vague and unspecific much to the detriment of the novel. It doesn’t seem fleshed out and I was left wondering about what to make of it. Where do they do go when they die? Is it real died or is it some kind of metamorphoses? There’s very little discourse on that.
Also, Wren’s supposed coldness is…what? A lie? Why is she different? Why is she in touch with her feelings? I needed a bit more expansion on that. I did love the relationship she had with her roomie though. I felt that it was very well written and emoted.
What puzzled me was that one of the characters I thought would die didn’t and I wondered at the survival of the character because I believe that the death would have added so much more to the narrative. I know why the character was saved but I mourn the waste of the change to wring out the pathos and substance from the novel.