Reboot by Amy Tintera
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Despite what I hear at publishers pushes, the dystopian genre is beyond overcrowded and there's little new being said. Reboot is a case in point. Set in future Texas after some virus attacks the population, the lines between the rich (known as ricos) and poor are stark. And then there are the Reboots, people who have died and "rebooted" (aka came back to life). No, they're not zombies. They're just different: less emotional, stronger, less in need of food. Slightly robotic, in other words, with a human casing. The degree of their change depends on how long they were dead; under 60 minutes is closest to human, over 100 minutes is optimal. Wren was dead for 178 minutes, the longest ever, making her the darling of the HARC (forgot what that stands for - but it's the Big Bad Government Agency Controlling Everything). Contrasting with that is Callum, a mere 22. Somewhat reluctantly, Wren becomes his trainer, introducing him to his new "life" as a Reboot.
I got that part. Wren's pride is challenged (can she take a low number and create a Reboot as good as she is?). But the emotional ties to Callum? Either the Reboots are not as unemotional as they're reputed to be, Wren is "malfunctioning", or the author needed a plot twist. There were other things that bothered me (beyond the series aspect and the dystopian thing), for example I felt that a little more exposition at times was needed, particularly towards the end. The writing didn't wow me, either, and this theme of teens as killers? Can we just end it now?
ARC provided by publisher.