Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Teen Tuesday

Reboot by Amy Tintera (HarperTeen hardcover, 7 May 2013).

The population of the United States has shrunk greatly, due to a virus called KDH.  It kills most people who contract it, but a few young, healthy victims come back to life and are known as "Reboots".

Our protagonist is Wren 178, who was dead for 178 minutes before coming back to life.  Hers is one of the largest numbers, and she's one of the strongest Reboots around.

The Reboots are enslaved by humans, locked up in prison-type facilities, though they are well-fed and healthy.  They are used to police the cities, where a large portion of the population is poverty-stricken.

Wren is very good at this; she has few emotions (something she attributes to the length of time she was dead), and she heals from even serious injuries very quickly (definitely a result of how long she was dead).

The "veteran" Reboots are used to train newcomers, and when the new batch arrives, Wren is torn. Because she has the highest number in her facility, she's given first choice, and usually chooses the one with the highest number.  However, the latest batch of recruits includes a 22 named Callum, who refuses to follow Reboot protocols and deliberately tries to attract her attention.

Despite being annoyed by this, Wren is charmed, and chooses him as her trainee.  Despite her best efforts, she grows to care for him, but he continues to flout authority until Wren is ordered to eliminate him.

I was lucky enough to meet Amy Tintera at an event at Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach last fall.  Her description of Reboot, published last spring, was intriguing enough that I bought it.  She said she intended to write a teen romance, that somehow ended up in a dystopian world.  And despite the bleakness and violence of their world, that's what the story boils down to. 

Reboot will be enjoyed by readers who loved The Hunger Games and The Testing.  The sequel, Rebel, is due in May.

FTC Full Disclosure:  I purchased this book.

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