Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Rebel (Amy Tintera)

Rebel (Reboot, #2)
Title: Rebel
Series: Reboot duology, Book 2
Author: Amy Tintera (site)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Told: First Person (Wren, Callum), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (violence, killing, fighting, kissing, minor sensuality)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
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Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...

It's time for Reboots to become rebels.

*          *          *

Series: This is the second and final book in the Reboot duology. See here for my review of the first book, Reboot.

In a Sentence: A violent but romantic sequel with indistinguishable points of view but a sweet ending.

It's hard for me to read a sequel several years after the first book. I've usually lost most if not all emotional resonance with the main characters, and only vaguely recall some points of the plot. In such situations I usually re-read the previous book first, but in the case of Rebel, with my teetering TBR pile looming, I thought I remembered enough of Reboot that I could skip the re-read this time and dive straight into the second book.

At first, I struggled. As feared I had a very hard time reconnecting with the main characters, and although I seemed to remember enough of what had happened before I felt rather detached from what was going on. Also, instead of just Wren's First Person point of view as was in Reboot, Rebel alternated between Wren and Callum, and since I only vaguely recalled either's personality I had a hard time telling their voices apart. The story further began with an overused dystopian sequel plot, the escapees arriving at their promised land only to discover they might have exchanged one bad situation for another. Having already read this scenario one too many times and despairing the typical outcome, I debated if the book was worth continuing just to have read it.

But right from the start most of the escapees were wary of integration, an unusual element to the overused plot, so I decided to stick with it and after a third of the book was rewarded as the story pulled away from the predictable and diverted into some unique twists and exciting action. I also started to, not reconnect per se but connect anew with the characters and their fight, and by the halfway point I was fully engaged in the story. From there a quick and easy writing style made the read rather effortless, and although the movement was a little choppy the pacing was pretty smooth and packed with conflict and surprises. Wren and Callum's romance, while honestly a bit unbelievable for me considering Wren's base personality, was a nice balance to the violence, and made for a sweet and hopeful end.

Conclusion: Although at first I had a hard time reconnecting with the characters and story, eventually the action and easy writing engaged me and I quite enjoyed finishing Wren and Callum's violent but romantic tale. Definitely recommend for dystopian lovers, and I look forward to re-reading the duology together one day.

Scribble Rating
3.5 of 5 Scribbles

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