Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera
Release date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: #2 in the Reboot duology
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 352 pages
Rating: A pretty solid, fast-paced ending to a fun duology. Oh, and a lovely ship.


The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can't-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

My review of Reboot

Spoilers for book one below

I really hate when I start a sequel, and I'm back with all these characters talking about all these things, and I look around me and realize

I realized immediately after starting Rebel that I didn't have a very good memory of what happened in Reboot, which is unusual for me. I've generally got a really good memory for the books I read, and while I remembered the basic plot structure and Wren and Callum (whom I remember super liking), the finer details and pretty much all the secondary characters totally exited my brain. For that reason, I'm pretty sure I wasn't as emotionally invested in this series ender as I could have been if I'd read Reboot more recently or, ideally, immediately before Rebel. Despite that, Rebel is solid, fast--paced, and high stakes, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rebel starts off right where Reboot left off (another argument for reading them back to back). Wren, our badass unemotional one-hundred-seventy-eight-minutes-dead Reboot, and Callum, her sweet and unbadass twenty-two-minutes-dead Reboot boyfriend, have escaped from their own HARC facility, cured Callum of the HARC-engineered drug that was turning him into a brain-eating zombie, and freed all the Reboots being held captive in the Austin HARC facility. Now they're flying a stolen shuttle to the free Reboot reservation the human rebels told them lies in the east.

Tintera does a pretty good job in the beginning bringing us up to speed on these events and reminding us who people like Addie and Leb and Beth were, because yeahhh, I did not remember. Anyway, they show up in the Reboot reservation, all ready to lead a peaceful life, when SURPRISE. Looks like the Reboots who are already out there have less than pacifist plans... plans that don't exactly line up with Callum's morals.

One of the best things aobut this book was how Wren and Callum's different viewpoints caused some slight friction and confusion between them. They have very different levels of empathy, and Callum's morality is black and white while Wren's is shades of gray. Neither is entirely right (though Callum is clearly MORE right). People think Wren is totally cold and unfeeling and, well, the typical Reboot, but she's obviously not, especially compared to Micah, who is an interesting exercise in twisted logic. Basically, once Wren and Callum figure out they want nothing to do with the crazy shenanigans he's pulling on the Reboot reservation, things go to hell in a handbasket, and that's when the plot really kicks into high gear.

I really liked the choice Tintera made to switch first person viewpoints between Wren and Callum. They don't sound VERY different, but Callum's narration is a bit easier and more charming, so I could tell the difference. It not only gave a nice perspective on both of them and their very different responses to things, but it really rounded out the plot, especially when they're not in the same place. I really like the ship in this, which, let's be honest, usually overrides any huge flaws I might find in a story. Whatever.

The writing is pretty good, though I did notice that two chapters back to back described a person have having "fear plastered to her face" back to back chapters, which is a weird phrase for Wren and Callum to both use, but hopefully that will be fixed in the final copy. I thought one of the big moments before the end should have been much BIGGER and more difficult to achieve, and there's a pretty huge death that really had no effect on me, and I am a marshmallow. Tintera does a really good job of upping the ante and setting up big action scenes, but the intensity of the plot and the risk factor always feel like they fall one step short. Like her amps don't go to eleven. But they COULD.

But I really enjoyed Wren and Callum, and Wren's burgeoning friendship with Addie, the character I couldn't remember but who is actually a delight. Plus, the book can be funny.

"I hate rats."
"They don't taste too bad."
"Oh my God, never tell me that story."

I really enjoyed reading this while I read this, but it also didn't leave a huge impact on me. Not the characters, the plot, or the world-building, though they're all better than serviceable. I think it's worth reading for those who liked Reboot, and I'd definitely recommend Reboot. Actually, I'd recommend reading these back to back for sure, and am kicking myself that I didn't do that.


  1. Today I shall leave you an actual, non-anonymous comment. BE GRATEFUL, MY DUCKLING. I don't know why you're my duckling. Let's blame the fact that I must face every day without coffee. Moving on.

    Gandalf gif is perfect. I should really only binge read completed series, but I'm also SO IMPATIENT. I WANTS TO READ NOW.

    Ugh, added a second viewpoint? Or were there two in the first one. *narrows eyes* Damn, I have no memory of this place.

    Hold still, duckling. I just need to plaster this fear to your face.

    What even.

    Haaa, that quote is good though.

  2. I agree with Christina that the Gandalf giff is perfection. I felt very similar. I was terrified I'd continue to not remember things but they started to come back (eventually). Because of that though it took me some time to connect again with the characters. Luckily, once I got back up to speed it was a fun read. Great review!

  3. I read these two back to back and loved them! Seriously, Micah was the perfect anti-hero. Totally sick in the brain. And I'm a huge shipper of Callum and Wren!!!

  4. I'm hoping to not have such a Gandalf moment when I start reading this one, cause I'm very excited about it!
    Great review Gillian!

  5. I can't wait to read rebel !!!! I've reread reboot so many times already but unfortunately since I live in Australia, I have to either wait until June 1st to get rebel or order it online, and it will still take about a month to reach me :(

  6. I'm a bit late to the party so pardon this.
    I would appreciate it very much if you could do a full summary of Rebel.
    Thank you~


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