Book Review – ‘Rebel’ by Amy Tintera

Zombie soldiers revolt against the evil corporation that created them… where do I sign up?

Rebel Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Dystopia

No. of pages: 340

From Goodreads:

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…

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A great follow-up to the debut novel ‘Reboot,’ I enjoyed this more than I expected. I went into this book not really expecting much, but as the relationships and mythology were explored further, I developed a new found appreciation for this new take on zombie super soldiers. There is a certain amount of predictability for ‘Rebel,’ I easily guessed the ending – but I mean it was pretty obvious given the title; but the twists and turns it took to get there certainly made a wild ride. With just about everything imaginable thrown at the reboot gang, this was an engaging read.

Rebel Book Review Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleOur protagonist, Wren, felt more human; and I was able to connect with her character better than I had in the debut. She was able to emote and make human connection, where I had difficulty relating to her in ‘Reboot’ because of her cold stoic nature. Her love interest, Callum, still reminded me of a loyal Labrador in this follow-up, and felt like the grounding force amongst all the chaos for Wren. I liked how he found his place in the dysfunctional rag-tag group they formed while running for their lives.

The element of politics and alliances was a great touch and added a layer to the story telling, one-upping the plot complexity from the debut. The narrative still felt a little bland – but I’m not chalking it up to Wren’s nature like I did with ‘Reboot’ – I think it’s tone and style of Amy. And in saying that, I think this book could have been more engaging, which is why I’ve given it an average rating. It didn’t leave a large impression on me.

There wasn’t the great uncovering of the mythology and science behind the existence of reboots, or much explanation into the experiments being performed on them, it was cursory in nature, which is a shame – I like more science in my sci-fi. I was waiting for the nuts and bolts of the world building and that ah-ha moment around Wren, Callum, and HARC; but the impact was soft and not satisfactory.

Towards the end, a few things felt coincidental and rushed for the sake of wrapping up everything in a pretty pink bow, but with YA and Amy’s writing style, it worked. This is cute, and gave me a pay-off worthy of the duology, and makes me want to recommend to fans of dystopians. A fun and interesting read all up.

Considering it took me a while to get into and finish ‘Reboot,’ I completed ‘Rebel’ in one sitting over the course of an afternoon. The pacing and tension were handled better than the first novel, and even though the narrative was still dry, was much more engaging. I’m looking forward to trying out her latest series ‘Ruined’ and ‘Avenged.

Overall feeling: I’ll give it a thumbs up

Rebel Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Rebel Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

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© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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