Amy Tintera Reboot Duology, #2 Allen and Unwin Published 1st June 2014 Bought from Megalong Books, Leura, NSW
The exciting conclusion to the Reboot duology, Rebel doesn’t disappoint. We meet up with Callum and Wren moments after Reboot finished, standing in front of the entrance to the Reboot Reservation. They have escaped HARC and Wren particularly just wants to lay low for a while. She’s had enough of the hunting, the fighting, the killing. She couldn’t give a damn about what everyone else is doing, she just doesn’t want to be a part of any of it anymore. But when its revealed that the leader of the Reservation has a plan to take down all of the humans, Callum wants to stop him and protect the people. Wren wants to get out. The two are going to be at odds with each other while also struggling to work out what’s wrong and what’s right, in the middle of a war.
I really love the discussion of morality that comes up in this book. When you’re only seventeen and have been conditioned to hunt and kill, how do you come to grips with that part of yourself when someone shows you something else, especially when you actually enjoyed the hunt and were good at it? In the same breath, Callum, who only killed one person, seems shocked by how little guilt Wren carries around with her and he wonders how that can be. There is some serious moral dilemma here that they both struggle with, which works well with the dual view which I really enjoyed.
It’s been a while since I read Reboot and I probably should have done a re-read before reading this one, because I was a bit fuzzy on some details and I also couldn’t remember Callum being this funny! It provided some much-needed comic relief for what was quite an intense and action-packed book. Being a duology, everything moved quickly and there were no slow info-dumps or space-fillers, which is often seen in ‘middle books’ of trilogies.
Despite the supporting characters, this book is very clearly focused on Wren and Callum which is a bit of a shame because I would have liked to see characters like Addie and Riley fleshed out a bit more. Also, for such a fast-paced book, I felt there was a lot of sleeping or passing out to end chapters which is a bit convenient sometimes and just fell a bit flat for me especially once I noticed how often it occurred. And while I enjoyed the romance between Wren and Callum, I felt that they would kiss or fall into each other’s arms at critical points where they should have been thinking of the war they were in the middle of. There were a few other things in the romance that seemed to happen because the author thought they had to happen rather than just happening naturally. Other than the physical stuff though, I enjoyed the banter between the two and the way they make each other think and question things they each would normally accept.
Wren is one of my favourite, bad-ass characters of all time and I also appreciate that Callum was ‘softer’ and ‘more human’ than her but still capable. Both were multi-faceted characters and I enjoyed this exciting conclusion to the duology. Duologies also make me feel good because its only two books and so easy to finish the series (something that rarely happens to me!).