by Amy Tintera
Expected Publishing Date: May 13, 2014
Length: 352 pages
Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
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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.
Rebel was a fitting end for this action-packed duology! Rebel starts immediately where Reboot left off, with Callum, Wren, and the Austin reboots at the reboot reservation. Without a second to breathe or regroup, the story of Rebel begins immediately. While Rebel took slightly longer to gain its footing in this new territory, it soon became a whirlwind of a book I did not want to put down for any reason. It was difficult jumping into this unknown territory with a new enemy, but the way it all came together in the end was perfect, despite the initial difficulty in adjusting to Callum’s point of view.
As with any point of view shift, the question always becomes: Do these characters actually sound different from each other? I will say that the split point of view in Rebel was not perfect, especially at first. The first four chapters I had trouble distinguishing the characters from one another, but I think once the plot picked up even more, Tintera really found her footing and the voices of Callum and Wren became distinguishable. I love Callum and Wren precisely because of their differences, precisely because Wren is the less emotional one and Callum is the charismatic one, and I appreciated that Tintera was able to translate this differences into their individual chapters.
As much as I really did love Reboot, I had some issues with it. I loved the romance between Wren and Callum and how Callum made Wren more emotionally in a GOOD way while she was able to keep her toughness. And as action-packed as Reboot was, the romance definitely overshadowed that a little too much for my liking. Well, for part of Rebel Callum and Wren are split up, and honestly I think this is the best thing Tintera could have done. For one, it makes Rebel more action-oriented. There’s still plenty of great romance, but instead of it being like 70 percent romance, thirty percent action, it’s a pretty even fifty-fifty. For another thing, it allows both Callum and Wren to have a lot of personal growth separate of each other. I think Callum and Wren were both catalyst for emotional growth in Reboot, but those where character journeys they needed to complete on their own, and it makes the ending all the better.
I also think the writing was greatly improved in Rebel. I thought the writing in Reboot was fine, and certainly not bad, but not anything that set up and made me take notice. I felt the words in Rebel carried more weight behind them–there were quite a few emotionally intense scenes that were SO well-done. There were also just some humorous sarcastic one-liners that made me smile at the page, despite how serious the story of Rebel really is.
The one thing I loved most about Rebel is that it’s a completely action-packed read filled with a great romance, and if that’s what you want, it can absolutely be just only that. But just beyond the surface is this whole host of moral questions that Rebel attempts to raise and answer is subtle ways. The difference between reboots and humans were highlighted in this book, and often I, as the reader, was made to ask: “Who is the real enemy here? IS there a real enemy, or could all these groups get along if they choose?”. Rebel really looks at the way we view us-vs-them situations without ever beating you over the head with that. Both Callum and Wren personally struggle with issues of morality and doing the right thing. They answer this questions in different ways throughout the Rebel, and it really highlighted how far both characters had progressed. I loved pretty much everything about Rebel, but the characters were by far the best part.
4.5 stars/cupcakes for sure. As much as I loved Reboot, Rebel was without a doubt an improvement. The writing, the characters, the action, everything was just a little bit better than it had been in the first book, which lead up to an epic book and an awesome conclusion to this duology.