My rating: I’d go there again! (4/5)
The sequel to Tintera’s Reboot finally hits shelves today, and Rebel packs the same action-packed punch as book one. Events resume exactly where things we left them in book one. Wren and Callum have escaped their imprisonment as Reboots, only to find themselves in a new kind of prison with a ruthless freedom fighter. If they really want their freedom, they’re going to need to ask themselves some hard questions.
What’s different about book two is that we get Callum’s point of view. In book one, Callum wasn’t really a fully fleshed out character, in my opinion, at least. He really acted more as a vehicle for Wren to change and become more human. However, in book two Callum became a lot more interesting and I liked the fact that his side of things was expressed, especially when their plots diverged. I was pleasantly surprised by Callum, he kind of took the back seat to Wren because he wasn’t as strong as her physically, but he came into his own with his thoughts on the impending battle and Wren herself:
Michah beamed as she stopped next to him. He reached down and grabbed her hand, making her jump. He had an expression of such pure adoration on his face that I would have been jealous if she weren’t looking at him like he was an alien.
Okay, maybe I was slightly jealous. She’d looked at me like I as an alien at first, too, but now I was pretty sure that she liked me.
Well, more than pretty sure. Mostly sure. As close as you can get to sure without being totally sure. She had left her “home” (prison) for me, and then risked her life and took down an entire HARC facility to save me. I thought that was like Wren’s version of “I’m totally into you.” I’d take it. (p.12)
I liked Callum’s narrative because it added an interesting mix of innocence to Wren’s tough girl exterior. I also appreciate the fact that it was kind of a gender-role reversal. Callum has his moments, but for the most part it’s Wren that’s taking care of him. It was refreshing to see the guy be the more gentle, caring one, although I feel that this characterization is popping up more frequently in teen lit that I’ve been reading. I do think Callum does change throughout Rebel, becoming less innocent to the ways of the world, and to an extent I kind of wish that wasn’t the case, but I suppose when you’re part of a rebellion you kind of have to step-up. And really, a character should change throughout a story, otherwise I would probably be bored.
As for Wren, she was the same character that I liked so much in Reboot. She’s come a long way and I really liked that readers followed her grow from someone cold and inhuman, to someone that found a reason to change and care for others around her. I’m a sucker for this cyborg/inhuman trope, so I was pretty much guaranteed to like Wren and her story.
If you liked Reboot, you will like Rebel. Questions are raised and answered, and it would be a great pick for the resurgence of Divergent fans (now that the movie is out).
*Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Reading Rebel, Kristen Simmon’s Article 5 immediately came to mind. Ember and Chase both find themselves in a similar situation to Wren and Callum; in the midst of a rebellion that just might now be all that it’s chocked up to be. Like Rebel, the Article 5 trilogy is fast-paced and action packed.
Because I liked Callum so much in Rebel, I’m going to have to recommend The Darkest Minds. It’s another trilogy featuring teens with powers. What really makes the similarity is the romantic interest, Liam, who is the sensitive guy quite similar to Callum.
Lastly, I’ll recommend Sophie Jordan’s Uninvited because it has the same government imprisonment vibe you find in the Reboot duology. Like the reboots, those with a specific gene are typecast and used for their differences.